Bush warns of fallout from early Afghanistan exit
April 1st, 2011
08:59 AM ET
4 years ago

Bush warns of fallout from early Afghanistan exit

(CNN) – Former President George W. Bush is worried the U.S. might pull out of Afghanistan too early to the detriment of that country's women.

In an interview with Fox News that aired Thursday, Bush warned that Afghan women will "suffer" should the Obama administration decide to downscale troop levels there.

"My concern of course is that the United States gets weary of being in Afghanistan and says 'It's not worth it, let's leave' and Laura and I believe that if that were to happen, women would suffer again," he told Fox's Greta Van Susteren. "And we don't believe that's in the interest of the United States or the world to create a safe haven for terrorists and stand by and watch women's rights be abused."

"We liberated Afghanistan from the Taliban because of providing a save haven for al Qaeda," he continued. "But I believe then and believe now we have an obligation to help this young Democracy to survive and thrive."

Bush's comments came the same day he and former first lady Laura Bush kicked off a two-day conference at Southern Methodist University focusing on women's rights issues in Afghanistan – an issue Mrs. Bush also championed when she was in the White House.

"Isolationism will end up subjecting certain people to horrors that I don't see how our country can live with that kind of decision," the former president also said.

The Obama administration has said that it will gradually hand off responsibilities to Afghanistan security forces as it draws down U.S. troops between this summer and the end of 2014.

But a Government Accountability Office report issued in January questioned whether the centerpiece of the Obama administration's exit strategy for Afghanistan - a training program for Afghan security forces - can deliver as promised.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll in February indicated six in ten Americans are opposed to the war.


Filed under: Afghanistan • President Bush
soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. ConservaFascists

    "My concern of course is that the United States gets weary of being in Afghanistan and says 'It's not worth it, let's leave' and Laura and I believe that if that were to happen, women would suffer again"

    You didn't seem to care when you were in office what was going on in Afghanistan. You're the last person we should be taking advice from.

    April 1, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  2. mommytwice

    Thanks, I don't think anyone needs advice from W on wars. The man got us into enough...he needs to hush and let the grown ups handle it now.

    April 1, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  3. Larry from San Antone

    It takes a real pair for "W" to give advice on war. Next we'll be asking Cheney and Rumsfeld for their wisdom. They should all be in prison.

    April 1, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  4. Mike

    We don't owe Afghanistan anything. We were not asked to come there, but rather forced and when we decide to leave it should be our own decision. Maybe if Mr. Bush had committed ourselves to Afghanistan and not bogged us down in Iraq we wouldn't need to be there today. By the way, did you know that the military budget of 600 or so billion does not include spending for the wars. We're really spending probably close to 1-2 trillion or more every year and being asked to cut here at home.

    April 1, 2011 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  5. Billy

    Well, if the worst president in US history is against, then I think we should withdraw immediately.

    April 1, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  6. JOhn

    Next you will be giving us investment advice from Bernie Maddof, marrage tips from Gingrich, parenting tips from Charlie Manson? Advice from Parris Hilton on Afghanistan would be more credable than Bush.

    April 1, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  7. Mutt

    Wasn't following this guys advice was what got us into the mess we are in now?

    April 1, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  8. GonzoinHouston

    "We have to make that young democracy survive" – mostly because we blew off catching Al-Queda and bin-Laden so we could invade Iraq. He's right, though, when we pull out the Taliban will probably take over and the women will indeed be back in their burquas. When Karzai stole the last election he lost the support of the Afghan civilians. Without that support, even the US can't win an assymetrical conflict. Because of Karzai's corruption and incompetence, the Taliban will return to power.

    April 1, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  9. cykill45

    Gee, maybe we should stay there forever. Oh yeah, we are.

    April 1, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  10. Bob

    This story should provide some wonderful examples of Bush hatred on this board. Should be fun reading.

    April 1, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  11. ceci, madison wi

    Really, he now worries about this! We have been there long enough. Its time for the Afghan people to take care of thier own. Early pull out? isnt 10 years enough..I want my son home now.

    April 1, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  12. Michigan

    Perhaps he should be tellecturing his own party about respecting women's rights in the U.S.

    April 1, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  13. NYC REPUB

    Ahhhh......President Bush don't worry we'll be there until 2014.....Unfortunately......but thankyou for reminding me what a republican in the WH would sound, look, and be like......
    Obama/Biden 2012!!!!!

    April 1, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  14. Tina

    Truthfully, I just don't care what this guy says anymore. I am tired of him and his admin. If he does not like it then why don't he and Laura, and Admin go over

    April 1, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  15. mdn

    Ah yes! How rich! Let's stay in Afghanistan and spend billions of dollars, weekly and have our soldiers killed so the women won't suffer. Bush don't care about women, let alone Afghan women. He created this mess and we are all paying for it!

    April 1, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  16. Anonymous

    Bush was never right very often while he was in office. I still don't believe anything he says.

    April 1, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  17. Tam

    Thanks. But haven't you done enough already?

    April 1, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  18. derik

    I think people will stay with the President and the Mrs. Clinton on "That One" Your last war Mr.Bush is a trillion dollars and counting, and thousands of our young military heros "Lives"! I love the "Movies that are out know,telling the truth about "Your war in Iraq". Truely Shocking, to say the least,sir. Thats a "Unreal price to pay,to hang one man?

    April 1, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  19. GL

    Is this man nuts. It is time to get the hell out of there – 10 years is well over the time lilmited for any war. He needs to shut up.

    April 1, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  20. Jesse

    We're not the world's police. Let's practice a little isolationism of our own and try to take care of ourselves for a while.

    April 1, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  21. Seattle Sue

    Bush was not right very often while he was in office. I still do not believe anything he says.

    April 1, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  22. Munkittrick

    It couldn't be much worse than the fallout of a highly dominant foreign government busting down the front doors unilaterally and killing 12% of that country's population....could it? I say that we let Bush write children's book. He's got a mind of a 12 year old and he clearly believes in the power of a fantastic imagination...hence, his entire Presidency.

    April 1, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  23. Willie12345

    Obama wants out of his Presidential Adventure. He's grown tired and wants to pay in North Africa now.

    April 1, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  24. Daryn

    I thought we were done with this idiot? I would rather hear from Caribou Barbie than from the shrub.

    April 1, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  25. Don

    Personally, this strikes me as an odd comment, although I do agree that the US should not pull out precipitously, allowing the Afghans to completely come apart.

    The reprisal against Afghanistan which was launched after 9/11 seemed to most Americans to be entirely justified. However, Afghanistan soon became the "second front" against terrorism as we moved on to the disastrous Iraq war. For the rest of the Bush presidency Afghanistan was allowed to languish and the inevitable happened: in the absence of a strong American presense craziness flourished.

    By the time Obama became president Afghanistan was on life-support and Obama decided to try to again try to prosecute the war in what he hoped is a winning formula.

    I have no idea if that will happen, but it seems that President Bush should have cared more about the conflict when he was president rather than shifting attention to Iraq.

    April 1, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
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