Afghanistan OKs Larger U.S. Military Role

Posted June 13, 2016 at 8:57am

Newsweek Pakistan reports that “Afghanistan on Saturday hailed Washington’s decision to expand the U.S. military’s authority to tackle a resurgent Taliban insurgency, saying the support will boost the capacity of struggling local forces.”  

“The decision will allow U.S. troops, who have been in a training and advisory role in Afghanistan since the start of 2015, to collaborate more closely with local forces in striking the Taliban. ‘We welcome the U.S. announcement of broader involvement in the war on terrorism in Afghanistan,’ said defense ministry spokesman Daulat Waziri. ‘We may not need more boots on the ground, but we need their advisers and we need them to equip our air force. Their involvement will increase our capacity in operations on the ground.’”  

“The U.S. announcement comes after Afghan forces, beset by record casualties, desertions and troop shortages, suffered a string of setbacks last year at the hands of the Taliban. The decision would expand the military’s authority to conduct airstrikes against the Taliban when necessary, significantly boosting Afghan forces who currently have limited close air-support capacities.”