The Washington Post reports that “the U.S. military lost more service members to suicide than combat last year as the number of troops who took their lives rose to a record high.” Nearly 350 active duty servicemembers committed suicide last year while 229 troops were killed in combat in Afghanistan, according to the Post. The AP reported last June that military deaths from suicide outnumbered combat deaths by a 2-to-1 ratio. A month after the AP report, a Pentagon-funded study reported for the first time, scientific data pointing to “intense psychological suffering and pain” as the main cause of military suicides.
In other news:
The New York Times reports: Nearly three years ago, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood delivered a speech urging Egyptians to “nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred” for Jews and Zionists. In a television interview around that time, the same leader described Zionists as “these bloodsuckers who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs. That leader, Mohamed Morsi, is now president of Egypt — and his comments may be coming back to haunt him.”
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Monday pledged American assistance to the French in its campaign to root out extremist militants in Mali.
The Pentagon says that it has improved its most lethal bunker busting bomb, which is now capable of “effectively prosecuting selected hardened, deeply buried targets.”
The Washington Post reports: “Rape has become a “significant and disturbing feature” of the war in Syria, one that many refugees cite as their leading reason for fleeing the country, according to a report released Monday by a New York-based humanitarian organization.” Meanwhile, Syrian warplanes have killed dozens of civilians, including 20 children, in the last few days of bombing Damascus suburbs.
A Washington think tank reported this week that Iran is on track to produce enough material for at least one nuclear bomb by the middle of 2014.