Former President George W. Bush said during a Fox News interview that aired Thursday that completely withdrawing U.S. armed forces from Afghanistan is not necessary and could create a vacuum in the region.
“I’m also deeply concerned about the sacrifices of our soldiers, and our intelligence community, will be forgotten,” the former president said.
“And you know, was it necessary? I don’t think so,” Bush added.
The comments took place as Bush discussed his new book “Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants.” The title includes a collection of images featuring several paintings by the former president.
President Joe Biden announced in April that the 2,500 U.S. troops remaining in Afghanistan would be pulled out by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Some conservatives have criticized Biden’s plans to remove the remaining American forces.
GOP Rep. Michael Waltz of Florida, a U.S. Army Special Forces veteran who served in Afghanistan, is among those who oppose Biden’s plan.
“Nobody wants the troops to come home more than those of us who have had to sacrifice so much, but the last thing I want to see is another 9/11,” he told Fox News in April.
“The best way that I think to cause another 9-11 to happen is to pull all of our troops out of Afghanistan when half the world’s terrorist organizations are still there and the intelligence community is very clear they intend to hit us again,” he continued.
Waltz, who still serves as a colonel in the National Guard, likened Biden’s decision to Obama’s call in 2011 to pull U.S. troops from Iraq.
The congressman argued that the withdrawal led to the rise of ISIS.
“This is repeating Obama in Iraq all over again, but it’s worse,” Waltz said. “We lost far more troops having to fight our way back in.”
He urged Biden not to put the U.S. in a position of weakness.
There are also concerns the terror network that helped carry out 9/11 is claiming that the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is a victory, according to an April report.
CNN claimed that “two al Qaeda operatives” whose names are not used gave CNN an exclusive interview “conducted through intermediaries.”
In the interview, released by CNN to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the death of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaida operatives said that the “war against the US will be continuing on all other fronts unless they are expelled from the rest of the Islamic world.”
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