In contrast, 229 servicemen and women died in afghanistan during the same period, as the "washington post" reported.
At the same time, the number of suicides in the armed forces is on the rise: as recently as 2011, 301 soldiers sought suicide, compared with 295 a year earlier. The increase was particularly high among the marines, where the number of suicides had risen by about 50 percent to 48 in the past two years, the newspaper wrote on tuesday. Although the suicide rate among the troops is still slightly below the figures for the population as a whole, the pentagon leadership is alarmed.
Defense secretary leon panetta had already spoken months ago of "one of the most complex and urgent problems" of the armed forces. A climate must be created that offers help to psychologically distressed soldiers, the minister demanded.
Telephone hotlines for soldiers seeking help had already been set up in previous years. More psychologically trained personnel have also been recruited, it said. As a further measure, the army has begun long-term studies on the psychological state of soldiers.