'Slaughter and Unspeakable Harm': Ex-POTUS George Bush Says US Withdrawal From Afghanistan a Mistake
© AP Photo / Biden Inaugural CommitteeIn this image from video, former President George W. Bush speaks during a Celebrating America concert on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, part of the 59th Inauguration Day events for President Joe Biden sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.
© AP Photo / Biden Inaugural Committee
Since the start of the withdrawal of NATO and US forces from Afghanistan, the Taliban* movement has reportedly managed to significantly extend its control over the country despite attempts by the local security forces to push them back.
Former US President George W. Bush has lambasted the decision by the White House to pull out American troops from Afghanistan arguing that by doing so Washington and its NATO allies, who are also leaving the country, are abandoning the locals and leaving their fates to the mercy of the Taliban*.
"Afghan women and girls are going to suffer unspeakable harm. This is a mistake [...] They're just going to be left behind to be slaughtered by these very brutal people, and it breaks my heart", the former president said in an interview with Deutsche Welle.
The former POTUS added that he believed German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will soon be leaving her post, "feels the same way" about the Afghanistan withdrawal.
© AFP 2021 / JAVED TANVEERA burqa-clad woman of polio immunisation team writes a message on the wall of a house during a vaccination campaign in Kandahar on January 28, 2020
A burqa-clad woman of polio immunisation team writes a message on the wall of a house during a vaccination campaign in Kandahar on January 28, 2020
Bush launched the war in Afghanistan in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Centre in the US on 11 September. The stated goal of the intention was eradicating al-Qaeda* from the country, but later it shifted to fighting the Taliban and assisting in Afghan nation-building.
Almost 20 years later, the US and NATO finally began withdrawing from the country after former POTUS Donald Trump negotiated a deal with the Taliban that promised the pullout in exchange for the movement not providing a safe haven for terrorist organisations in the country. Current US President Joe Biden upheld that promise, despite shifting the withdrawal deadline, defending the move by stating that the war in Afghanistan was not started to help Kabul with nation-building and that the Afghan people themselves should chart their future course.
*Taliban and al-Qaeda are terrorist organisations banned in Russia