My fighting and sacrifice came to nothing!

Nomads in Badghis Province — Petty Officer 1st Class Mark O’Donald (U.S. Armed Forces)

One of the most heard phrases following the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan, it embodies a few misconceptions about that war — and about war in general — and about the role of a soldier.

First, the Taliban were always there, ever since they were created by the USA to be a real pest to the Soviets. Talk about short-sighted strategies. They never left, were never defeated, and showed…