As Randolph Bourne said when writing about World War I in 1918, war is the health of the state. As America's power has grown, so has its propensity for war. Regardless of the debates about the justness or morality of war, the numbers have shown peace to be the exception in America while war has been the rule, making this last century since the start of World War I undeniably a century of warfare.
Is Bergdahl a deserter? A traitor? Is he, as some critics in the US have implausibly suggested, a real-life incarnation of Nicholas Brody of the TV series Homeland, a captured US serviceman who may have switched sides? Or is he one more casualty of war, a man whose wounds can't be seen but are real nonetheless? It's perfectly possible, of course, to be both.
As Britain approaches the end of its combat operations in Afghanistan, the usual fanfare associated with victory in war will be notably absent. No triumphal parades, no formal surrender ceremony, and no heroic march into an enemy's capital. As Churchill wrote in 1897, "the victory must be looked for in the results."
Before we blame radical Islam for terrorism and loss of freedom - consider that our Security Services blame our foreign policy, not any religion, for acts of terrorism. Radical Islam is a bastardisation of true, peaceful Islam. And the effect on our social fabric of continually scapegoating Muslims for our own aggression abroad is painful, and breeds yet more jihadists.
The worthy practice of donating first-hand, with its inherent 'nothing in return' aspect, has been replaced with the more morally ambiguous purchasing of an mp3. When you put pennies in the Chelsea Pensioner's box and collect your poppy, you are forced, however momentarily, to individually reflect on the meaning of the paper token you've acquired.
While there is still a long way to go, Afghan women have actually achieved so much in recent years. Millions of girls are now in school and you will find women working in a whole range of different professions. The fact that I am writing this now, having just completed a Masters in the UK, says a lot on its own.