TOLL OF WAR

Military Ditches Kill Counts

In the latest chapter of a military debate that's raged since Vietnam, the Pentagon will no longer release figures on how many militants have been killed battling U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The move reflects a shift in strategy in Afghanistan where, like Iraq, soldiers are now concentrating on protecting civilian populations rather than searching and destroying insurgents. "We send the wrong message if all we talk about is the number of insurgents killed. It doesn't demonstrate anything about whether we have made progress," Navy Rear Adm. Gregory J. Smith, who decided on the new policy, told the Los Angeles Times. During the Vietnam War, the military was notorious for inflating Vietcong body counts in order to boost perceptions of success in that conflict.