The suicide rate among US military personnel has risen dramatically, averaging almost one a day this year, which is the worst level in the country’s nearly 11 years of war.
The 154 suicides for active-duty troops in the first 155 days of the year exceeds the number of US troops killed in action in Afghanistan by about 50 percent, according to Pentagon statistics obtained by The Associated Press.
Nearly 6,500 US soldiers have died in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq since October 2001.
Combat fatigue, post traumatic stress disorder, and drug abuse are cited as important factors behind the surge in suicides.
The increasing number of military casualties in Afghanistan has caused widespread anger in the US and other NATO member states, undermining public support for the Afghan war.
The US-led war in Afghanistan began in 2001. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity continues to rise across Afghanistan, despite the presence of about 130,000 of US-led troops.