Former President George W. Bush made his feelings known on a recent study that showed only a third of post-9/11 veterans say the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were worth fighting.
"I hope history proves them wrong," Bush told Good Morning America on Monday. "The only way for there to be peace is for free societies to emerge, and history takes awhile to unfold."
The study, from the Pew Research Center, covered a range of issues with nearly 2,000 veterans, many of whom who joined the armed forces after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
"Just half of all post-9/11 veterans say that, given the costs and benefits to the U.S., the war in Afghanistan has been worth fighting," the report found. "A smaller share (44%) says the war in Iraq has been worth it. Only one-third (34%) say both wars have been worth fighting, and a nearly identical share (33%) say neither has been worth the costs."
"I happen to think it was worth fighting," Bush said in response. "Otherwise, I wouldn't have put them into combat."
Bush made the comments after playing in the Bush Institute's Warrior Open golf tournament, which benefits injured veterans.
The former president - and former Texas governor - also declined to comment on another Texas governor currently running for president.
"I'm not going to opine on the subject of politics," he said. "I loved being president, but there's a time to get off the stage. I had eight years in the White House, and I gave it my all - and I'm through."