"As a former active duty Army psychologist who spent 27 months in Iraq taking care of soldiers, I can attest that the oldest tropes about warfare are true: Combat is destructive; deployment in a warzone is enormously stressful. For the men and women serving in war, these aren’t simply clichés—they are harsh realities that the rest of us have yet to fully reckon with."

— Bret A. Moore, A Former Military Psychologist On The Afghanistan Massacre

Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Times.


After Duty, Dogs Suffer Like Soldiers

Though veterinarians have long diagnosed behavioral problems in animals, the concept of canine PTSD is only about 18 months old, and still being debated. But it has gained vogue among military veterinarians, who have been seeing patterns of troubling behavior among dogs exposed to explosions, gunfire and other combat-related violence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Like humans with the analogous disorder, different dogs show different symptoms. Some become hyper-vigilant. Others avoid buildings or work areas that they had previously been comfortable in. Some undergo sharp changes in temperament, becoming unusually aggressive with their handlers, or clingy and timid. Most crucially, many stop doing the tasks they were trained to perform…

That the military is taking a serious interest in canine PTSD underscores the importance of working dogs in the current wars.

In last night’s GOP candidate debate, a gay soldier stationed in Iraq asked if the candidates intend to circumvent the progress that has been made for gays and lesbians in the military by the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Following boos from the audience, Rick Santorum had this to say.

Read Special Correspondant Walter Shapiro’s piece for an in-depth look at the candidates performance last night.