Understanding the U.S. Military’s Morale “Crisis”


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Note:  This is an astute article by a former active duty Army officer and multiple-tour Iraq War veteran, Raphael S. Cohen who is an associate political scientist at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation and an adjunct professor of security studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. This article is adapted from “In the Ranks: Making Sense of Military Morale,” which appeared in the May/June 2015 edition of World Affairs.

Raphael Cohen Photo-cropped2 Raphael S. Cohen


“Ultimately, the military’s discontent may stem from dissonance between the commitment to, and pride in, the mission in Iraq and Afghanistan and the knowledge that these sacrifices have not yielded the desired results.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan arguably have prompted a crisis of confidence within the military itself.

Despite a six-year, $287 million effort to make troops more optimistic and resilient, an Army survey found that 52 percent of…

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