Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush released a statement Monday addressing the rapidly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.
“Laura and I have been watching the tragic events unfolding in Afghanistan with deep sadness,” the statement began. “Our hearts are heavy for both the Afghan people who have suffered so much and for the Americans and NATO allies who have sacrificed so much.”
Statement on Afghanistan by President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush. pic.twitter.com/IRkgrDQSs4
— Kelly O’Donnell (@KellyO) August 17, 2021
Bush continued by calling on the Biden administration to “secure safe passage” to America for Afghan refugees who have assisted U.S. personnel inside the country.
“The Afghans now at greatest risk are the same ones who have been on the forefront of progress inside their nation. President Biden has promised to evacuate these Afghans, along with American citizens and our allies.”
The former president then praised American soldiers who have served in the war on terror and “provided decades of security and opportunity for millions.”
“Many of you deal with the wounds of war, both visible and invisible. And some of your brothers and sisters in arms made the ultimate sacrifice in the war on terror. Each day we have been humbled by your commitment and your courage. You took out a brutal enemy and denied Al Qaeda a safe haven while building schools, sending supplies, and providing medical care.”
“Laura and I, along with the team at the Bush Center, stand ready as Americans to lend our support and assistance in this time of need. Let us all resolve to be united in saving lives and praying for the people of Afghanistan,” the statement concluded. (RELATED: Returning From Vacation, Biden Plays Blame Game As Afghanistan Falls)
The situation on the ground in Afghanistan has rapidly deteriorated amid the U.S. withdrawal process, with the Taliban quickly taking several major cities, including the capital of Kabul. The Biden administration announced a deployment of 6,000 soldiers in order to assist with the evacuation of American citizens and their allies within the country.
The chaotic scenes in Afghanistan come nearly 20 years after Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which originally gave Bush’s administration the authority to send American troops into Afghanistan.