Bush warns of fallout from early Afghanistan exit
April 1st, 2011
08:59 AM ET
3 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. GL

    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."

    How about taking care of home first. People in our country is suffering because of our deficit do to this war and the Iraq war. This country needs to be taking care of home first. We can not police other countries for ever while our deficit contiunue to go over a cliff on policing other countries. I feel bad for the women over their but me ARE BROKE!

    April 1, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  2. GOP-Tea Party IDIOTs

    GW Bush should NOT be warning anybody about nothing....he is the BIGGEST IDIOT ever!

    We've withdrawn from Iraq successfully against all the advise of the naysayers, and Afghanistan is next!...and once Moammer Ghadaffi is eventually bombed out of his iron-grip on power for over 40yrs; wish im darned sure he is gonna do pretty soon, our US military is going to withdraw from fighting in Lybia as well!

    It's time to bring our troops home....and it's time for us to start taking care of Americans and the American middle class!

    CREATE JOBS, NOT WAR!!!!

    April 1, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  3. Robin

    Oh please, get over yourself, George! If you had let our military do what needed to be done in Afghanistan, instead of starting your illegal war for oil in Iraq, our soldiers would be home by now and we wouldn't have lost so many of our children. How do you sleep at night? Is it that you don't know or don't care that you are responsible for the deaths of thousands?

    April 1, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  4. Greeneyes

    Laura and I believe?

    Is there a single person in this country who is asking advice from Bush or his wife on ANYTHING? Her opinoin never meant a thing to him during his terms, and hardly mentioned her unless it was in terms of a vacation or when she must have been feeling unvalidated about her role, so he mentioned every now and again about her being a reader....

    If I was him I would slowly creep away and hope no one notices me at the buffet. He is his own worst enemy, Dolling out advice on a military issue when we all know his record? I see he has not gained any IQ points since his departure........perhaps he attempting to make up now with us?

    April 1, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  5. Jack

    Bush is correct that some women and others will suffer when we leave Afghanistan but, Americans do not want to pay for us staying. Americans want tax-cuts. We can't fight a war and have tax-cuts. We learned that. The Tea Party (also known as Republicans) want tax-cuts and draconian spending cuts. Actually, women in this country will suffer as well because of these cuts. If Bush is so concerned he should be advocating for tax increases on the rich to fund us staying longer in Afghanistan. Doubt he'll do that. Just a lot of grand-standing.

    April 1, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  6. Carlos

    Ironic that Duhhhbya's attempting to be a statesman and humanitarian 10+ years after he should have been acting that way as President.

    April 1, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  7. Shane Botwin

    Words of wisdom from the man who asked "Is our children learning?"

    April 1, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  8. Realistic

    Yes, after 10+ years we should just stay in Afghan. Hey, heres an idea, lets just just take it over and bring afghan into union and we could add as our 51st state or maybe a common wealth. Bush, another republican idiot, he couldn't finish the job and now he is whinning that president wants to bring our combat involvement to an end. Maybe if Bush had consentrated in Afghan we wouldn't be talking about this. Bush failed america and he should just shut up now and stay in the bunker.

    April 1, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  9. TM

    Given that Bush pulled troops out of Afghanistan, to fight in an unnecessary war that he LIED us into, and as a result allowed bin Laden to escape, it's a little odd that he should be worried about pulling troops out now.

    April 1, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  10. Kyle

    Bush is right about the people suffering from an early exit, however these people don't want democracy, that is clear. The civilians protect and harbor the Taliban and do not coordinate or help with our troops. They would rather help criminals like the Taliban than us, simply because they are from the same tribes and we are foreigners. Documentaries like The Battle for Marjah and Restrepo confirm this.

    April 1, 2011 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  11. Greg in Arkansas

    "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."....What about the rights of American women....you know, equal rights, pro choice.....or is it ok for the the GOP to dictate what rights American women have????????

    April 1, 2011 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  12. furious styles

    BUSH and Cheney don't want to miss out on continued financial gains I see.

    April 1, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  13. chris24

    mr. bush's advice isn't welcome.

    he is responsible for the killing of hundreds of thousands of iraqis
    and nearly bankrupting the US in the process.

    take the microphone away.

    April 1, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  14. The Other Dale

    Tired of Republicans using sex and race to try to earn points. They didn't like it when Democrats and Liberals did it, so to do it themselves is just hypocritical. Then again, has Bush ever been right about anything dealing with the Middle East? His dad seemed to understand it, but it never looked like the word got passed down from father to son there!

    April 1, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. WDRussell

    Bush-My wealthy friends say there is still a lot of loot to be made over there. We can't leave now.

    George is just as pathetic now as when he was in office.

    April 1, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  16. mgc

    Sorry George, I am sick and tired of paying for everyone else in the world while your party continually screws the middle class. Tell you what, Start treating the middle class as well as you treat the rich and maybe just maybe people would once again want to help others. AS of now we are the only ones suffering while the rich like yourself just get richer.

    April 1, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  17. EddyL

    THE WAR CRIMINAL SPEAKS. After engineering the 9/11 attacks as an excuse to invade Iraq, THE WAR CRIMINAL is now afraid we'll end all the BUSH WARS and leave the poor Pentagon with a smaller budget and a smaller staff.

    April 1, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  18. Fed Up

    This nit wit is a total idiot. If he hadn't pulled our troops from Afghanistan, and sent them to Iraq in 2003, this mess would be taken care of by now. We wouldn't have more dead soldiers to bury every day. This fool couldn't find his ass, if he had 3 hands and a road map. Why would anybody with a lick of sense listen to this moron?

    April 1, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  19. Just Sayin

    And so the evil Republican thug speaks. I am sure you liberals will say that he is insincere. I am sure that you liberals know far more about conservatives than they do. I am sure that you liberals are so upset that conservatives even exist that you will contemplate acts of desparation! ... After all Calling President Obama to question over a concern is insulting, however, when you line the street and call President Bush a thief it is acceptable. Come on, you are just as bad as the people you claim to hate! AND yes the word is HATE.... you are the party of no truly, since you can't accept ideas different from your own.

    April 1, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  20. Lolo

    Please go sit down. You are no longer president. President Obama is doing a fine job. Go on your round of book tours and speeches telling lies as usual. Shut up!!!!!

    April 1, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  21. StrategicBob

    Well, if there is any one qualified to talk about the dangers of walking away from Afghanistan too soon, it would have to be George W. Bush. If the Bush adminstration had done the job properly in Afghanistan, rather than running off to fight the wrong war in Iraq and to then horribly botch the aftermath, we would all be a lot better off today. President Obama still has a lot of work to do to clean up the many messes left behind by George Bush, the single worst President in US history.

    April 1, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  22. John Ellis

    You know when you think W. Bush that's immediately what comes to mind – international feminist warrior. It's like he/they grasp at any tangent that can sound like they're fighting for some good cause, and not just promoting profit-making destruction that backfires in the country it's inflicted on. He should go back to reading his Prince Valiant comics and imagining he was really president not long ago.

    April 1, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  23. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    'W' dropped the ball in Afghanistan, to get the guy in Iraq who went after his daddy, and after 10 years, we are still fighting there. It seems like a waste to continue to fight a war against the religious beliefs of a people.

    April 1, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  24. JohnReedjr

    Is this not the guy who rushed out of Afghanistan to invade Iraq, kill almost 5000 American children and countless Iraqis for no discernible cause, other than to avenge an insult against his daddy. This guy has less credibility than Palin.

    April 1, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  25. Candy Taylor

    Okay.......Maybe we should ask him for economic advise too! LOL!

    April 1, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7