Dr. Croft with HLN's Dr. Drew

Transcript of Dr. Drew Pinsky with Dr. Harry Croft on The Headline News Network

PINSKY: Tonight, we`re discussing outrage over gruesome pictures of U.S. troops allegedly posing with severed body parts of Afghan insurgents. Again, HLN has not independently authenticated these photographs. We`re having a lively conversation about this.

And I wanted to get into this, again, I`ve been doing a program for young people for 30 years and it never occurred to me as I was coming up as a physician and doing radio that one of the big topics I`d be dealing with was people coming back from war. It didn`t enter my frame of reference. I didn`t understand what they`ve been dealing with.

That`s why I asked Harry to come in here and help us understand what it is like to walk in the boots of a soldier. And you -- wanted to make a point about what if the so-called shoe were on the other foot.

WALDEN: Exactly.

PINSKY: How would that look if a -- if one of your buddies had been blown up.

WALDEN: We take it to heart and it`s tough on us.

PINSKY: But the insurgents might have treated your body parts with disrespect.

WALDEN: Oh, yes, they use them as recruitment posters. You know, they take those same photos and use them as recruitment posters for their army.

PINSKY: So they take your peers, and they -- disrespect isn`t a strong enough word. 

WALDEN: No, it`s not.

PINSKY: They defile. And we don`t want to be that either.

WALDEN: Negative. 

PINSKY: OK.

Dr. Croft is a psychiatrist that works with people coming back from battle.

Dr. Croft, what do we do with this? 

DR. HARRY CROFT, FORMER ARMY DOCTOR (via telephone): Well, let me start by saying, I don`t personally know any of these troops anymore than the media has told us. But Dr. Drew, I`ve evaluated more than 6,000 combat vets. And my coauthor for the book, I always sit with my back to the wall, was actually in Iraq as a chaplain for a month last year.

So let me tell you what I think. Number one, as the general said, this behavior is highly atypical, highly unusual for the brave men and women that we have over in Iraq and Afghanistan. But number two, although the behavior is unusual, the thoughts, the feelings, the emotions that may drive this kind of behavior are understandable when we look at this kind of war -- multiple deployments never in the history -- 

PINSKY: Dr. Croft, yes. Say that again. Never in the history of warfare have their history -- 

CROFT: Never in the history of modern American warfare have we sent troops back.

PINSKY: OK, hold on. And repeatedly, we talk about this guy that cracked and went out there with an AK-47, was on his fourth deployment?

WALDEN: Yes, the stresses of the family back home. The economy is affecting families. I had so many soldiers and marines I talk to on a daily basis and their families are struggling.

PINSKY: Dr. Croft, you want to say something?

CROFT: You know, I`ve seen troops that have been back six and seven times. And what happens, Dr. Drew -- 

PINSKY: It exceeds the brain`s capacity to manage this. 

CROFT: And we -- we -- it`s tragic that it`s a human experiment going on now. We don`t know the effects. Forget PTSD and combat. We don`t know the effect of these multiple deployments, and when -- 

PINSKY: Dr. Croft, I`ll respectfully disagree. We do know the effect and that`s what we`re looking at here tonight. This is why we`re seeing this outlying behavior.

WALDEN: And that`s why -- 

CROFT: We`re seeing it, but we have not studied it.

PINSKY: We have not studied it. We have not studied it. Yes. 

CROFT: And number three -- 

PINSKY: And then after number three, I`ve got to finish. We have 10 seconds, my friend.

CROFT: Dr. Drew, the effect of an insurgency war where the people were there to train and help, they`re so busy fighting each other that they kill us in the process and our brave troops, and all of that.

PINSKY: Dr. Croft, I have to interrupt. I thank you for that insight. I will have you back to talk about it more.

My friend Harry, thank you for being here, I appreciate it.

Next I`m on call taking questions or comments. A lot of you writing in on Kim Kardashian running for mayor. Get that. Be right back.