The Pentagon is considering whether to intervene with warplanes or drones in the event that Kabul is in danger of falling to the Taliban, though no decisions have been made.
The Pentagon is considering seeking authorization to carry out airstrikes to support Afghan security forces if Kabul or another major city is in danger of falling to the Taliban, potentially introducing flexibility into President Biden’s plan to end the United States military presence in the conflict, senior officials said.
Mr. Biden and his top national security aides had previously suggested that once U.S. troops left Afghanistan, air support would end as well, with the exception of strikes aimed at terrorist groups that could harm American interests.
But military officials are actively discussing how they might respond if the rapid withdrawal produces consequences with substantial national security implications.
No decisions have been made yet, officials said. But they added that one option under consideration would be to recommend that U.S. warplanes or armed drones intervene in an extraordinary crisis, such as the potential fall of Kabul, the Afghan capital, or a siege that puts American and allied embassies and citizens at risk.