A s the final evacuation flights leave Kabul, watched in despair by those abandoned and in peril, the lasting consequences of strategic failure must now be faced. During the Doha peace talks, American diplomats liked to talk of a process towards an inclusive political settlement that would be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.
The “process” turned out instead to be a victory procession for the Taliban. What comes now will therefore be Taliban-led and Taliban-owned.
Hamstrung as a result of their own mistakes, the United States, Britain and their allies have little choice but to engage with the new reality.