Bush warns of fallout from early Afghanistan exit
April 1st, 2011
08:59 AM ET
7 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. Bob Dog

    What about US women who are dying, and US women who are paying hundreds of billions for this useless war?

    Once again, George Bush is 100%, utterly, completely wrong. Go away George. You've done too much damage already.

    April 1, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Didn't he warn of WMD's in Iraq and have a photo op for 'Mission Accomplished?'

    April 1, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. Mr. Marcus

    "We liberated Afghanistan?" Not on your watch, sir! President Obama has more than TRIPLED attacks against al Queda in Pakistan and Afghanistan [as compared to the prior Administration] by using PREDATOR drones. Is Mr. Bush taking credit for thees actions when making his claim?

    "Laura & I believe?" Meaning no disrespect but, WHO CARES what the two of you think as it pertains to establishing national policy?

    The President needs to get us out of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by all measures. Troops home, Heavy equipment removed. He needs to keep his word. It fulfils the wishes of the American people

    April 1, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  4. kd

    If Bush says it, the opposite is probably true.

    April 1, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  5. Bill

    Ok, W. Let's stay another 10 years. Time to get out.

    April 1, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  6. bcrunner

    This from the man who neglected Afganistan for years and now someone else has to clean up the mess. He should just shut up! He did enough damage in 8 years.

    April 1, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  7. gord

    this is more about where i got my money invested, what about homeless and education in USA.taking care of haliburton

    April 1, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  8. bendaltex

    When did George "liberate" Afghanistan from the Taliban? He was too busy in Iraq. Same old George – change the facts in an attempt to make himself look good.

    April 1, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  9. Karl Rove

    Since when does George WRONG Bush care about women? Or any minority group, for that matter? His failure in Afghanistan to capture Osama Bin Laden will be cemented when the US pulls out - of course he doesn't want this!

    April 1, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  10. Emerson

    It's nice that he is concerned, but I just down think that he is in a position to be giving advice on the participation of America in foreing wars. After all, he was 0 for 2.

    April 1, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. Clwyd

    The only warning is that you told us "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq and lied and we were already in your illegal war in Afghanistan. The military has sure brainwashed this guy. I've always felt and still feel, "Bush, the worst president ever!"

    April 1, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  12. JAB62

    The man still can't speak. Amazing. Some how I think Mrs. Bush is the real brain here. Scary.

    April 1, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  13. Saml

    You are no longer president. Plese sit down and shut up.

    April 1, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. Steve in Denver

    You and your team were WRONG on everything. Wrong on letting bin laden escape Tora Bora in 2001. Wrong in fighting a war there with the resources you thought you could sell, rather than what it takes to win. Wrong in firing the generals who told you what you needed to win there and in your abomination in Iraq, then saying you listen to the generals (who knew you'd fire them if they didn't tell you what you wanted to hear). Wrong on the tax cuts. Wrong on the mortgage deregulation. Wrong on everything. And how's that libya thing working out, you know, the friend of America that you reestablished relations with?

    The reason we're still in afghanistan is because of your bungling of the war there, not to mention ignoring the PDB on 8/6/01, which could have led a competent president to avert the 9/11 attacks, and we wouldn't even be at war.

    You have one h*** of stinking nerve rearing your ugly head and telling us anything. What's next? Should we take civility lessons from Limbaugh? Entrepreneural lessons from Madoff?

    April 1, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  15. Scott in Fla

    Bush on Fox! Oh it MUST be fact....

    April 1, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  16. Steve in Denver

    Arrogance and ignorance always were your strong suits.

    April 1, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  17. Grundoon

    If he hadn't have taken his eye off the ball and turned to Iraq we would be doing better in Afghanastan. You messed it up, Dub, so who should listen to what you think now.

    April 1, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  18. try4clarity

    NOW he's concerned with women's rights?

    April 1, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  19. FM

    Hey Dubya, almost a decade fighting in a foreign country is not enough!!!! What is needed there is to change the mindset of men how they should treat women. This doesn't need people in boots to continue being present there!

    April 1, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  20. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    I am really at a loss for words on this one. My mother always told me, "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all". This is a statement that I live by so, I will just leave it there.


    April 1, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  21. Steve in Denver

    Cowboy diplomacy worked so well for us in 2001-2009, huh? I am so glad you are gone and we went with the smart one this time!

    April 1, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  22. Dave

    Oh, great... The chief idiot that got this country into our current messes is now offering advice. Just go away, Dumbya. You had your chance and you failed miserably.

    April 1, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  23. John PA

    "We liberated Afghanistan from the Taliban?" What planet is he from anyway? Can we ask Bush what his plan was to fund these wars and to finally take some accountability for our economical mess? Go back under your rock, W, we don't want to hear from you.

    April 1, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  24. VW

    He got us into this conflict and sadly there will never be a good time to leave.

    April 1, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  25. Larry

    Advice from the village idiot? That's funny.

    April 1, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
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