WASHINGTON — A pair of deadly attacks on U.S. soldiers by uniformed Afghan troops has prompted American commanders to take a fresh look at measures designed to prevent such insider attacks, the No. 2 Pentagon official said Friday.
Ashton Carter, the deputy secretary of defense, said in an interview with a small group of reporters that the review was ordered after an attack Saturday that killed three U.S. soldiers and another on Thursday that killed one. Both happened in the eastern Afghanistan province of Paktia, although details are scarce.
Insider attacks were alarmingly common in 2012 but have happened far less often since a series of preventive measures were adopted by U.S. and coalition troops late last summer.
"We're checking to see whether people have relaxed in some way" on the preventive measures or whether the latest attacks are simply a "statistical spike," Carter said in the interview in his Pentagon office.
On Friday the Pentagon identified the soldier killed in Saturday's insider attack. He was Staff Sgt. Thomas A. Baysore Jr., 31, of Milton, Pa.
The three killed in Saturday's attack were identified Tuesday as Staff Sgt. Liam J. Nevins, 32, of Denver; Staff Sgt. Timothy R. McGill, 30, of Ramsey, N.J., and Spc. Joshua J. Strickland, 23, of Woodstock, Ga.
During a visit to Afghanistan last week, Carter met with Gen. Joseph Dunford, the top American commander in Kabul, as well as other U.S. and Afghan officials.
Carter said in the interview that the Obama administration believes that a U.S.-Afghan security agreement that has been in negotiation for months must be completed by October. "It would be a tragedy" if it was not completed by then, he said, because the U.S. military needs time to plan for whatever post-combat mission that President Barack Obama might decide is necessary. U.S. and coalition troops are scheduled to finish their combat mission in December 2014.