U.S. will no longer report how many civilians it kills with drones outside war zones
Trump revokes Obama policy, with an official saying it distracts from missions
U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that revoked an Obama-era policy requiring U.S. intelligence officials to report civilian deaths in drone strikes outside active war zones.
Former President Barack Obama put the policy in place in 2016 as part of an effort to be more transparent about drone strikes after he had dramatically increased their use against Islamist militants.
Trump's rescinding of the policy was done with little fanfare.
The White House released the text of his executive order.
Requirements 'distract' from mission
"This action eliminates superfluous reporting requirements, requirements that do not improve government transparency, but rather distract our intelligence professionals from their primary mission," an administration official said.
"The United States government is fully committed to complying with its obligations under the law of armed conflict, minimizing, to the greatest extent possible, civilian casualties, and acknowledging responsibility when they unfortunately occur during military operations," the administration official said.
"Today's decision underscores the need for Congress to make this reporting mandatory, something I intend to pursue through the Intelligence Authorization Act this year," he said.