Trump weakened a rule that required the government to make public its estimate of civilian casualties due to airstrikes in non-conventional war zones.
Obama had put in place a set of rules designed to promote accountability and encourage policymakers to minimize civilian casualties. The reporting requirement was the first-ever effort by the U.S. government to account for how many people were killed in targeted strikes in places such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
However, Trump's order is an implicit acknowledgment of a decision his administration had already taken in practice: The director of national intelligence never put out a report about bystander casualties in 2017, even though the Obama-era order requiring one remained on the books when the report was due out. Moreover, when Trump took the decision, "the C.I.A. was carrying out fewer drone strikes than it did during the height of the Obama administration’s counterterrorism operations," reported the New York Times. And, "even when the Obama administration revealed the official assessment of how many civilians had died, those numbers were merely a vague range and lower than estimates by other organizations like the Long War Journal, the Washington-based security policy organization New America and the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism," reported the New York Times.