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George Bush slams US withdrawal from Afghanistan

Former US President George W. Bush

Former US President George W. Bush has criticized the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, warning it is going to have grave consequences.

In an interview with German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle, the former Republican president defended his decision to attack Afghanistan in 2001, reiterating that it has led to great progress for young girls and women in the country.

“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,” Bush said.

“I'm sad,” he added. “Laura (Bush) and I spent a lot of time with Afghan women, and they're scared. 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."

The US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 under the pretext of the so-called war on terror. The invasion removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity and violence persist to this day.

Washington has spent trillions of dollars on the war, which has left hundreds of thousands of Afghan civilians dead.

The withdrawal of US troops was initiated last year by Trump, who initially set a deadline for the pullout to complete by May 1.

However, the US started the formal withdrawal in May, with Biden confirming that the country’s military mission will end on Aug. 31, ahead of his original Sept. 11 deadline.

Some Republicans have criticized the Democratic president for the withdrawal, although Trump had brokered an agreement with the Taliban to end US involvement in the war.

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