President Obama approved guidelines allowing the Pentagon to target the Taliban in Afghanistan and to conduct air strikes supporting Afghan operations when needed, U.S. officials said Friday.
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The move expands on plans originally setup for next year. One U.S. official said the military could only go after the Taliban if it endangered American forces or if it directly supported Al Qaeda.
The U.S. plans to end the American combat mission in Afghanistan and prepare for a much narrower counterterrorism operation in the next two years. Previous plans limited the military to only counterterrorism operations.