That's a problem with strategy games in general, and a huge component of the "disenfranchisement of the unit" concept. I'm aware disenfranchisement MIGHT be a bit of a malapropism there.http://dubiousquality.blogspot.com/2006/09/end-of-disenfranchisement-through.html
<- Article on Dwarf Fortress which kind of addresses this, in regards to player-owned units. DF is probably the most interesting use of AI in a strategy game* because *everything* is AI driven.
If the AI acted like a human player you'd just dance around the edges of each other's movement ranges and never get anywhere.
that indicates an underlying balance problem. Intentionally making the AI dumb is not good design. Intentionally bad AI is NEVER good design.
I think the biggest thing driving the problem in regards to SRPGs is that giving the AI human-like behavior isn't logical for this reason: The player's units level up and carry on from battle to battle. AI units don't. Self-preservation is slightly less of an issue for them because of this.
So, it's already got a different sort of behavior need. We need to address how they act in battle. In that sense, Alishia's point still stands: Suicide attacks, when purposeful, make sense here. Non-purposeful suicide attacks (IE not being aware of what the unit is doing) doesn't make sense.
Because 99% of the time, the best strategy in an SRPG is to wait outside the enemy's movement range and wait for them to walk into yours. And that's boring as shit.
This is also a symptom of bad AI. If good AI was present this would not occur. The enemy would ambush YOU.
This is also a symptom of bad map design, kind of.
Truth be told, the bad AI in a lot of SRPGs is why I'm not that fond of SRPGs as a whole. Other problems include stuff like huge and empty maps (Fire Emblem, Shining Force) or goofy artificial difficulty increasers.
* Arguably more RPG/city builder hybrid than strategy game. It's hard to classify.