Mullen warns of strain on armed forces
By The Post's Pentagon correspondent Craig Whitlock in Checkpoint Washington:
The nation's top military officer told an Army audience Wednesday that the United States is only beginning to confront the strain that a decade of war has placed on its armed forces, warning that post-traumatic stress, suicides and unemployment are likely to persist among veterans for years to come.
"I believe what we can see today is truly just the tip of the iceberg, with consequences for our military and veteran health-care system, our national employment rate and even homelessness," Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Association of the U.S. Army's national convention in Washington.
A rapid drawdown from Iraq this year, followed by an expected withdrawal of at least some troops from Afghanistan next summer, will finally give the Army a chance to rest by increasing the amount of time units can spend at home. While Mullen welcomed those prospects, he said that the accumulated stresses and strains on the military will become only more apparent as troops return.
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