Troop Morale Continues to Drop in Afghanistan

Those With More Tours of Duty in Worse Than Average Shape

Given the state of the war in Afghanistan: entering its ninth year with record violence, worsening conditions, and increasing numbers of American soldiers accomplishing less and less, it should hardly come as a surprise that morale among the soldiers there is falling.

A survey taken by the Army shows morale at the platoon level markedly lower than in either 2005 or the 2007 surveys, though they said that suicide prevention training was improved.

The survey also noted that morale levels among troops got progressively worse as the number of tours of duty they had increased, with those on their third or fourth tour in Afghanistan much worse off than those with fewer deployments. The problem was not only combat fatigue; multiple tours of duty appear to have done serious damages to many of the soldiers’ marriages.

The survey also showed that the number of mental health staff in Afghanistan was not nearly as high as the 700:1 ratio sought by the Army.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.