Former President George W. Bush said Monday that he feels “deep sadness” over the Taliban’s recent takeover of Afghanistan, which came nearly 20 years after he ordered the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that first drove the Taliban from power.
“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,” reads a letter by Bush and his wife, former first lady Laura Bush.
Bush also addressed U.S. troops who have served in Afghanistan, saying they did not go to war in vain.
“You took out a brutal enemy and denied Al Qaeda a safe haven while building schools, sending supplies and providing medical care,” he said. “You kept America safe from further terror attacks, provided two decades of security and opportunity for millions and made America proud.”