The Biden administration’s top officials had previously stated that once US soldiers departed Afghanistan, air support would be phased out as well, with the exception of strikes against terrorist groups posing a threat to US interests.
The US Pentagon is considering asking authorization for airstrikes to support Afghan security forces if Taliban militants threaten to seize Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul or another major city in the country, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing senior officials.
According to the report, the military authorities are actively talking over how they will respond if the hasty pullout has significant national security ramifications. Officials reportedly said that no decisions had been taken yet.
Any additional airstrikes would reportedly need to be approved by the president in person. Although the sources said that such air assistance would be difficult to maintain over time due to the massive logistical effort that would be required in light of the US military pullout.
According to the newspaper, the collapse of Kabul is indeed the situation most likely to prompt military action after US soldiers leave. But intervening in the conflict to protect Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city, would reportedly be significantly less certain.
The New York Times stated that such discussions within the military’s top circles could be an indicator of the concerns in…