Eleven years after it began, Nato's occupation of Afghanistan is crumbling. The US decision to suspend joint Afghan-Nato operations in response to a wave of attacks by Afghan soldiers and police on Nato troops cuts the ground from beneath the centrepiece of western strategy.
Nato is, after all, supposed to be training up Afghan troops to take control in time for the withdrawal of combat forces in 2014. Instead, those client regime troops are routinely turning their guns on a long-reviled foreign occupation force. No wonder support for a continued military presence is falling rapidly in the main British political parties – long after it has among the populations of all the occupying states.
The US-British invasion of Afghanistan was of course launched in response to the 9/11 attacks: the poison fruit of US-led support for the Afghan mujahideen war against the Soviet Union. Why do they hate us, many Americans asked at the time, oblivious to their country's role in decades of coups, tyranny, sanctions regimes and occupations across the Middle East.