Perhaps the greatest folly of all is the belief that negotiations can actually lead to a durable and lasting peace with the Taliban. Past agreements have quickly collapsed due to the organization's military expansionism and desire to expand their writ all over Pakistan; something they make no secret of even today.
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.