Officials Say They Need Time to Develop Their Own Air Support Capabilities
Afghanistan’s national security adviser is seeking a pledge from the Pentagon to provide even more air support for Afghan ground troops, saying they lack the capability of doing anything themselves with their own limited air force.
The Afghan Air Force has some limited number of helicopters for close air support, but not enough to practically cover the many different battles their massive military is engaged in around the country. Officials called it a “filling-the-gap” measure.
As with a lot of the gaps the US has decided to fill in Afghanistan over the 15+ year occupation, it’s a more or less permanent one, as Afghanistan is unlikely to ever afford a big enough Air Force to cover its many conflicts nationwide, particularly as the government continues to lose ground to the Taliban.
US officials didn’t immediately respond, but such requests tend to be little more than a formality, with the US providing ever-growing amounts of air and ground support for the Afghan military at any rate, desperately trying to slow their losses, particularly around major cities.
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