WASHINGTON – Former US President George W. Bush, who sent US troops to Afghanistan in 2001 to wipe out training grounds for al-Qaeda terrorists after the September 11 attacks, says he thinks US troops It is a mistake to drive the U.S. out now as Taliban insurgents have taken over more and more territory in the country.
Since leaving office in 2009, Bush has rarely commented on the actions of the latter three US presidents – Barack Obama, Donald Trump and now Joe Biden.
But with Biden swiftly pulling US forces out of Afghanistan and saying they will all return home by the end of August, Bush says he is concerned that the Taliban will, if ever, regroup after being ousted by US forces two decades ago. takes power, how will they treat women and children as well as others who have supported US and NATO forces.
In an interview released on Wednesday, Bush told German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle, from his summer estate in the northeastern US, “I fear that Afghan women and girls will suffer unbearable harm.”
Asked if it was a mistake for Biden to pull troops out of Afghanistan, Bush said, “I think it is, yeah, because I think the results are going to be incredibly bad, and I’m sad.” I am.”
The Taliban claim they already control 85% of the country, a figure that the US has disputed even as Pentagon officials are concerned about the terrorist group’s rapid takeover of territory and moving towards the capital, Kabul. expresses concern. More Afghans are said to live in an area already controlled by the Taliban than in an area already controlled by the Afghan government.
Bush began the US war in Afghanistan in his first year in office after the September 11, 2001, attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in American American forces, helped Afghan resistance units to overthrow the Taliban-run government, and Al Targeted Qaida. . It became America’s longest war.
Bush said Afghan women terrorized by the Taliban are “fearing” the prospect of living under Taliban rule again. Bush said he was also concerned about the future of the thousands of Afghans who served as interpreters for US and NATO troops over the past 20 years.
“I think of all the interpreters and people who helped not only American soldiers, but NATO soldiers and they are justified, they feel like they are being left behind to be killed by these very cruel people, and It’s my heart,” Bush said.
Biden has vowed to grant visas to interpreters and their families to visit the United States and says the processing of their visas has accelerated “dramatically”, but it is far from perfect.
Trump, when he was in office, was also committed to ending the US presence in Afghanistan and Biden followed suit, albeit with a longer troop withdrawal period than Trump had imagined.
Although some opposition Republicans have criticized Biden’s military withdrawal, polls show the American public supports it.
Biden strongly defended bringing troops home last week, saying the US did not go to Afghanistan for “nation building”.
“It is only the right and responsibility of the Afghan people to decide their future and how they want to run their country,” Biden said.
He described the army’s withdrawal as proceeding in a “safe and orderly manner”. A few days earlier, US forces withdrew from the vast Bagram Airfield, which was the center of US military operations.
“Nearly 20 years of experience has shown us – and the current security situation only confirms – that just one more year of fighting in Afghanistan is not a solution, but a recipe for staying there indefinitely,” he said.
A reporter questioning Senna’s withdrawal drew a sharp reaction from Biden. Asked if he trusted the Taliban, Biden replied: “Is this a serious question?”
“It’s a silly question. Do I trust the Taliban? No. But I do trust the ability of the Afghan military, which is better trained, better equipped and more capable of fighting,” Biden said.
Trump, defeated by Biden in last November’s election, has said he would have withdrawn all troops by May 1, which Biden decided was too early.
But Biden said he is the fourth US president to head the US military in Afghanistan and that he would not delegate responsibility to the fifth.
As he first announced plans to end the US presence in the country in April, he said the US would “expand or expand our military presence in Afghanistan in the hopes of creating ideal conditions for our withdrawal and expecting a different outcome.” Can’t continue the cycle of expansion.”
The withdrawal of the foreign forces is the result of an agreement by Washington with the Taliban in February 2020 under then-President Trump. This requires the insurgents to fight terrorism on Afghan soil and negotiate a political peace deal with the Kabul government.
However, US-brokered intra-Afghan peace talks have progressed slowly and with little success since they began last September in Qatar.