US No Longer Needs Afghanistan's Consent to Use Military Force - White House
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States will no longer rely on the consent of the previous Afghan government to use military force in the country in light of changing circumstances following the US withdrawal and subsequent rise to power by the Taliban*, the White House said on Wednesday.
“As a matter of international law, host nation consent provided a basis for counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan prior to the withdrawal of US forces,” the White House said in a report on legal and policy frameworks for the use of US military force.
“In light of changed circumstances associated with that withdrawal, the United States does not intend to rely on that previously provided consent.”
Absent reliance on consent to use force in Afghanistan, the US has the inherent right to use necessary and proportionate force in self-defense to the extent Afghanistan is unwilling or unable to confront threats to the US emanating from its territory, the White House said.
There have been no changes to the domestic law basis for US counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan, the White House noted.
Following the US decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, US President Joe Biden said the US remains prepared to use force against terrorist threats in Afghanistan if necessary.
13 August 2021, 15:30 GMT
The Biden administration rang in the US' Afghan exit on August 31, 2021, as officials with the Afghan government were faced with an onslaught from advancing Taliban forces. In the days that followed, the US-backed government was toppled, with then-President Ashraf Ghani fleeing the country.
The complicated and messy US exit came 20 years after the US launched its invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. At the time, the US explained its move to enter Afghanistan by highlighting that Osama bin Laden had masterminded the attacks, and how the Taliban offered sanctuary to members of al-Qaeda**. However, the Taliban never recognized US assertions that the group had any ties to the 2001 attacks.
The US invasion went on to claim the lives of thousands of US soldiers, and more than 100,000 Afghan troops, police figures and civilians caught in the cross-fires.
*A group under UN sanctions for terrorism
** Terrorist organization banned in Russia and many other countries