UPDATE - June 1, 2018:
- The Department of Defense has told Congress it estimates that nearly 500 civilians were killed in U.S. military operations during the first year of the Trump administration, CNN reported.
- The Pentagon "assesses that there are credible reports of approximately 499 civilians killed and approximately 169 civilians injured during 2017" as a result of military operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen, according to a report sent to Congress.
- The DOD said it has "no credible reports" of civilian casualties from 2017 U.S. military operations in Somalia or Libya.
- The report added:
"Despite the best efforts of US forces, civilian casualties are a tragic but at times unavoidable consequence of combat operations. This is especially true when fighting in urban areas and against adversaries like ISIS and al-Qaeda who use civilians as shields and whose tactics include intentionally endangering the lives of innocents."
- A 2016 executive order signed by President Obama requires the government to report the number of “strikes undertaken by the U.S. government against terrorist targets outside areas of active hostilities.”
Countable's original story appears below.
White House Disregarding Required Report on Civilian Casualties
What’s the story?
- The Trump administration may modify or rescind an Obama-era executive order requiring the White House issue an annual report on the number of civilians and enemy combatants killed by counterterrorism strikes.
Why is the reporting required?
- Section 1057 of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act requires the Pentagon to submit to Congress by May 1 a list of all U.S. military operations that were “confirmed, or reasonably suspected to have resulted in civilian casualties” in the preceding year.
- Separately, a 2016 Executive Order requires the government to report the number of “strikes undertaken by the U.S. government against terrorist targets outside areas of active hostilities.”
Why does it matter?
- Since President Donald Trump has taken office, the administration has quietly changed the rules regarding the use of lethal force abroad, increased drone operations in Yemen and Somalia, and was responsible for a significant rise in civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria in 2017.
- The report was due May 1, but a White House spokesman told the Washington Post:
“The executive order that requires the civilian casualty report is under review” and could be “modified” or “rescinded.”
- The Post added that the White House “declined to say who is conducting the review, how long it has been ongoing and when it is expected to be completed.”
“It is pretty remarkable that they would simply ignore an executive order that remains on the books and also a statutory requirement passed by Congress,” Joshua Geltzer, a former senior counterterrorism official in the Obama administration, told the Post. “That is just bad governance.”
What do you think?
Are you interested in reading the report? Do you believe it should be “modified” or “rescinded”? Hit Take Action and tell you reps, then share your thoughts below.
(Photo Credit: everlite / iStock)
Trump Hush Money Trial To Start March 25Updated Feb. 15, 2024, 11:45 a.m. EST A New York judge ruled that Donald Trump's hush money trial will begin jury selection on Law Enforcement
IT: House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas, and... How do you feel about Trump's comments?Welcome to Wednesday, February 14th, roses and chocolates... The House impeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N.
House Impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro MayorkasUpdated Feb. 14, 2024, 9:00 a.m. EST House members impeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas, making him the Immigration
The Latest: World Leaders Talk Ceasefire, ICJ Urged To Stop IsraelUpdated Feb. 13, 2024, 3:30 p.m. EST World leaders are meeting in Cairo to push for a ceasefire in Gaza. President Joe Biden Israel