AMANPOUR: What do you mean by "high-risk behavior"?
CHIARELLI: Well the abuse of alcohol, drugs, getting in trouble with the law.
AMANPOUR: Is it just people who are predisposed to high-risk behavior or is it the -- the pressures of, as you said, these multiple deployments on such short turnaround?
CHIARELLI: Well, we definitely think, and we have some pretty good data to show, that deployment plays a role in the increase that we've seen. But at the same time, there's all kind of stressors in a soldier's life.
AMANPOUR: So let's talk about the particular problems. Let's talk about suicide-- so what did you notice about the suicide rate amongst the soldiers and those who are coming back?
CHIARELLI: Well, some of the things that we're seeing in suicides is 60 percent of our suicides take place(AUDIO GAP) with our soldiers who are in their first term of enlistment. Normally, it's six --
AMANPOUR: Sixty percent?
CHIARELLI: Sixty percent.
AMANPOUR: And most of those suicides are happening back home.
CHIARELLI: There are two-thirds that are occurring back home and about a third that are happening in theater.
AMANPOUR: Let me put up a statement that comes from the report. It says that there are instances where a leader's lack of soldier accountability resulted in suicide victims not being found until they have been dead for three or four weeks. And then it goes on to say that in an organization, the military, that prides itself on never leaving a soldier behind, this sobering example speaks to the leadership breakdown, the breakdown of leadership in a Garrison which appears to be worsening as the requirements of prolonged conflict slowly erode the essential attributes that have defined the Army for generations.
That's very serious language.
CHIARELLI: Well it is, and it needs to be serious cause we need to go back to doing things the way we used to do things.
AMANPOUR: But how does this happen? I mean, why aren't people looking at these young men? You've already mentioned that they are under extraordinary stress because of the redeployments in a much shorter period of time than is much generally called for.
CHIARELLI: Well, commanders --
AMANPOUR: So you know that they're at risk.
CHIARELLI: Commanders are getting ready to take their soldiers into harm's way. And let's say you have a soldier that has a minor problem with alcohol, gets stopped at a roadside spot check and blows just over the legal limit six weeks before deployment.
Now, this soldier has been downrange with you, done just a fantastic job in his last deployment and you're faced with either putting him into a drug and alcohol program or turning to the platoon sergeant and saying, listen, PFC. Chiarelli's a good soldier, let's do what we can. Let's forget this time.
AMANPOUR: So no accountability?
CHIARELLI: Well, I'm not saying no accountability --
AMANPOUR: Repeat offenders.
CHIARELLI: Well, that's how repeat offenders happen. He comes back from his next deployment, has a more serious issue with alcohol, no one knows about the first cause the leadership has changed out or he's moved to another unit, and we have this problem.