Troops, Suicides, Iraq

What are the odds that these other dozen deaths “thought to be suicides” will be “confirmed”?

Anybody familiar with the investigation and reporting procedures taht the Army might be using? C/Would the Army decide that this sort of info should be “classified”?

If these “other dozen” are confirmed, what would that say about the stat of morale? Is it just “to be expected”? Or does it actually reveal some sort of a morale problem that needs to be addressed?

Medical statisticians,
Even if the “other dozen” aren’t confirmed, how statiscally signifigant is a rise of 4 per 100,000?

Not very. The increase isn’t large enough and the troops haven’t been there long enough to make any worthwhile statements on its significance. If they stay there in occupation for a few years and the rates really are 30+ per 100,000 (it’s unclear if they’re at the level now), then… well… I dunno. A need for more psychologists and counselors is indicated? It certainly doesn’t say anthing about the occupation itself.

The graph on this site seems to give a suicide rate of 20 per 100,000 for Black males aged 20-24 and slightly more for White males of the same age.

I’m not sure why this varies from the OP’s second quote, but these figures would seem to suggest that if anything the suicide rate in Iraq is lower than that of the general population.

I’d have to go along with what’s been said so far.
There’s a serious lack of data here -

is this fairly consistent, or are there high years and low years (deviation) ? If so, what are other factors ?

The period is very short, and the numbers are too small - small numbers are a major statistical bugaboo - it would only take a couple of cases to completely skew your readings.

A more valid baseline would be a suicide rate for similar duty (far from home, higher stress etc).

Also - in the land of pure surmise - there’s an old bit of army lore that a suicide attempt will get you discreetly sent home in the blink of an eye.
Ultimately, I guess the real questions are - what’s acceptable, and what, if anything, can be done ?

The Army has been having a problem with suicide rates since before 9-11.

Wild-assed guess, but I am going to say that a cause would be a stressfull environment, coupled with insufficient training. Compare the lower rates among the USMC, who get more strenuous training, but are in roughly the same environment. (Not to mention, they are taking a more aggressive stance in their duties, and have been having less problems. The Marines are America’s original peace-keepers, after all…)

I agree, but would go a step further – an ideal baseline would be suicide rates among soldiers in wartime. I’d suspect that suicide rates go up amongst soldiers during war, but there seems to be a dearth of information on the subject. From the Oliver Poole article quoted in the OP:

Based on this, a rise in post war suicides seems to be the norm. This may be a delayed reaction and wartime rates might remain the same as prewar rates, but without numbers to work with its just conjecture on my part. Suicides appear to be swept in with non-battle casualties.

Larger age group? Not everyone in the military is 20 - 24. Just a guess.

If this is all so normal, why the concern on the part of the Army? If it’s well within what’s normal, why don’t we already have sufficient numbers of “psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and experts in combat stress” over there already?

How do you determine suicides in doubtful cases in the middle of a shooting occupation ? Even a small accident with a grenade might seem similar to a suicide… or a suicide appear to be anything else but a suicide.

Still war is hell always… more suicides will be forthcoming… even among troops going back home… like the falklands example given.