So, ten years after the first conference on the future of Afghanistan, Bonn plays host to the second.
Ten years ago, having ousted the Taliban the international community promised to create stability and a modern state.
Nothing like this has happened.
Instead, by overthrowing the status quo – and thus bringing to an end a period of safety and stability, if at times painful and controversial – they have plunged a country destroyed by the Soviet Union into the abyss.
Afghanistan is the centre for the world’s opium production – something the Taliban had actually stopped – and the women actually fared better under the students of the madrassas, because they were not attacked.
When The US-led alliance took over Afghanistan they simply put back into power, the very warlords that had tore the country apart after the Soviet Union had left.
The takeover was bloody – remember the siege of the medieval fortress at Qal-i-Jhang – and ill-thought out.
Having left the country to get on with it, America simply moved on to its next target – Iraq, and arguably if that war had gone to plan would have invaded Iran.
There was a period when the international community could have succeeded – by 2005 though it was too late and the insurgency had gained momentum.
The Taliban have never been against rebuilding their country and if Isaf had spent more time and money doing that instead of behaving like a occupying, colonial power, perhaps we would be looking at a healthy stable country.
Instead, the Bonn conference is going to achieve little except rubberstamp Nato’s defeat, especially since the emerging power of the region will not even be there, namely that of Pakistan.