Former President George W. Bush spoke out against President Joe Biden’s decision to remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan, calling the decision a “mistake” that will cause “unspeakable harm.”
“You know, I think it is,” Bush told the German news outlet Deutsche Welle when asked if the withdrawal is a mistake, Fox News reported Wednesday.
“I think the consequences are going to be unbelievably bad,” he added.
“I am afraid Afghan women and girls are going to suffer unspeakable harm,” Bush said. “They are scared.”
Bush also expressed his concern for those in Afghanistan who had helped U.S. forces.
“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,” Bush said.
Bush’s remarks follow Biden’s announcement last week that the U.S. military would leave Afghanistan on Aug. 31 ahead of his previously announced Sept. 11 deadline.
“The United States did what we went to do in Afghanistan – to get the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and to deliver justice to Usama bin Laden,” Biden said.
“We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build. And it’s the right and the responsibility of the Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country.”
Some conservatives criticized Biden’s plans to remove the remaining American forces following his announcement in April.
GOP Rep. Michael Waltz of Florida, an 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 Martha MacCallum.
“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.”
Waltz, who still serves as a colonel in the National Guard, likened Biden’s decision to then-President Barack Obama’s decision in 2011 to pull U.S. troops from Iraq.
The congressman argued that the withdrawal led to the rise of the Islamic State group, which terrorized a broad swath of the Middle East until it was destroyed by the U.S. military by Obama’s successor, former President Donald Trump.
“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 reported 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 U.S. will be continuing on all other fronts unless they are expelled from the rest of the Islamic world.”
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