In October 2015, leaked military documents revealed that the controversial drone strikes launched by the United States in Afghanistan have killed a huge number of people that were not the intended target of the attacks.
The report claimed that for drone strikes launched from January 2012 to February 2013, there were 35 "jackpots," a term used to indicate the neutralization of a target, and over 200 people declared as EKIA, or enemy killed in action.
To shed some light into the controversy, Barack Obama's adviser for counterterrorism and homeland security, Lisa Monaco, has promised to reveal the number of terrorism suspects and civilians that the drone strikes have killed since 2009.
Monaco made the pledge in a speech in Washington. It would be the first time that the Obama administration will release information regarding the most controversial lethal missions carried out by the United States, and Monaco is hoping that the transparency would lead to public support for drone strikes and other counterterrorism operations.
The disclosure will cover not only the drone strikes launched in Afghanistan, but will also include those carried out in Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere starting from 2009. However, information on drone strikes from the active war locales of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria will not be included.
Josh Earnest, the press secretary for the White House, said that Obama has pushed to provide the public with more information regarding intelligence and military programs of the United States against terrorism.
"The president's view is that the American public and the world can have greater confidence in the success and the effectiveness of these programs to fight terrorism if we're more transparent about them," Earnest said.
Human Rights First, however, noted that the pledge of Monaco came just hours following the announcement of the Pentagon that it killed over 150 suspected combatants in Somalia through series strikes using drones and manned aircraft.
"For data on the number of casualties to be meaningful, the administration must provide more than numbers," the group said, adding that the government should define how it determines individuals as either a combatant or a civilian, the terrorist group in which the killed combatants belong to and the location of the drone strikes.