The U.S. military’s authority to conduct airstrikes against the Taliban will be expanded after the White House approved plans for further airstrikes, officials said Thursday. Speaking on condition of anonymity, senior Defense officials said the debate had dragged on for months before the White House agreed to the move, granting autonomy to conduct airstrikes when necessary. The plan will also see U.S. forces offer more assistance to Afghan forces, who recently have faced a spike in violence by the Taliban in the country's southern provinces. The U.S. formally ended its mission in Afghanistan in 2014, but the U.S. military has continued to play a supporting role to Afghan forces.
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