Politicians have been told down the ages that there is no coming back from this or that catastrophe, and — yet — back they come. The shambolic unravelling of America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan comes from a yet to be written textbook of “how to lose at everything”. Warnings hadn’t been heeded, intelligence was clearly totally inadequate, planning was lamentable, execution woeful. Let’s just focus in on one thing — although there are any number that are worthy of examination. The withdrawal came during the “fighting season” — a phrase I have to say I have always found rather odd. But in Afghanistan there is a fighting season which starts in spring — and then in winter, when the country freezes over, there is a time when the Taliban go home to their tribal homelands. Did no-one think that it might have been better to have ordered the withdrawal for the dead of winter when Taliban forces weren’t there, poised to fill the vacuum?