No apologies for returning to Afghanistan on a day like this. Over the weekend I was chatting to a diplomat who offered the following suggestion.
After 9/11 the US was all for a crash-bang-wallop intervention in Afghanistan to nail OSB, nothing more. This is indeed how it started: US + UK special forces, linking up with the Northern Warlords. The shellshock induced in the whole world by 9/11 (Putin was giving a lot of help, and Pakistan could be leaned upon heavily) meant that a lightning campaign was eminently plausible.
Enter the Germans, with the enticing prospect that it could become a NATO mission ... but their price was the Liberal Meddler Overseas Agenda: schools for girls etc etc Despite his own Defense establishment's opposition, somehow Bush Jnr swallowed this - and thus it became Policy.
So there's a thought.
There are plenty of liberals / progressives (and Paul Mason) wringing their hands over the thwarting of this agenda as I write, even as they despise the USA and (most of) its works. Well, maybe in 2001 they all swallowed the End of History yarn, and thought America could impose anything on anyone.
' “Saving women” was the reason so many of us backed the invasion'Polly Toynbee, of course.
 it would probably have included Trans Rights today
 perhaps dreaming to go one better than his father's epic Coalition during Gulf War One (see this lengthy thread)