NYT: Pentagon Mulls Seeking Authorization for Airstrikes if Kabul Falls to Taliban
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 pullout has significant national security ramifications. Officials reportedly said that no decisions had been taken yet.
Nevertheless, one of the options being considered is recommending that US bombers or armed drones engage in the case of an extreme crisis, such as the possibility of the Taliban taking Kabul, or a siege putting American and its allies’ embassies and citizens in danger.
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.
Hence, by next month, the US will have decommissioned all of its airbases in Afghanistan, and any airstrikes will have to be launched from locations in the Persian Gulf.