- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Former President George W. Bush said Wednesday that the Biden administration’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan will result in “unbelievably bad” consequences.

Speaking to German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle from his house in Maine, Mr. Bush, 75, said he feared how Afghan women would survive Taliban rule as armed insurgents continue to regain control of territory across northern Afghanistan.

“It’s unbelievable how that society changed from the brutality of the Taliban, and all of a sudden — sadly — I’m afraid Afghan women and girls are going to suffer unspeakable harm,” the former president said, The Associated Press reported.

Mr. Bush, who launched the war in Afghanistan during his first year as president in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, said Mr. Biden is making a grave mistake by leaving the country, “because I think the consequences are going to be unbelievably bad, and I’m sad.”

“Laura and I spent a lot of time with Afghan women, and they’re scared,” he said, AP reported. “And I think about all the interpreters and people that helped not only U.S. troops but NATO troops, and it seems like they’re just going to be left behind to be slaughtered by these very brutal people. And it breaks my heart.”

Mr. Biden announced last week that the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan would officially conclude Aug. 31, saying the U.S. accomplished what it intended of delivering “justice” to Osama Bin Laden and degrading the terrorist threat in the region.

“We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build,” the president said Thursday. “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.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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