AT Monitoring Desk
KABUL: Former President George W. Bush says he is concerned that President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 could harm women and girls in the long run if the “brutal” Taliban returns to power.
Biden announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region on April 14, saying that it is now “time to end America’s longest war” and “time for American troops to come home,” noting that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York City “cannot explain” why U.S. soldiers should remain in the Central Asian country.
“My first reaction was, wow, these girls are going to have real trouble with the Taliban,” Bush told NBC’s “Today” on Tuesday. “A lot of gains have been made, and so I’m deeply concerned about the plight of women and girls in that country.”
“I think the administration hopes that the girls are going be OK through diplomacy. We’ll find out. All I know is the Taliban, when they had the run of the place, they were brutal,” the former president said.
The war in Afghanistan began on Oct. 7, 2001, less than a month after the Sept. 11 attacks, when Bush was president.
The move to drawdown combat troops in Afghanistan was first manoeuvred by former President Donald Trump last year, with a May 1 deadline.