Noteworthy Article on the New Existentialists Website

Why resilience is not the key to preventing military suicides

Posted Sep 12, 2012

I recently read an article on The New Existentialists website that I thought was worthy of attention. The article is by Daniel Pitchford and is entitled “Why Resilience is Not the Key to Preventing Military Suicides.” I appreciated this article in particular because it addressed head-on the problem of misplaced priorities when it comes to helping our men and women in uniform "adjust" to war. While helping these battle-weary people to cope with the indignities of war is certainly an important and reality-based aim, it is not by any means the complete aim we should prioritize on the subject matter of wartime adjustment, and in particular the epidemic of military suicides. As Pitchford so intimately and eloquently points out, the equally big issue so often left untouched is, why do human beings repeatedly (and so often inexplicably) have to find themselves in the position of killing other human beings? Or to paraphrase the psychiatrist RD Laing, why have normal men (and women) killed over a 100 million normal men (and women) over the last 100 years? Let's devote the same handwringing and anguish to this latter question, and perhaps we'll illuminate much more about wartime stress than the stress from weaponry alone. See the New Existentialists website: