A dream that died in the dust: Twenty years after the War on Terror began, the West is abandoning Afghanistan and Iraq is still in chaos. What a bitter legacy, paid for in blood, writes DOMINIC SANDBROOK | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

A dream that died in the dust: Twenty years after the War on Terror began, the West is abandoning Afghanistan and Iraq is still in chaos. What a bitter legacy, paid for in blood, writes DOMINIC SANDBROOK

The scene is only too familiar. On the dusty plains of Afghanistan, a trail of refugees heads for the beleaguered capital. On the streets of Kabul, a car bomb outside the home of the defence minister kills eight people.

In the western city of Herat, people huddle in their homes as enemy rockets pound down. And in the southern province of Helmand — where hundreds of British servicemen lost their lives in recent years — dozens of civilian bodies lie rotting on the country roads.

Such is the news from Afghanistan, where the resurgent Taliban have made extraordinary gains in recent days. Across much of the country, their white flag now flies unchecked.

You might be forgiven for thinking you've read this all before. It's a quarter of a century since the Taliban swept to power in much of Afghanistan, imposing a hideously oppressive Islamist regime that treated women as slaves and banned films, TV, music and dancing.

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