Soldiers and Violence

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The two are not just linked on the battlefield. It follows them like white on rice. This is a very important Slate article. Among other things:

“The increased violence around Fort Carson began at the start of the Iraq war. A 126-page Army report known as an ‘Epidemiological Consultation’ released in 2009 found that the murder rate around the Army’s third-largest post had doubled and that the number of rape arrests had tripled.”

But it is not just the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:

“Historian Eric T. Dean Jr. notes that the years following the Civil War were marked by unprecedented levels of violence and criminality in the United States. In the victorious North, fully two-thirds of all men sentenced to prison were veterans. In some states the prison population increased by 400 percent.”

“As Dane Archer, a University of California–Santa Cruz sociologist, noted in a 1976 study in the American Sociological Review, wars are closely associated with elevated crime rates across the entire population: “During the Vietnam War, the murder and nonnegligent manslaughter rate in the United States more than doubled.” At the conclusion of the study, Archer argued that “[w]ars provide concrete evidence that homicide, under some conditions, is acceptable in the eyes of the nation’s leaders. This wartime reversal of the customary peacetime prohibition against killing may somehow influence the threshold for using homicide as a means of settling conflict in everyday life.””

Thanks to D.J.

1:47 pm on April 21, 2014
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