I can't think of anywhere that would have been less appropriate as a venue for this week's Nato summit than the UK. A United Kingdom that within the next couple of weeks may become shatteringly disunited... Inward-looking, backward-looking, suspicious of its neighbours: everything that Nato is meant not to be. And this at a time when the world is a more dangerous place than it's been in decades. So why are Western leaders - because it's not just David Cameron - so dismally unable to confront the dangers?
At a women's shelter I saw some of the consequences of Afghanistan's ingrained patriarchy. I talked to a teenage girl married off to a 70-year-old man who then suffered sustained beatings at the hands of the man's family. I also heard from a young widow who explained how she'd escaped her father-in-law who wanted to force her into marriage after her first husband had died.
In the last few years the Western political establishment together with Afghan authorities and its neighbouring powers has been busy making the case for engaging the Taliban, the Pakistani based terrorist outfit, and the Hezb-i-Islami, the most fanatic group in the pre-Taliban Afghanistan political scene with strong links to Iran.