To maintain tabs on the army scenario on the bottom, the U.S. army needs to proceed utilizing some model of what it calls the Mixed Situational Consciousness Room, the place it coordinates with its Afghan counterparts (usually over WhatsApp), funneling data and serving to put air help and different forces into place on the battlefield. However it stays unclear the place the command heart can be, with choices together with the American Embassy or exterior the nation.
Although the Afghan Air Drive has develop into more and more succesful in recent times, American drones and different surveillance plane nonetheless present key focusing on data. And U.S. strikes, although decreased below extraordinarily restrictive guidelines of engagement, nonetheless happen as worldwide forces depart and Afghan safety forces wrestle to carry floor.
U.S. army officers consider america will dedicate a major variety of reconnaissance plane to proceed to assist the Afghan forces however will restrict airstrikes to “counterterrorism operations” solely, a unfastened description that has been used previously to justify quite a lot of actions.
With no bases to place plane near Afghanistan, which means American plane should fly from bases within the Center East or from plane carriers within the Arabian Sea to help Afghan forces or to conduct counterterrorism missions from “over the horizon.”
For prop-powered surveillance drones and planes, which means several-hour journeys simply to get to Afghanistan.
For jets primarily based on plane carriers, which means frequent midair refueling stops. As land-based U.S. jets go away Afghanistan, United States forces are struggling to fulfill the demand for carrier-based plane due to an elevated want for refueling tankers. For now, the jets onboard the usS. Eisenhower within the Arabian Sea can fulfill solely round 75 % of the requests over Afghanistan, a army official mentioned.
Questioned by lawmakers final month concerning the challenges of countering terrorist threats in Afghanistan after American troops go away, Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the top of the Pentagon’s Central Command, mentioned, “It’s going to be extraordinarily tough to do, however it’s not unattainable.”