General Austin Miller’s resignation from his command of US operations in Afghanistan this week brings to an end America’s $2.2 trillion commitment to a war and reconstruction effort that has cost 2,500 military personnel and contractors their lives.

Last week, US air force planes, drones and personnel suddenly quit the base at Bagram, an hour north of Kabul, by road. The lights were extinguished on a timer. They went off 20 minutes after the planes and personnel quit – so their Afghan hosts wouldn’t know they’d gone.

On 24 June, the British tried to dignify the exodus of their last vestigial military force with a modest flag lowering at their base – no press or media invited.