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Bolton: U.S. didn’t lose struggle in Afghanistan

In a White Home handle final Thursday, Biden introduced that the drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan shall be accomplished by Aug. 31, forward of his self-imposed deadline of Sept. 11. Gen. Scott Miller, the highest American common in Afghanistan, departed the nation on Monday.

In the meantime, the Taliban has continued to make fast positive factors throughout Afghanistan, claiming final Friday that it had seized 85 p.c of the nation’s territory. Western officers have warned that the U.S.-backed Afghan authorities in Kabul may quickly fall.

The criticism from Bolton — who went on to function Bush’s U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations earlier than returning to authorities as former President Donald Trump’s nationwide safety adviser — comes after Bush himself denounced the drawdown in an interview on Wednesday.

The previous president instructed German broadcaster Deutsche Welle that Biden’s withdrawal was a mistake that may yield “unbelievably dangerous and unhappy” penalties. Afghan ladies and women, specifically, may “undergo unspeakable hurt” by the hands of the Taliban, he stated.

On Friday, Bolton described Bush’s feedback as “one thing actually outstanding,” particularly given the previous president’s choice for avoiding public criticism of his successors.

“It’s how former presidents should behave. He’s tried to remain out of politics, and it’s been very uncommon when he’s come ahead and stated something just like the passage you simply confirmed,” Bolton stated, referring to Bush’s interview.

“However I feel it’s as a result of he remembers 9/11,” Bolton added. “It’s 20 years in the past now, and a few folks weren’t born, and lots of people don’t keep in mind very nicely. George W. Bush is rarely going to neglect it. I feel these of us who have been in his administration on the time are by no means going to neglect it.”

In arguing for a continued American navy presence in Afghanistan, Bolton acknowledged he didn’t assume a terrorist assault in opposition to the U.S. “goes to come back the day after Taliban takes again over.”

“I do assume it’s going to take extra time, and that’s actually what the danger is,” he stated. “I might somewhat defend harmless American civilians there than within the streets and the skies over America.”

Bolton additionally predicted that if the Taliban succeeds in toppling the Afghan authorities, “the hand of the extremists in Pakistan shall be strengthened, and the danger of a Pakistani Taliban takeover of that authorities will increase considerably.”

A Taliban-run authorities in Pakistan “would have management of dozens or scores of nuclear weapons,” Bolton warned, including {that a} full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan would additionally inhibit American efforts to observe “what Iran is as much as.”

“This was a central strategic place for the US,” he stated. “We’re giving it away. We’re getting nothing in return.”

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