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. therealmarie

    Thanks to the Obama administration, this man and his gang of criminals are still allow to spew their opinions on anything concerning our nation. They should be talking to the members of the ICC in the Hague concerning their involvement in crimes against humanity and the lies that cause so many innocent people to lose and phyiscally alter their lives. What an awful human being this man is.

    April 1, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. HotTaco

    One more brain fart from Dumb and Dumber. Roll over and go back to sleep Of Unenlightened One.

    April 1, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  3. M00SE

    Please just go away and shut up, you have done enough bad to this country!

    April 1, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  4. Lucullus

    Who cares what The Dim Son, Court Appointed Boy President think? Why is CNN running this story. W was possible the stupidest President this country has ever been saddled with. He was lazy, disinterested, uninformed and a possible closet drunk. He reveled in his lack of knowledge and yet there are those out there who think what he has to say is worth listening to.

    April 1, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  5. John

    The Bush/Reagan dynasty will go down as the most corrupt and anti-American regimes in US history!

    April 1, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  6. SpAz

    Yeah OK Jethro...Whatever you say

    April 1, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  7. drp

    Is this an April Fool's joke?

    April 1, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  8. bruce

    Young democracy. What a joke.

    April 1, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  9. Tired of the nonsense

    And if the Reagan REPUBLICAN administration had done their job back in the 80's and not pulled out of Afghanistan so soon before a stable Afghani government was there, we wouldn't have the mess now, would we?

    April 1, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  10. Jeffrey Allen Miller NY

    Re-write history Mr. Bush, just as I predicted that you would. The reason he makes this plea has nothing at all to do with women in Afghanistan. Bush and his friends do not want an early exit, which would put the Caspian pipeline (that our military built) at great risk. Lets call it what it is please.

    April 1, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  11. 21k

    he did a lousy job with afg., diverting resources to iraq for a good 6 years, allowing the initial gains to be undone. so NOW he says we need to finish the job, whatever that means.

    April 1, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  12. EJ

    Finally, an adult speaks about things in the world instead of the clown who is more concerned with making sure everyone gets their "fair share"
    Here's an idea for you poor lazy people. Get up early in the morning and look for a job. Work at McDonalds if you need to, earn your way versus all of us paying for it.

    April 1, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. abnrgrbps

    I wonder how many people praising Obama's involvement in Lybia these past few weeks will also be providing a negative commentary based on where the quotes came from.......

    April 1, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. Peter

    For all the wingnuts talk about fiscal responsibility, George W. Bush (Republican) is the one who seems to favor open-ended, blank check, "we'll stay indefinitely" pledges.

    April 1, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. Florida Joe

    We do not care what you think....YOU are the reason we are involved in this and IRAQ
    Go back under your rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 1, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  16. cony 007

    I hate the Bush Crime Family. But Bozo is right. The woman of Afghanistan are screw33 if we pull out too soon. I was against the Iraq war and even Afghanistan but now that we are there we can't abandon the women and children. As long as there is one Taliban or Al Qada a live in Afghanistan women and children are in deep trouble. We need to wipe out all Taliban and Al Qada so the women in Afghanistan have a fighting chance to live free and in peace.

    April 1, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  17. Itsa

    And we should listen to Bush about anything because...?

    April 1, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  18. Jon in Rochester NY

    So is the solution to stay in Afghanastan idefinitely? Maybe we could make it a US territory.

    April 1, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  19. Bob from Pittsburgh

    Judging from the experiences in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Jordan, etc.. The best way to change the status quo is just to give every single afghan a cell phone, complete with Internet service for free. And the changes will come; everybody wants to live like us!! I assure you it will extremely effective and at a fraction of the cost of having troops on the ground.

    April 1, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  20. Jersey Wonderfool

    George, you should have thought about that when you reduced our commitment to Afghanistan to wage war n Iraq. You left several "mess"es – Afghanistan, Iraq, economy, energy, deficits,and on and on. May be you are wiser now with a rear view mirror. But where was your "Harvard-Yale" wisdom when you were the "decider"? May be it is the air of YEXAS where you became reborn Christian fundamentalist and a capitalist poodle. We suspected you were a fool. Now that you have opened your mouth to show your wisdom, now we know it. Your wisdom has no value unless you you can talk to your GOP-tea Party- buddies to become less radical and think of the nation first. Don't tell Obama nd me how to clean up the messes you have left behind. Teach your GOPers to help clean them!

    April 1, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  21. JDD

    "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."

    Former President Bush and the former First Lade may be laying out moral / ethical concerns, but it appears there are also practical and logistical roadblocks.

    I think it likely that the promise to draw down troops by 2014, (it's unclear what that actually means,) will develop the same way the promise to close Gitmo went: A campaign promise that contributed to an election win, a formal speech which was widely broadcast and treated like an actual fulfilled promise by the media, a quiet walk-back or 'reframing' of the promise as the President comes up to speed with the reality of the complex world situation, and an eventual alignment more of less with the policies of the previous Administration.

    April 1, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  22. DaySpring

    OMG. What private financial interest is he advancing with this? He has not been right on anything concerning the ME; plus his actions divided our allies and condemned the US to a weaker position in the world. With each public comment, it reminds us of a period when America's deminished in credibility and stature.

    April 1, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  23. geecee

    And I'm sure President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are fully aware of the possibility of women being forever abused if the Taliban has its way. No one needs W to tell us. Maybe he can ask his many rich friends and corporations if they would like to pay the taxes they should be paying so we can keep the Afghan War going another 10 years or so, then the American people might not go totally bankrupt supporting this War without end.

    April 1, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  24. GI Joe

    Women in THIS country are being denied their LEGAL RIGHTS. Let's hear you speak your "Palin Word Salad" about that one.

    April 1, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  25. sonny chapman

    If we stay another 100 years, there still will be no Democracy in Afghanistan. It would delay the FINAL historical assessment of Bush's invading, occupying & then abandoning the "Mission" in Afghanistan for a new & more exciting "Mission" in Iraq.

    April 1, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
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