George W. Bush criticizes Biden over Afghanistan pullout

Afghan security forces stand on Humvee vehicles during a military operation in Arghandab district of Kandahar province on April 4, 2021. (Javed Tanveer/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

Dave Goldiner

New York Daily News

Former President George W. Bush Wednesday trashed President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, saying it would likely lead to a takeover by the fundamentalist Taliban.

“I think the consequences are going to be unbelievably bad,” Bush said in a televised interview with German network Deutsche Welle.

Bush, who ordered the original U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, said he feared the pullout of U.S. troops would lead to a new reign of terror against women and girls.

“Afghan women and girls are going to suffer unspeakable harm,” Bush said. “They’re just going to be left behind to be slaughtered by these very brutal people, and it breaks my heart.”

Biden has ordered virtually all American troops to leave Afghanistan by the end of August, effectively ending the 20-year military intervention.

The president last week defended his decision as the lesser of two evils in a major speech, saying the U.S. achieved its primary goal of routing Al Qaeda terrorists from the country.

Bush’s direct criticizing of Biden amounts to a break with the tradition that former presidents usually avoid getting involved in policy debates.

Other ex-presidents sided with Biden.

Former President Barack Obama hailed Biden for making “the right decision.” Former President Donald Trump also heralded the pullout of U.S. forces as “a wonderful and positive thing to do” even though he criticized Biden for stalling the pullout.

The withdrawal comes as Taliban fighters are on the move across Afghanistan and have seized control of many rural districts. Some analysts predict the Afghan government will fall within weeks or months after foreign troops leave, but Biden sharply rejected that claim.

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