The US has quietly stepped up secrecy over its air wars in Afghanistan and Yemen since President Donald Trump entered office.
The American Civil Liberties Union called the new practices – discovered by the Bureau through interviews with past and present US military officials – “deeply disturbing”.
Towards the end of the Obama administration, US military officials began to communicate in a more transparent way with the Bureau about their counter-terrorism campaigns. For over a year, the Bureau received detailed monthly reports on air strikes in Afghanistan, broken down into different types of strike.
The Pentagon’s Central Command (CENTCOM), meanwhile, announced its intention to launch a monthly tally of strikes in Yemen. Although this was abandoned shortly after Trump took office, Centcom continued to provide detailed information on Yemen strikes on an ad hoc basis.