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."
What fragile progress on women's rights there has been in recent years is down to the work of Afghan women activists, and it will be down to them to ensure that progress is protected and bettered in the months and years ahead. But their ability to do so will be seriously undermined if their security cannot be assured.
One of the most common myths I want to debunk is that UAS are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of civilians in Afghanistan. Let me be clear, the majority of civilian deaths in Afghanistan are caused by insurgents, not UAS. In over 50,000 Reaper flying hours, there has only been one single operation that resulted in the deaths of civilians.
The real test of the Geneva agreement will be whether it does mark a move away from the old failed model of military conflict and towards building long-term peace instead. Ultimately, though, this requires full transparency of all nuclear programmes by all countries, full international cooperation for the immediate elimination of all weapons of mass destruction and an end to future reliance on nuclear energy. Only then can we be sure that our hopes of a secure deal for the planet will be realized.