GOP lawmakers push Obama to release information about troop deaths

The Hill article Republicans are pushing President Barack Obama to declassify information about the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan.

The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday sent a letter to the administration requesting the White House provide a breakdown of troop deaths, a request that is expected to be discussed at a White House briefing on Thursday.

“Our nation has lost more American soldiers to this war than any other in its history, and this is just the tip of the iceberg,” Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., the top Republican on the panel, said in a statement.

“We call on you to ensure that these brave men and women are remembered as heroes, and to release the full and complete numbers of American soldiers who have been killed in combat, and the number who have died as a result of combat.”

Sen. John McCain, R, Ariz., who chairs the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, also requested the information.

“We must keep the American people safe and secure in the future,” McCain said.

“I believe it is critical that we ensure that the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Afghanistan is given the fullest opportunity to conduct his due diligence in order to determine whether any human rights violations have occurred,” he said.

The military has acknowledged at least 20 deaths and more than 200 wounded troops since the beginning of the U,S.

combat mission in December 2011, and has repeatedly defended its troop losses.

It has argued that many of those deaths were due to friendly fire.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said that the Pentagon has received hundreds of thousands of pages of Afghan government documents.

The Pentagon released thousands of documents related to the war, but it has said the documents were redacted to protect military sources.