Attrition: September 11, 2001

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While NATO is quite proud of the low death rate among KFOR peacekeepers (driving accidents have killed more troops than hostile action) there is one source of deaths that is much greater and quite worrisome. Suicides have killed 48 KFOR peacekeepers so far. Eleven of these have been American. While suicides on overseas deployments is not unexpected, they have been higher than usual in Kosovo. N one knows exactly why, but the stress of dealing with hostile Serb and Albanian populations, plus the Albanian guerillas and gangsters, undoubtedly play a role. The only solution anyone has been able to come up with so far is shorter tours of duty and more trips back home (for the European peacekeepers.) Shorter tours have a downside, as this leaves less time for peacekeepers to learn how to deal with all the local characters. Indeed, the first few months a soldier is in Kosovo can be the most stressful. 

 


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