ISIS-K defensive fighting positions were targeted in Momand Valley, Achin District, Nangahar Province, Afghanistan, Oct. 19, 2017. A series of air strikes were conducted to destroy known ISIS-K fighting positions. (U.S. Army photo)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that revoked an Obama-era policy requiring U.S. intelligence officials to report civilians deaths in drone strikes outside of active war zones.

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U.S. Army/Pfc. Cameron Boyd

Of the 76 countries in which the U.S. is currently fighting terrorism, at least three have been incredibly deadly: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

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U.S. Army/ISIS-K defensive fighting positions were targeted in Momand Valley, Achin District, Nangahar Province, Afghanistan, Oct. 19, 2017. A series of air strikes were conducted to destroy known ISIS-K fighting positions

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

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US Army

It was near the end of the evening commander’s update briefing on 6 June 2010, and her audience included dozens of staff officers in various combat uniforms. Hundreds more joined via videoconference from the regional commands in Afghanistan and NATO bases around the world. ISAF commander General Stanley McChrystal sat solemn-faced at the hub of a U-shaped array of plywood tabletops arranged to give him eye contact with his closest advisors. The woman called up the first slide of her presentation: the impact of civilian casualties on insurgent violence across Afghanistan. Many in the audience were skeptical. What could a young academic with no operational or field experience tell them about civilian casualties — a challenging and sensitive topic — that they didn’t already know? In a crisp, professional tone she presented the key finding: On average, civilian deaths caused by ISAF units led to increased attacks directed against ISAF for a period that persisted fourteen weeks after each incident.

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Screenshot YouTube/Politico

U.S. Central Command is launching an investigation to see whether its troops violated the rules of engagement after video footage of what appeared to be a service member firing into a civilian truck surfaced online.

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Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jared Becker

The number of American bombs dropped in Afghanistan this year is projected to be triple the total dropped in 2016, NBC reported on Nov. 20, indicating that U.S. military commanders are taking full advantage of expanded authorities in the country as they ramp up efforts to degrade an emboldened Taliban.

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