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Pentagon considers use of warplanes and drones if Afghan forces are in crisis

Kabul. Dmitry Kostyukov / AFP via Getty Images

As US troops leave Afghanistan, Pentagon is considering the possibility of having to intervene militarily if Kabul or another major city were at risk of falling into Taliban hands, senior officials said. The New York Times Wednesday.

This could involve the use of warplanes or drones to aid Afghan security forces, officials said. Discussions are ongoing and focus on what to do if the Afghan army is overwhelmed, but no decision has yet been made.

In April, President Biden ordered the complete withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, saying: “Although we do not remain involved militarily in Afghanistan, our diplomatic and humanitarian work will continue.” If the United States provides air support, it will be difficult to maintain, as bases in Afghanistan have all been closed or will be closed soon. Any airstrike would likely have to be launched from bases in the Persian Gulf, the Time reports.

Many rural areas of Afghanistan are already under Taliban control, and the United States is unlikely to provide future military support to these areas. Senior officials told the Time the Pentagon, remembering the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq, is also studying how US troops will conduct counterterrorism missions against Al Qaeda and other militant groups in Afghanistan that may attack US interests. Read more on The New York Times.

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