WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon's announcement of two U.S. service members killed in an attack in southern Afghanistan is highlighting a disagreement over how the military should handle information about American casualties.
Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, confirmed the deaths after U.S. military officials in Afghanistan refused to say whether any U.S. or NATO coalition forces had died or were wounded.
Gen. John Nicholson, top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has ordered that no information about U.S. deaths be released until days after an incident so families can be notified first.
That policy upends Pentagon practice since the days of the Vietnam war, and would mean less public information and transparency about the 16-year Afghanistan conflict.
U.S. commanders in other warzones such as Iraq and Syria routinely release initial casualty information promptly.