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Trump signs an executive order that allows intelligence agencies to refrain from publicizing civilian casualties of drone air strikes

According to an executive order issued by Obama in 2016, US intelligence agencies disclose the number of civilian casualties caused by drone air strikes every year.

On Wednesday (6th) local time, this request was revoked by Trump's administrative order. According to his previous statement, the enemies of the United States will carefully study these reports and make them public.

The former Obama Guoan aide described the move as short-sighted and helped terrorist organizations to make a fuss about civilian casualties. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, said the practice was unfounded and would seek to re-join the requirements in future legislation.

Trump signs an executive order to abolish the requirement for public drone air strikes leading to civilian casualties. Source: White House website

Bloomberg first reported the presidential executive order posted on the White House website on March 6. It allows other government agencies other than the Pentagon to refrain from publicizing the number of civilian casualties in air strikes.

At present, apart from the US military, only the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has the authority to control the air raids of drones.

The White House National Security Council commented that the executive order revoked redundant reporting requirements and helped intelligence agencies not be distracted by matters other than their primary tasks.

Obama is a green light for drone airstrikes

The request for the withdrawal of the executive order comes from an order signed by the former President Barack Obama in 2016. It is precisely the latter that first opened the green light for the use of drone air strikes.

According to the New American Foundation report, the number of air strikes approved by Obama during his first two years was four times that of George W. Bush in eight years. With the permission of Obama, the CIA launched signature strikes to attack unidentified militants based on behavioral patterns and relationship networks. This greatly reduces the criteria for target screening and identification, directly leading to an increase in civilian casualties.

According to the independent media London News Agency (TBIJ), Obama has ordered at least 541 drone air strikes in the past eight years, resulting in between 3,000 and 4,600 deaths, including 325 to 745 civilian casualties. between. These blows occurred in places where the United States, such as Somalia and Yemen, did not directly participate in the war.

As an intelligence agency, the CIA does not need to disclose its own actions to the public, and it is difficult for the outside world to know the exact number of casualties. In the face of more and more criticism, Obama signed an executive order in July 2016, requiring the US National Intelligence Director to issue a report with no confidential content before May 1 of each year, introducing the intelligence agencies in areas other than the fierce battle. The number of air strikes (such as Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Syria) and the resulting non-combat casualties.

He admitted that the move was to help the United States learn from its mistakes.

Trump gives the CIA more autonomy

After Trump entered the White House, he was further loosened in the control of drone air strikes. At the beginning of 2017, he told the then CIA Director, Pompeo, that he hoped to take more radical air strikes.

According to NBC News, since then, the CIA has begun to more independently select and execute air strike missions and has begun air strikes in areas previously dominated by the military, such as Syria.

Trump did not intend to comply with Obama's requirements for 2016. The White House refused to submit a report in May last year.

Although there is no public explanation for the reasons for signing the executive order, Trump told reporters in January that the enemy would carefully study these public reports.

We are fighting, and they are reporting and making it public. The public means enemies, and the enemy will look at these reports and study them word by word. The report should be circulated privately.

Ned Price, a former National Security spokesman for the Obama administration, described the move as short-sighted. He said: Terrorists often distort the validity and accuracy of drone air strikes. fact. The public civilian casualty data could have been refuted and viewed, and now it will only make the enemy's instigation more effective.

Ned Price believes that this helps terrorists to make a fuss about the effectiveness and accuracy of drone air strikes

Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, believes that this approach is simply no justification. He promised to add a supplement to the 2020 Intelligence Authorization Act and re-limit it.

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