Biden Orders Airstrikes In Afghanistan As Tensions Mount

( After removing all troops from the region, the United States is now initiating new military airstrikes in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon confirmed the new airstrikes, which are being carried out to help the Afghan forces as they try to fight back the progression of the Taliban.

Major Robert Lodewick, a spokesman for the Pentagon, submitted a statement to The Hill that said:

“A number of strikes have occurred over the last several days from both manned and unmanned strike platforms.”

These strikes followed two sets that happened last week. The targets of those attacks were equipment the Taliban had captured.

Since the U.S. military started its withdrawal from Afghanistan, it has still initiated airstrikes on a consistent basis to beat back a quickly progressing Taliban force.

On Sunday, General Frank McKenzie, the head of the U.S. Central Command, visited Kabul. There, he said the military increased the number of airstrikes it was conducting to support Afghan forces.

After meeting with Ashraf Ghani, the president of Afghanistan, McKenzie told reporters:

“We’re prepared to continue this heightened level of support in the coming weeks if the Taliban continue their attacks.”

He also said the United States would continue to provide “contract logistics support both here in Kabul and over the horizon in the region, funding for them, intelligence sharing, and advising and assisting through security consultations at the strategic level.”

On Tuesday, the U.S. Central Command reported that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan is more than 95% completed. The complete withdrawal is expected to be completed by August 31, as set by the Biden administration.

In the meantime, the Pentagon has to make a decision as to how it will continue to back Afghan forces through continued airstrikes or other potential military operations.

Even though U.S. troops are expected to be fully out of the country by the end of August, McKenzie said he wouldn’t commit to stopping airstrikes after that date. He explained:

“I’m just not going to be able to comment about the future of U.S. airstrikes after August 31. For the days and weeks ahead, we will continue with our airstrikes in support of our Afghan partners, and that’s all I’ll be able to give you.”

Instead, McKenzie said he’d be “concentrating on the here and now,” providing only “logistical support” after July.

Still, the general seemed to indicate that he believed the airstrikes are going well, when he said:

“We’re taking airstrikes as we need to take them. We’re still carrying them out. I think we’re having good effect in support of Afghan forces that are engaged in close fighting with the Taliban.”

All of this begs the question — why did the Biden administration rush forward with withdrawing all troops out of Afghanistan? The idea couldn’t have been to remove all ground forces from the region, only to fly back in to provide support via the air.

Unless, of course, the next phase of the plan is to help fight more remotely, rather than have U.S. troops there in the line of fire.