Tagged: Military

The VA Backlog

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs handles the claims, benefits, and memorial services for veterans as well as provide services for their spouses and dependents. However a long-standing problem with this office is the expected turn around with claims processing that often leaves many veterans and their families without adequate healthcare or other benefit support. Given the debate in the United States with the Affordable Care Act and its comparability to other Western Hemisphere countries that have initiated universal healthcare,...

The U.S. Military’s Sexual Assault Problem

The United States Senate failed to pass a bill that would have altered the military’s response to sexual assault.  The bill, sponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) would have stripped senior military commanders of their authority to prosecute or prevent charges for alleged rapes and other serious offenses in favor of giving the authority to military trial lawyers operating under a newly established office independent of the chain of command.  The vote fell 5 votes short of the 60 necessary to...

Avatar’s Themes as Exposing Real-Life Occurrences?

James Cameron’s Avatar has been making millions of dollars from movie ticket sales worldwide. The movie features humans invading the planet Pandora in the future. Corporate entities in cooperation with military units hope to extract natural resources from territory inhabited by indigenous people called the Na’vi. Although a human named Jake Sully initially agrees to gather intelligence for the military by using an avatar identity, he eventually decides to help the Na’vi mount an attack against the military. Regardless of...

Economic Growth Despite Global Downturn

China aims to experience 8% economic growth in 2010, even after accounting for the global downturn. Since Beijing has targeted 8% economic growth in the past several years and has reached its goal each year, analysts consider China’s target as reasonable. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects China to exceed its goal, experiencing at least 9% economic growth in 2010. Meanwhile, the IMF only expects India to grow by 6.4%, Canada by 2.1%, Japan by 1.7%, the United States by...

Muslim Identity, Cultural Trauma, and the Racialized Backlash

Jeffrey Alexander writes that “cultural trauma occurs when members of a collectivity feel they have been subjected to a horrendous event that leaves indelible marks upon their group consciousness, marking their memories forever and changing their future identity in fundamental and irrevocable ways” (2004). With this basic definition in mind, can we call the shootings that took place at the Fort Hood army base a “cultural trauma”? In this case, the identity of the United States military may have been...

U.S. Military Suicide Rate: A Durkheimian, Rather Than Psychological, Perspective

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpFSyLHBdKg] by NickieWild Recently, various cable and national news outlets reported that U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend had “ordered” soldiers under his command at the base at Ft. Campbell, KY to not commit suicide. While this makes an attention-grabbing headline, it was more of an exhortation than a command. Nevertheless, the U.S. military has been criticized for years about the way it has been handling the skyrocketing military suicide rate, which, by some measures, has now surpassed the...

Soldiers and Suicide

by delawaregrad More than a century ago, French sociologist Emile Durkheim found that suicides were not simply the result of selfish individual action but were influenced by social forces such as age, gender and religion, and developed categories of suicide.  One of these categories is egoistic suicide, where individuals take their life because they are not well integrated into society due to a breakdown of social ties.  A recent article in the Washington Post found that suicide is on the...