Phil Zabriskie writes about the his experience as a journalist reporting and writing about killing in combat, a subject that remains one of the least discussed and overlooked, despite its traumatic and profound implications for warfighters.

“Yes, it’s part of the job soldiers signed up to do, but—as I heard from several veterans and military mental-health professionals—the military prepares recruits to kill far better than it prepares them to carry the confusion, rage, guilt, and doubt that can follow,” Zabriskie writes.

Before sending more troops to battle in places such as Iraq and Syria, policymakers needs to do a better job of providing them with the tools they’ll need in the future to deal with the consequences of war.