Former President George W. Bush criticized the Biden administration’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, effectively ending a 20-year conflict that began in response to the September 11 attacks when Bush was in office. He said the consequences of calling troops back home would be “unbelievably bad” for Afghan women and young girls.
“You know, I think it is,” Bush told German news outlet Deutsche Welle when asked if the withdrawal is a mistake. “I think the consequences are going to be unbelievably bad.”
“I am afraid Afghan women and girls are going to suffer unspeakable harm. They are scared,” he added.
Bush said the drawdown would also have a deleterious effect on Afghan interpreters who worked alongside U.S. and NATO troops.
“I think about all the interpreters and people that helped not only US troops, but NATO troops and they’re just, it seems like they’re just gonna be left behind to be slaughtered by these very brutal people, and it breaks my heart,” Bush said.
President Joe Biden has defended his administration’s decision, noting that troops would be completely withdrawn by August.
“I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome,” Biden said from the East Room he said last week. “The current security situation only confirms that just one more year fighting in Afghanistan is not a solution, but a recipe for being there indefinitely.”
Critics have warned that the Taliban would take over the country if the U.S. draws down, but Biden has denied that a Taliban takeover is inevitable.
“The likelihood that there’s going to be a Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely,” he said.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.