The Obama administration is considering a plan that would allow the U.S. military to strike more targets with fewer restrictions throughout Afghanistan, officials told NBC News on Thursday.
A senior U.S. official said active discussions are under way to give U.S. forces new authority to strike Taliban fighters simply for being part of the Taliban.
Under current authority, they may carry out strikes only in self-defense, to protect Afghan forces deemed to be in imminent danger or to target al Qaeda and ISIS.
A senior defense official said the military has been "advocating" to expand its mandate, noting that the Taliban made significant advances last year and that Afghan forces couldn't keep up.
Targeting Taliban assets in general could help Afghan forces take back territory, particularly in Helmand and Oruzgan provinces, where the Taliban have shifted much of their effort recently, this official said.