Murphy's Law: Sex, Booze and Troop Control

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March 21,2008: Since the 1990s, the U.S. Army has banned the use of alcohol in combat zones. One side effect is fewer alcohol related disciplinary problems. That means there are fewer cases of U.S. troops getting in trouble with local civilians. Far fewer brawls, murders and rapes. For example, last year, the U.S. Army had 2.6 cases of sexual assault per thousand troops. But in Iraq and Afghanistan, the rate was .86. There were even sharper drops in the number of assaults and murders. The use of alcohol has not been completely eliminated in the combat zone, but it has to be obtained (from locals, or stills run by troops) and consumed clandestinely. That alone greatly reduces the amount alcohol related misbehavior.

 


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