WASHINGTON (KETK/NBC) – Former President George W. Bush said in a foreign press interview that the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan is a mistake because he fears how the Taliban will treat innocent women and children.
In the first year of his presidency, Bush launched the invasion of Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks to topple the Taliban government and to destroy al-Qaeda. It has since become America’s longest war, spanning close to 20 years.
President Joe Biden announced earlier this year that he would be withdrawing all U.S. troops and that it would be completed by August 31.
Bush, who has remained relatively quiet during Biden’s first six months, said that the consequences of the withdrawal “are going to be unbelievably bad, and I’m sad.”
The 43rd Commander-in-Chief said he is worried about what will happen to the Afghan women and the people who have helped U.S. and NATO troops since 2001.
“I think about all the interpreters and people that helped not only U.S. 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.”
The Taliban has already begun regaining territory in northern Afghanistan. Biden is defending his decision by saying he does not want to send another generation to the Middle East and that it is not America’s job to “nation build.”
The interview by Bush was given to a German state broadcaster named Deutsche Welle, according to NBC News.