United States Policy on Pre- and Post-Strike Measures To Address Civilian Casualties in U.S. Operations Involving the Use of Force, 44483-44487 [2016-16295]

Download as PDF Vol. 81 Thursday, No. 130 July 7, 2016 Part IV The President sradovich on DSK3GDR082PROD with PRES DOCS Executive Order 13732—United States Policy on Pre- and Post-Strike Measures To Address Civilian Casualties in U.S. Operations Involving the Use of Force VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Jul 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4717 Sfmt 4717 E:\FR\FM\07JYE0.SGM 07JYE0 sradovich on DSK3GDR082PROD with PRES DOCS VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Jul 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4717 Sfmt 4717 E:\FR\FM\07JYE0.SGM 07JYE0 44485 Presidential Documents Federal Register Vol. 81, No. 130 Thursday, July 7, 2016 Title 3— Executive Order 13732 of July 1, 2016 The President United States Policy on Pre- and Post-Strike Measures To Address Civilian Casualties in U.S. Operations Involving the Use of Force By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct as follows: Section 1. Purpose. United States policy on civilian casualties resulting from U.S. operations involving the use of force in armed conflict or in the exercise of the Nation’s inherent right of self-defense is based on our national interests, our values, and our legal obligations. As a Nation, we are steadfastly committed to complying with our obligations under the law of armed conflict, including those that address the protection of civilians, such as the fundamental principles of necessity, humanity, distinction, and proportionality. The protection of civilians is fundamentally consistent with the effective, efficient, and decisive use of force in pursuit of U.S. national interests. Minimizing civilian casualties can further mission objectives; help maintain the support of partner governments and vulnerable populations, especially in the conduct of counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations; and enhance the legitimacy and sustainability of U.S. operations critical to our national security. As a matter of policy, the United States therefore routinely imposes certain heightened policy standards that are more protective than the requirements of the law of armed conflict that relate to the protection of civilians. sradovich on DSK3GDR082PROD with PRES DOCS Civilian casualties are a tragic and at times unavoidable consequence of the use of force in situations of armed conflict or in the exercise of a state’s inherent right of self-defense. The U.S. Government shall maintain and promote best practices that reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties, take appropriate steps when such casualties occur, and draw lessons from our operations to further enhance the protection of civilians. Sec. 2. Policy. In furtherance of U.S. Government efforts to protect civilians in U.S. operations involving the use of force in armed conflict or in the exercise of the Nation’s inherent right of self-defense, and with a view toward enhancing such efforts, relevant departments and agencies (agencies) shall continue to take certain measures in present and future operations. (a) In particular, relevant agencies shall, consistent with mission objectives and applicable law, including the law of armed conflict: (i) train personnel, commensurate with their responsibilities, on compliance with legal obligations and policy guidance that address the protection of civilians and on implementation of best practices that reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties, including through exercises, pre-deployment training, and simulations of complex operational environments that include civilians; (ii) develop, acquire, and field intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems that, by enabling more accurate battlespace awareness, contribute to the protection of civilians; (iii) develop, acquire, and field weapon systems and other technological capabilities that further enable the discriminate use of force in different operational contexts; VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Jul 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4705 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\07JYE0.SGM 07JYE0 44486 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 130 / Thursday, July 7, 2016 / Presidential Documents (iv) take feasible precautions in conducting attacks to reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties, such as providing warnings to the civilian population (unless the circumstances do not permit), adjusting the timing of attacks, taking steps to ensure military objectives and civilians are clearly distinguished, and taking other measures appropriate to the circumstances; and (v) conduct assessments that assist in the reduction of civilian casualties by identifying risks to civilians and evaluating efforts to reduce risks to civilians. (b) In addition to the responsibilities above, relevant agencies shall also, as appropriate and consistent with mission objectives and applicable law, including the law of armed conflict: (i) review or investigate incidents involving civilian casualties, including by considering relevant and credible information from all available sources, such as other agencies, partner governments, and nongovernmental organizations, and take measures to mitigate the likelihood of future incidents of civilian casualties; (ii) acknowledge U.S. Government responsibility for civilian casualties and offer condolences, including ex gratia payments, to civilians who are injured or to the families of civilians who are killed; (iii) engage with foreign partners to share and learn best practices for reducing the likelihood of and responding to civilian casualties, including through appropriate training and assistance; and sradovich on DSK3GDR082PROD with PRES DOCS (iv) maintain channels for engagement with the International Committee of the Red Cross and other nongovernmental organizations that operate in conflict zones and encourage such organizations to assist in efforts to distinguish between military objectives and civilians, including by appropriately marking protected facilities, vehicles, and personnel, and by providing updated information on the locations of such facilities and personnel. Sec. 3. Report on Strikes Undertaken by the U.S. Government Against Terrorist Targets Outside Areas of Active Hostilities. (a) The Director of National Intelligence (DNI), or such other official as the President may designate, shall obtain from relevant agencies information about the number of strikes undertaken by the U.S. Government against terrorist targets outside areas of active hostilities from January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016, as well as assessments of combatant and non-combatant deaths resulting from those strikes, and publicly release an unclassified summary of such information no later than May 1, 2017. By May 1 of each subsequent year, as consistent with the need to protect sources and methods, the DNI shall publicly release a report with the same information for the preceding calendar year. (b) The annual report shall also include information obtained from relevant agencies regarding the general sources of information and methodology used to conduct these assessments and, as feasible and appropriate, shall address the general reasons for discrepancies between post-strike assessments from the U.S. Government and credible reporting from nongovernmental organizations regarding non-combatant deaths resulting from strikes undertaken by the U.S. Government against terrorist targets outside areas of active hostilities. (c) In preparing a report under this section, the DNI shall review relevant and credible post-strike all-source reporting, including such information from nongovernmental sources, for the purpose of ensuring that this reporting is available to and considered by relevant agencies in their assessment of deaths. (d) The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs may, as appropriate, request that the head of any relevant agency conduct additional reviews related to the intelligence assessments of deaths from strikes against terrorist targets outside areas of active hostilities. Sec. 4. Periodic Consultation. In furtherance of the policies and practices set forth in this order, the Assistant to the President for National Security VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Jul 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4705 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\07JYE0.SGM 07JYE0 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 130 / Thursday, July 7, 2016 / Presidential Documents 44487 Affairs, through the National Security Council staff, will convene agencies with relevant defense, counterterrorism, intelligence, legal, civilian protection, and technology expertise to consult on civilian casualty trends, consider potential improvements to U.S. Government civilian casualty mitigation efforts, and, as appropriate, report to the Deputies and Principals Committees, consistent with Presidential Policy Directive 1 or its successor. Specific incidents will not be considered in this context, and will continue to be examined within relevant chains of command. Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) The policies and practices set forth above are not intended to alter, and shall be implemented consistent with, the authority and responsibility of commanders and other U.S. personnel to execute their mission as directed by the President or other appropriate authorities, which necessarily includes the inherent right of self-defense and the maintenance of good order and discipline among U.S. personnel. No part of this order modifies the chain of command of the U.S. Armed Forces or the authority of U.S. commanders. (b) No part of this order modifies priorities in the collection of intelligence or the development, acquisition, or fielding of weapon systems and other technological capabilities. (c) No part of this order shall prejudice or supplant established procedures pertaining to administrative or criminal investigative or judicial processes in the context of the military justice system or other applicable law and regulation. (d) The policies set forth in this order are consistent with existing U.S. obligations under international law and are not intended to create new international legal obligations; nor shall anything in this order be construed to derogate from obligations under applicable law, including the law of armed conflict. THE WHITE HOUSE, July 1, 2016. [FR Doc. 2016–16295 Filed 7–6–16; 11:15 am] Billing code 3295–F6–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Jul 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4705 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\07JYE0.SGM 07JYE0 OB#1.EPS</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GDR082PROD with PRES DOCS (e) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 130 (Thursday, July 7, 2016)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 44483-44487]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-16295]



[[Page 44483]]

Vol. 81

Thursday,

No. 130

July 7, 2016

Part IV





The President





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Executive Order 13732--United States Policy on Pre- and Post-Strike 
Measures To Address Civilian Casualties in U.S. Operations Involving 
the Use of Force


                        Presidential Documents 



Federal Register / Vol. 81 , No. 130 / Thursday, July 7, 2016 / 
Presidential Documents

___________________________________________________________________

Title 3--
The President

[[Page 44485]]

                Executive Order 13732 of July 1, 2016

                
United States Policy on Pre- and Post-Strike 
                Measures To Address Civilian Casualties in U.S. 
                Operations Involving the Use of Force

                By the authority vested in me as President by the 
                Constitution and the laws of the United States of 
                America, I hereby direct as follows:

                Section 1. Purpose. United States policy on civilian 
                casualties resulting from U.S. operations involving the 
                use of force in armed conflict or in the exercise of 
                the Nation's inherent right of self-defense is based on 
                our national interests, our values, and our legal 
                obligations. As a Nation, we are steadfastly committed 
                to complying with our obligations under the law of 
                armed conflict, including those that address the 
                protection of civilians, such as the fundamental 
                principles of necessity, humanity, distinction, and 
                proportionality.

                The protection of civilians is fundamentally consistent 
                with the effective, efficient, and decisive use of 
                force in pursuit of U.S. national interests. Minimizing 
                civilian casualties can further mission objectives; 
                help maintain the support of partner governments and 
                vulnerable populations, especially in the conduct of 
                counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations; and 
                enhance the legitimacy and sustainability of U.S. 
                operations critical to our national security. As a 
                matter of policy, the United States therefore routinely 
                imposes certain heightened policy standards that are 
                more protective than the requirements of the law of 
                armed conflict that relate to the protection of 
                civilians.

                Civilian casualties are a tragic and at times 
                unavoidable consequence of the use of force in 
                situations of armed conflict or in the exercise of a 
                state's inherent right of self-defense. The U.S. 
                Government shall maintain and promote best practices 
                that reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties, take 
                appropriate steps when such casualties occur, and draw 
                lessons from our operations to further enhance the 
                protection of civilians.

                Sec. 2. Policy. In furtherance of U.S. Government 
                efforts to protect civilians in U.S. operations 
                involving the use of force in armed conflict or in the 
                exercise of the Nation's inherent right of self-
                defense, and with a view toward enhancing such efforts, 
                relevant departments and agencies (agencies) shall 
                continue to take certain measures in present and future 
                operations.

                    (a) In particular, relevant agencies shall, 
                consistent with mission objectives and applicable law, 
                including the law of armed conflict:

(i) train personnel, commensurate with their responsibilities, on 
compliance with legal obligations and policy guidance that address the 
protection of civilians and on implementation of best practices that reduce 
the likelihood of civilian casualties, including through exercises, pre-
deployment training, and simulations of complex operational environments 
that include civilians;

(ii) develop, acquire, and field intelligence, surveillance, and 
reconnaissance systems that, by enabling more accurate battlespace 
awareness, contribute to the protection of civilians;

(iii) develop, acquire, and field weapon systems and other technological 
capabilities that further enable the discriminate use of force in different 
operational contexts;

[[Page 44486]]

(iv) take feasible precautions in conducting attacks to reduce the 
likelihood of civilian casualties, such as providing warnings to the 
civilian population (unless the circumstances do not permit), adjusting the 
timing of attacks, taking steps to ensure military objectives and civilians 
are clearly distinguished, and taking other measures appropriate to the 
circumstances; and

(v) conduct assessments that assist in the reduction of civilian casualties 
by identifying risks to civilians and evaluating efforts to reduce risks to 
civilians.

                    (b) In addition to the responsibilities above, 
                relevant agencies shall also, as appropriate and 
                consistent with mission objectives and applicable law, 
                including the law of armed conflict:

(i) review or investigate incidents involving civilian casualties, 
including by considering relevant and credible information from all 
available sources, such as other agencies, partner governments, and 
nongovernmental organizations, and take measures to mitigate the likelihood 
of future incidents of civilian casualties;

(ii) acknowledge U.S. Government responsibility for civilian casualties and 
offer condolences, including ex gratia payments, to civilians who are 
injured or to the families of civilians who are killed;

(iii) engage with foreign partners to share and learn best practices for 
reducing the likelihood of and responding to civilian casualties, including 
through appropriate training and assistance; and

(iv) maintain channels for engagement with the International Committee of 
the Red Cross and other nongovernmental organizations that operate in 
conflict zones and encourage such organizations to assist in efforts to 
distinguish between military objectives and civilians, including by 
appropriately marking protected facilities, vehicles, and personnel, and by 
providing updated information on the locations of such facilities and 
personnel.

                Sec. 3. Report on Strikes Undertaken by the U.S. 
                Government Against Terrorist Targets Outside Areas of 
                Active Hostilities. (a) The Director of National 
                Intelligence (DNI), or such other official as the 
                President may designate, shall obtain from relevant 
                agencies information about the number of strikes 
                undertaken by the U.S. Government against terrorist 
                targets outside areas of active hostilities from 
                January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016, as well as 
                assessments of combatant and non-combatant deaths 
                resulting from those strikes, and publicly release an 
                unclassified summary of such information no later than 
                May 1, 2017. By May 1 of each subsequent year, as 
                consistent with the need to protect sources and 
                methods, the DNI shall publicly release a report with 
                the same information for the preceding calendar year.

                    (b) The annual report shall also include 
                information obtained from relevant agencies regarding 
                the general sources of information and methodology used 
                to conduct these assessments and, as feasible and 
                appropriate, shall address the general reasons for 
                discrepancies between post-strike assessments from the 
                U.S. Government and credible reporting from 
                nongovernmental organizations regarding non-combatant 
                deaths resulting from strikes undertaken by the U.S. 
                Government against terrorist targets outside areas of 
                active hostilities.
                    (c) In preparing a report under this section, the 
                DNI shall review relevant and credible post-strike all-
                source reporting, including such information from 
                nongovernmental sources, for the purpose of ensuring 
                that this reporting is available to and considered by 
                relevant agencies in their assessment of deaths.
                    (d) The Assistant to the President for National 
                Security Affairs may, as appropriate, request that the 
                head of any relevant agency conduct additional reviews 
                related to the intelligence assessments of deaths from 
                strikes against terrorist targets outside areas of 
                active hostilities.

                Sec. 4. Periodic Consultation. In furtherance of the 
                policies and practices set forth in this order, the 
                Assistant to the President for National Security

[[Page 44487]]

                Affairs, through the National Security Council staff, 
                will convene agencies with relevant defense, 
                counterterrorism, intelligence, legal, civilian 
                protection, and technology expertise to consult on 
                civilian casualty trends, consider potential 
                improvements to U.S. Government civilian casualty 
                mitigation efforts, and, as appropriate, report to the 
                Deputies and Principals Committees, consistent with 
                Presidential Policy Directive 1 or its successor. 
                Specific incidents will not be considered in this 
                context, and will continue to be examined within 
                relevant chains of command.

                Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) The policies and 
                practices set forth above are not intended to alter, 
                and shall be implemented consistent with, the authority 
                and responsibility of commanders and other U.S. 
                personnel to execute their mission as directed by the 
                President or other appropriate authorities, which 
                necessarily includes the inherent right of self-defense 
                and the maintenance of good order and discipline among 
                U.S. personnel. No part of this order modifies the 
                chain of command of the U.S. Armed Forces or the 
                authority of U.S. commanders.

                    (b) No part of this order modifies priorities in 
                the collection of intelligence or the development, 
                acquisition, or fielding of weapon systems and other 
                technological capabilities.
                    (c) No part of this order shall prejudice or 
                supplant established procedures pertaining to 
                administrative or criminal investigative or judicial 
                processes in the context of the military justice system 
                or other applicable law and regulation.
                    (d) The policies set forth in this order are 
                consistent with existing U.S. obligations under 
                international law and are not intended to create new 
                international legal obligations; nor shall anything in 
                this order be construed to derogate from obligations 
                under applicable law, including the law of armed 
                conflict.
                    (e) This order is not intended to, and does not, 
                create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, 
                enforceable at law or in equity by any party against 
                the United States, its departments, agencies, or 
                entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any 
                other person.
                
                
                    (Presidential Sig.)

                THE WHITE HOUSE,

                    July 1, 2016.

[FR Doc. 2016-16295
Filed 7-6-16; 11:15 am]
Billing code 3295-F6-P