Obama expands Afghan combat mission
KABUL (Pajhwok): US President Barack Obama has quietly issued guidelines allowing American forces to target Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan and conduct air support for Afghan operations when needed post-2014.
Media reports said the decisions in recent weeks broadened previous US plans that had limited the military to counterterrorism missions against Al Qaida after this year.
The reports quoted US officials as saying that the Taliban would be targeted only when they posed a threat to American forces or provided direct support to Al Qaida in order to keep the forces safe.
Obama issued the guidelines in response to requests from military commanders who wanted American troops to be allowed to continue to battle the Taliban.
However, the move to expand the military’s authority does not affect the overall number of US troops that will remain in Afghanistan.
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