CHIARELLI: Leaders need to lead, to know their soldiers, to look for those signs that they see that PFC. Chiarelli has changed. PFC. Chiarelli is going out and maybe drinking a little bit too much, showing up for work late, whatever it might be.
AMANPOUR: And just so that it's clear, it's not just suicides we're talking about, we're talking about crime, we're talking about rape, we're talking about addiction and dependence.
And for instance, one of the statements in the report, as we continue to wage war on several fronts, data would suggest we're becoming more dependent on pharmaceuticals to sustain the force. In fact, anecdotal information suggests that the force is becoming increasingly dependent on both legal and illegal drugs.
I mean, that's terrifying.
CHIARELLI: That's a concern. We know that we had over 106,00 soldiers last year who had a prescription of three weeks or more for some kind of antidepressant, anti-anxiety medicine.
AMANPOUR: Because I mean it sort of raises the specter of a significant number of people out there heavily armed, afraid, under fire, IEDs and drugs are sort of the motivating --
CHIARELLI: But but, we know that the drugs that we're talking about are cleared by the CENTCOM surgeon for soldiers to be taking when they're downrange. So we're not sending any soldier into harm's way who is taking a drug that we feel would somehow endanger him or others.
AMANPOUR: So now the big picture. Obviously, you've got this human drama. You mentioned already that they're being redeployed at much shorter intervals than many suggest are the correct intervals. For instance, some are saying that for a year in combat you have to have three years in Garrison, at home base. Are you able to do that?
CHIARELLI: That's our goal.
AMANPOUR: Are you able to?
CHIARELLI: No, we're not there yet, but we're going to see ourselves get further, what we call, into balance. The first step for us is getting one year deployed, 24 months at home. That's our first step. We would like to get to one to three, which would be either nine months deployed, 27 months back home or 12 months deployed, 36 months back home. We know when that happens many of the problems that we've seen will in fact meliorate themselves.
AMANPOUR: And how do you make sure you maintain your combat edge, as a military, as a force, and still have these appropriate cares for these people who are obviously coming back stressed and very fragile?
CHIARELLI: You need that time at home. A portion of those 106,000 soldiers that I told you are on some kind of pain medication, it has nothing to do with a behavior health issue.
There are soldiers who have been on two, three, four deployments, hucking a rucksack filled with equipment that may weigh 70 to 80 pounds at 8,000 feet and they've got a knee injury or a leg injury that is painful. Probably should stay home and get operated on, but they go back for the second deployment and they're on some kind of a pain medication. We have soldiers who suck it up all the time and hide from their leaders when they're hurt.
AMANPOUR: For their country.
CHIARELLI: That's exactly right. Who feel a tremendous need that we all do in the military -- to be with our buddies. That's what it's all about.