Former President George W. Bush warned Saturday that "the world would face serious threats" if the resurgent Taliban and al-Qaida are allowed to retake control of Afghanistan.
Bush spoke in the Indian capital as President Barack Obama tries to decide whether to commit tens of thousands more troops to Afghanistan. This has been the deadliest year for international and U.S. forces there since the 2001 invasion to oust the Taliban, and President Hamid Karzai is embroiled in an election dispute that has badly tarnished the Afghan government's credibility.
While not directly commenting on the choice facing Obama, Bush said a peaceful, democratic Afghanistan is vital to the region.
"The mission in Afghanistan has been long and difficult and costly, but I believe it is necessary for stability and peace," he told a leadership conference in New Delhi. "If the Taliban and al-Qaida and their extremist allies were allowed to take over Afghanistan again, they would have a safe haven and the Afghan people, particularly the Afghan women, would face a return to a brutal tyranny.
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