How is it possible, after all the investment in money and lives creating a modern democracy on broadly western Christian principles, supported by large and very well trained and equipped defence and police forces, for the entire structure of state to collapse in days, allowing control of the whole country to fall to the Taliban?
Why are tens of thousands of Afghans fleeing or trying to flee from their own country and countrymen, who they say will kill them?
Why were repeated warnings ignored by NATO politicians over the years from US and UK commanders on the ground that the structure that the west was building in its own image was out of step with local tradition, over focussed on the metropolitan elite of Kabul and making little to no difference to the mass of the rural Afghan population?
Why were warnings from the same commanders, to the same politicians, that the whole government organisation including the civil service, armed forces and police was utterly corrupt at every level, also ignored?
How many of these corrupt officials and politicians have been rescued and given sanctuary in the west?
Have we at last learned that the misplaced idea of nation re-modelling in our own image does not and cannot work?
These tragedies of Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan are not military defeats. They are political disasters of an historic magnitude brought about by our arrogance and conceit and a failure to empathise with any ideas not our own.