Former President George W. Bush, who launched the war in Afghanistan, weighed in on the chaotic withdrawal.
“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,” a statement from the former president says.
Bush said the U.S. should cut the “red tape” for refugees who helped fight for progress in Afghanistan.
“We have the responsibility and the resources to secure safe passage for them now, without bureaucratic delay,” the statement says.
Bush went on to praise the U.S. military. The former president said he and former First Lady Laura Bush are humbled by their sacrifices.
“You took out a brutal enemy and denied Al Qaeda a safe haven while building schools, sending supplies, and providing medical care,” Bush said. “You kept America safe from further terror attacks, provided two decades of security and opportunity for millions, and made America proud. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and will always honor your contributions.”
Bush ended his statement by saying that he and Laura are ready to offer any support they can.
The Bush administration went into Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
Nearly 2,500 U.S. service members were killed in the war, according to the Associated Press. Thousands more contractors and Afghan national military and police lost their lives.