May 1, 2018

Order requiring annual report on civilian casualties "under review"

President Trump near an American flag.

Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

An Obama-era executive order that requires the White House to report on how many civilians and enemy combatants have been killed by American counterterrorism strikes could be "modified" or "rescinded" by the Trump administration, the Washington Post's Greg Jaffe reports.

Why it matters: A spokesperson for the White House told the Post that there was not an increase of civilian casualties in 2017, despite there also being a "big surge in drone strikes." A White house spokesman told the Post, "[t]here is no change to the U.S. commitment to protecting civilian life." A different report required from the Pentagon, which is meant to list U.S. military operations that resulted in civilian casualties, is also being delayed.

The big picture: Per the Post, this signals the "broader shift in U.S. counterterrorism policy to withhold more information about U.S. drone strikes." The report has not yet been rescinded and is under review.

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