What a tragedy. Will no one think of the generals? They have a reputation to think of, one for bullying successive administrations into spending trillions of dollars trying to do what Alexander the Great could not in Central Asia, despite or perhaps because of the fact that both Trump and Barack Obama campaigned on withdrawing from our conflicts overseas.

Besides, the whole civilian control of the military thing is a bit passé. Trust the experts, who have managed in the span of 18 years to shift the goalposts from killing Osama bin Laden to replacing the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan with some mild-mannered NGO types whom we can bribe to the current wisdom, which appears to involve ensuring that the Taliban has a seat at the negotiating table as long as they agree to stop bombing schools outside of the areas they will be allowed to control indefinitely.

There is nothing to be forestalled in Afghanistan. Our embarrassment, if that is not too polite a description of America’s involvement, has already taken place. That is what this war has been about since the end of George W. Bush’s second term. Pride. Saving face. A delusional belief that a country that cannot create a functioning transit system in its capital city can impose liberal democratic capitalism on the rest of the world.