Berlin: Former US president George W. Bush on Wednesday criticised the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan and said civilians were being left to be “slaughtered” by the Taliban. “I´m afraid Afghan women and girls are going to suffer unspeakable harm… They are going to be left behind to be slaughtered by these very brutal people and it breaks my heart,” Bush told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. Asked whether he thought the withdrawal was a mistake, Bush replied: “Yes, I think it is.”
The former Republican president, who sent troops to Afghanistan in autumn 2001 after the September 11 attacks on New York´s World Trade Center, said he believed German Chancellor Angela Merkel “feels the same way”. Bush said Merkel, who is set to retire from politics later this year after 16 years in power, had brought “class and dignity to a very important position and made very hard decisions”.