Former President says he is comfortable with the decisions he had taken on Afghanistan, reports Asian Lite News
Former US President George W. Bush has defended his decision to invade Afghanistan in 2001 following the 9/11 terror attacks.
“I made some big decisions, starting with the big thought of America being at war,” Bush told the BBC in a program marking the 20th anniversary of the attacks.
“Those decisions weren’t made out of anger, they were made with a goal in mind, which was to protect the American people. I think I was right.”
Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks, after which Bush declared a “war on terror,” marking the beginning of the 20-year, US-led NATO campaign to eliminate the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and stabilize Afghanistan.
Tens of thousands of Afghan civilians and security forces were killed over the course of the war, as well as over 2,300 Americans, nearly 500 Britons, and hundreds of other NATO coalition soldiers.
The campaign in Afghanistan has been subject to a significant amount of scrutiny since the Taliban toppled the US-backed government.
The American withdrawal has drawn criticism, with scenes of chaos being widely shared online and by media outlets as Afghans and foreign nationals scrambled to flee the country.
A terror attack against those evacuees in late August, claimed by Daesh’s Afghanistan division, killed nearly 200 people, including 13 American marines, further illustrating the perceived lack of order in the US withdrawal.
“You know, there weren’t any other attacks on America,” Bush said when asked if he thought his post-9/11 decisions made the world a safer place. “We’ll let the historians sort all that out. Let’s just say this: I’m comfortable with the decisions I made.”
US military equipment left behind in Afghanistan spotted in Iran
Meanwhile, several US military armoured vehicles, which allegedly belonged to the Afghan army before the Taliban took over control of the country, were spotted in Iran on Wednesday, images shared on social media showed, Al Arabiya reported.
Some of the images shared on Twitter showed trucks belonging to the Iranian army transporting US Humvees, allegedly taken from Afghanistan, on a highway connecting the central city of Semnan to the city of Garmsar, southeast of the capital Tehran, the report said.
Bismillah Mohammadi, Afghanistan’s Defence Minister before the Taliban takeover, tweeted one of the images circulating online, calling Iran a “bad neighbour”. “Afghanistan’s bad days won’t last forever,” he added in the same tweet.
Iranian authorities have not yet commented on the images. Al Arabiya said it could not independently verify the authenticity of those images shared on social media.
Iran, jubilant with the US withdrawal from neighbouring Afghanistan, has hinted that its stance on the Taliban will depend on the group’s behaviour.
“The nature of our relationship with governments depends on the nature of their relationship with us,” Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said on Saturday.
Iran shares a 560-mile border with Afghanistan.
There is no definitive figure yet for the number of US military equipment e left behind after the American withdrawal on Monday e the Taliban have seized since taking control of the country last month, the report said.
Kenneth McKenzie, commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM), said on Tuesday that US forces demilitarised equipment before they had completely withdrawn from Afghanistan, which angered the Taliban.
Since seizing control of Afghanistan on August 15, the Taliban have taken control of a treasure trove of military equipment that had been given to the Afghan government by the US.