The strategic weakness of our alliance will have been noted not just in Kabul, but in Moscow, and in Beijing, and in Tehran and in Islamabad.
We have mentioned many times today that 70,000 Afghan police and armed forces died in the struggle to protect their own country and for anyone to say they wouldn’t fight is a slight that is not worthy of any politician in a free country.
But the question we must ask is why would anyone choose to remove their troops, even if they had decided to do so, during the fighting season, when the Taliban were at their greatest strength.
The answer is that it was not a decision made for foreign policy or security reasons, it was done to suit a domestic political timetable. When you take security decisions for political reasons there is likely to be a detrimental outcome. It’s a lesson we would all do well to remember.