|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2015 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 105
Peacekeeping operations: Challenges ahead
Department of Psychiatry, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India
|Date of Web Publication||16-Jul-2015|
Department of Psychiatry, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune - 411 040, Maharashtra
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Saini R. Peacekeeping operations: Challenges ahead. Ind Psychiatry J 2015;24:105
I read with considerable interest the contemporary issues article titled "Psychological aspects of peacekeeping operations" by MSVK Raju published in Industrial Psychiatry Journal July-December 2014: 149-156.
I must complement the author who has brought an important aspect of military psychiatry to the fore in these turbulent times. However, while agreeing with most of the viewpoints expressed by the author, I must mention here that, in such peacekeeping operations, winning hearts and minds operations go side by side and the troops often face difficulty in performing these roles. The larger and long-term objective is often not understood clearly by the foot soldier, which adversely affects his morale and commitment toward duty. Such scenario breeds discontent and negative combat stress behaviors. Psychological trauma faced by local populations is another area of concern as the soldier needs to be sensitive toward that aspect as well. Numerous case reports from the Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Darfur, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan strongly suggest the importance of sensitizing the troops toward psychological trauma being faced by the local population. The magnitude of human suffering and associated psychological catastrophe is just unfolding in the middle-east and time is not far when peacekeepers will get overwhelmed by them. Information, educations, and communication method works well in such scenarios. Peacekeepers need to be sensitized about various mental health issues of the affected population in addition to improve their own mental health mindedness. Bridging the communication gap (both vertical and horizontal) between the commander and the foot soldier about long-term objectives is the way forward toward achieving optimal efficiency in peacekeeping operations.
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Conflict of interest
There are no conflict of interest.