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George W. Bush warns against withdrawal from Afghanistan
After 10 years in Afghanistan, former President George W. Bush doesn't think it's quite time to pull out of Afghanistan yet.
"My concern of course is that the United States gets weary of being in Afghanistan, it is not worth it, let's leave," Bush said in an interview that aired Thursday on Fox News' "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."
"And Laura and I believe that if that were to happen, women would suffer again. We don't believe that's in the interests of the United States or the world to create a safe haven for terrorists and stand by and watch women's rights be abused."
While the former first lady framed her argument mostly in the language of global economic development, arguing that "economies can't succeed unless all people can be involved," the former president framed his argument more in terms of a neoconservative foreign policy.
In early March, The Washington Post's Rajiv Chandrasekaran reported that the U.S. is lowering its ambitions for women's rights in Afghanistan, softening requirements in USAID grants to vaguer and more attainable goals to, in the paraphrased words of one senior U.S. official, fulfill "a desire at the top levels of the Obama administration to triage the war and focus on the overriding goal of ending the conflict." Politico
The U.S. war in Afghanistan has been rife with so many examples of war crimes committed by U.S. soldiers against the Afghan people. An American-backed warlord killed thousands of Taliban prisoners of war during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. Bush administration officials discouraged efforts to investigate this war crime. NY Times
A group of U.S. marines went on a shooting rampage after coming under attack near Jalalabad in 2007, killing 19 unarmed civilians and wounded a further 50. The Hindu
In 2007, U.S. Special Forces dropped six 2,000-pound bombs on a compound where they believed a "high-value individual" was hiding. Locals reported that up to 300 civilians had been killed. Guardian
A U.S. patrol machine-gunned a bus in 2008, wounding or killing 15 of its passengers. The Hindu
The secret documents released by the whistle blower website Wikileaks reveal 144 incidents in which U.S.-led foreign soldiers have killed or wounded civilians. Daily Mail
UNAMA reports that 2010 was the bloodiest year since the war began in terms of the civilian death toll. Civilian casualties increased by 31% since last year. The number of children killed in the war is up 55 percent from last year. Guardian
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