Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Nov 13th, 2009

Summary: Morale has fallen among soldiers in Afghanistan, while those in Iraq show much improved mental health amid much lower violence. … There were 133 reported active-duty Army suicides from January 2009 through October 2009, compared with 115 for the same period in 2008. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on November 13, 2008, Aubrey Immelman reported that an Iraqi soldier fired automatic weapons at U.S. soldiers at a military base in Mosul, killing two and wounding six before dying in a hail of bullets; bombers struck Baghdad for a third straight day, killing 23 people and wounding scores in a string of attacks in mostly Shiite areas; a suicide bomber driving an oil tanker detonated his explosives outside an Afghan government office in Kandahar, Afghanistan during a provincial council meeting, killing at least six people and wounding 42; Iran test-fired a solid-fuel, high-speed Sajjil long-range surface-to-surface missile with a range of about 1,200 miles; and North Korea announced it would shut the country’s border with the South on Dec. 1, 2008.