Bush criticizes Afghanistan troop withdrawal, concerned for women

Former President George W. Bush criticized the Western withdrawal from Afghanistan in an interview with a German broadcaster released Wednesday, saying he fears that Afghan women and girls will “suffer unspeakable harm.”

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July 14, 2021 - 9:16 AM

Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush are shown their seats during the 59th presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

BERLIN (AP) — Former President George W. Bush criticized the Western withdrawal from Afghanistan in an interview with a German broadcaster released Wednesday, saying he fears that Afghan women and girls will “suffer unspeakable harm.”

Asked in an interview with German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle whether the withdrawal is a mistake, Bush replied: “You know, I think it is, yeah, because I think the consequences are going to be unbelievably bad.”

The war in Afghanistan began under Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. Washington gave Taliban leader Mullah Omar an ultimatum: hand over al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and dismantle militant training camps or prepare to be attacked. Omar refused, and a U.S.-led coalition launched an invasion in October.

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