Is Our Military Full Of Thugs?

Debating the futility of war with a member of the military is pointless — it could also earn you a punch in the mouth for your troubles. A large-scale UK study has found young men who have served in the Armed Forces are three times more likely to commit violent crimes compared to their civilian counterparts.

What’s interesting is that the psychological effects of active combat are only partly responsible: put simply, many of these men were aggressively violent to begin with.

Researchers at King’s College London studied the police records of 13,856 randomly selected serving and ex-serving UK military personnel who had been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The study found that 20.7 percent of servicemen under 30 years old had been convicted of a violent crime; compared to 6.7 percent of male civilians in the same age bracket.

Men with direct combat exposure were also 53 percent more likely to commit a violent offence than men serving in a non-combat role.

Curiously, despite committing a higher number of violent crimes, military men were otherwise more law-abiding than the general population — the study found that when all offence categories were lumped together, ex-soldiers had a lower overall crime rate — via

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