Along with the hope that "The Arab Spring" gave the world, it now seems that attempts at establishing some form of democracy in Lebanon, Egypt, Libya and elsewhere have not worked out so well for the US and the West. Perhaps it is time for the US and the West to rethink its mission as "Champion of Democracy" and "Keeper of World Peace".
At the moment, the need to stop the bloodshed is far greater than any desire for perfect multifaceted Muslim nations. But, if there is a hope of fixing Iraq's damaged democracy and creating an Iraq and a Syria where Kurds, Shia and Sunni Muslims can live in peace together, then the UK and the US need to learn its lessons and keep our distance.
Here is a plea - not just from me - but from my generation of young Afghans. The soldiers you have lost did not die in vain - the money you have spent has not been wasted - PLEASE - don't throw away what you have achieved. We are going to need your help for a few more years yet. It won't be forever - but it will be longer than two and a half years.
Prior to Real Madrid's 4-0 thumping of Osasuna last month, Sergio Ramos had netted just 1 goal in 43 appearances in all competitions this season. Fast-forward to the present day and the defender has 5 in his last 6, including a brace against Bayern to cement Los Blancos' place in the Champions League final.
A year ago I was offered a chance to deploy to Afghanistan as a mentor at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy located in Qargha, out to the west of the capital city of Kabul. My job here is to mentor the Afghan female PTIs who will deliver the physical training syllabus to the female officer cadets...
Afghanistan is entering a new phase after the Afghan people went to the polls with so much enthusiasm a few days ago. Whatever the result of the election, with NATO troops continuing their withdrawal, it is clear that the burden of responsibility for the country now rests with the Afghans themselves. However, it is vital that the international community do not lose interest, and that western governments in particular do not now consider their responsibility to the Afghan people to be over.