US bombers with fighter jets (symbol photo)
Photo: KIM HONG-JI / REUTERS
The troops are being withdrawn from Afghanistan by the NATO countries.
For the last few weeks until all outposts have been completely evacuated, the US now wants to additionally protect itself against possible attacks.
As US Chief of Staff Mark Milley announced, the withdrawal is to be covered with an additional six B-52 long-range bombers and twelve F-18 fighter jets.
According to the AP news agency, the aircraft carrier "USS Dwigth D. Eisenhower" should also be ready in the northern Arabian Sea to support US troops in Afghanistan if necessary.
The security situation in Afghanistan has been escalating for a few weeks.
According to the Pentagon, there have been between 80 and 120 daily attacks by the radical Islamic Taliban on Afghan targets since the withdrawal began on May 1.
The international troops have not been attacked since then.
US withdrawal goes "according to plan"
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the withdrawal was "going according to plan".
Most recently, the Pentagon had emphasized that the withdrawal of troops was not threatened despite new skirmishes.
US President Joe Biden had initially announced the withdrawal of troops by September 11th - 20 years after the attacks in New York, which prompted the foreign deployment.
In the meantime, however, a real race for the fastest withdrawal has begun among the NATO countries.
It was expected that the Taliban would launch a major offensive on the Afghan government forces after May 1.
The peace efforts between the Afghan government and the Taliban have stalled.
Austin and Milley stressed that the US would continue to work closely with the Afghan security forces, but that the withdrawal would change relations.
In the future, air support, for example, will have to come from US bases and ships that are hundreds of kilometers away.
Milley confident about the clout of the Afghan troops
The chief of staff campaigned for confidence in the Afghan security forces and the government.
The US would continue to support them, for example with the maintenance of their air forces, which were previously heavily dependent on foreign support.
"The goal is to keep the Afghan Air Force aloft and help maintain it," Milley said.
The US chief of staff was optimistic about the strength of the Afghan military.
Dark scenarios, according to which the Taliban could start to storm the capital Kabul after the withdrawal of international troops, would not have to occur, said Milley.
“It's not a foregone conclusion.
The Afghan government has significant military capabilities.
We have to see what comes of it. "
fek / AFP / AP