Former US President George W. Bush, whose administration launched the US-led war against the Taliban in 2001, told DW he is concerned about the fate of Afghan women when US and NATO troops leave the country.
“I fear that Afghan women and girls will suffer untold suffering,” he said, adding that he is also concerned about interpreters and others who support foreign troops in Afghanistan.” It breaks my heart that they will be left behind to be slaughtered by these brutal people.”
Bush’s remarks were a reference to the hardline Islamist Taliban, who are pushing across the country for the withdrawal of US and NATO troops, which is due to end in September, 20 years after the war began.
The former US president sent troops to Afghanistan in the autumn of 2001, after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US.
Bush added that he believed German Chancellor Angela Merkel felt “the same way” about withdrawing troops.
When DW asked Kabul-based journalist Ali Latifi about Bush’s remarks, he said. I find it very interesting that he is suddenly worried about women and children. He added; “His war has left many people widowed and many children orphaned.
The end of 20 years of war
In early May, US and NATO troops began their withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The US military recently declared that the ongoing withdrawal is more than 90 percent complete, and President Joe Biden said it will end on 31 August.
At the end of June, Germany announced that it had withdrawn all its troops from the country and closed its consulate general in Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan.
Italy also announced the end of its mission in Afghanistan and Poland brought all its troops home.
US and NATO troops withdrew on 2 July from the symbolic Bagram airbase in Kabul, which had been the center of US military operations in the country.
Who controls Afghanistan?
Political and military control has handed over to the Afghan government to negotiate peace with the Taliban.
But the Taliban have been on the offensive, especially in rural Afghanistan, to bring more areas under their control.
On Wednesday, they reported that they had taken control of Spin Boldak, a strategic border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Biden last week ruled out further intervention in the country, saying the US had achieved its goals of “capturing the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11, bringing Osama bin Laden to justice and reducing the terrorist threat“.
He said. We are not going to Afghanistan to build a nation. And only the Afghan people have the right and the responsibility to decide their future and how they want to run their country.”
When asked about the legacy of the war in Afghanistan, journalist Ali Rafet said, “The fact that we have these problems is a legacy of the war. The fact that we have these problems is the legacy, isn’t it? The fact that the Taliban are still able to pose a threat to the government and the security forces, the fact that we still have these battles and the fact that we still wonder what can happen to the women, the children, the translators, you know, 20 years later that is the legacy”.