US aircraft are targeting the Taliban in Afghanistan “almost daily” following a recent expansion of the authority to hit the group, the top US commander in country said. Army Gen. John Nicholson, commander of Resolute Support Mission and US Forces Afghanistan, said Tuesday there has been a significant pickup in US operations against the Taliban since the decision last month to allow US aircraft to hit the group, and to let US forces embed with conventional Afghan forces, Reuters reported. The statement came during an unannounced visit by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who said the recent activity has not been connected to an increase in the amount of forces in Afghanistan. “That’s a better way of making use of what we have here now,” Carter said, according to Reuters. (See also: US Aircraft Target Taliban in Afghanistan.)
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."