Troop Morale in Afghanistan Plummets

WASHINGTON (AP) - Military doctors say it's to be expected -- the drop in morale that's evident among U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

They point to the dramatic increase in fighting there.

The military services say in a new report that the American troops in Afghanistan are dealing with the highest rates of mental health problems since 2005. Some 70 to 80 percent of troops surveyed for the report said they had seen a buddy killed.

Roughly half of soldiers and 56 percent of Marines said they'd killed an enemy fighter. And about two thirds of troops said that a roadside bomb had gone off within 55 yards of them.

The military says it's doubled the mental health staff in Afghanistan to help troops cope with their problems.

A mental health team polled more than 900 soldiers, 335 Marines and 85 mental health workers on the Afghan battlefield during last

July and August. The polling came as troops surged into the country under the Obama administration's new strategy for fighting the insurgency.