Former President George W. Bush on Wednesday offered fresh criticism of the withdrawal of American and NATO troops from Afghanistan, as the U.S.-backed government in Kabul appears increasingly imperiled and Taliban fighters continue to make rapid gains across the country.
Asked whether the drawdown was a mistake, Bush told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle in an interview: “I think it is, yeah. Because I think the consequences are going to be unbelievably bad and sad.”
Bush, whose administration launched the U.S. military invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, specifically cited the plight of Afghan women and girls whom he said could “suffer unspeakable harm” at the hands of the Taliban.
Bush expressed similar concern for the fate of thousands of Afghan translators — as well as their families — who aided U.S. and NATO forces throughout the two-decade war effort.