The phrase “The world is watching” is overused, but in relation to the desperate situation in Afghanistan, it’s true. Countries, groups, and individuals across the globe are following each twist and turn and are drawing conclusions.

Another overused expression is “The West”. In the 21st century, a less dated and more useful term is “the industrialised democracies”. However, in this case it is apposite because “The West” in the shape of the US, the UK, and the other 26 countries in NATO has suffered a generational defeat. The Americans and others have demonstrated that when the going gets tough, they get going – for the exit. The lesson which may be drawn by both friends and enemies of this alliance is that its members have the kit, but not the will to keep their promises.