America's chaotic, humiliating
-- yet, at times, heroic -- final retreat from its defeat
in Afghanistan will resonate for years after the last military jet lifted off from Kabul at 11:59 p.m. local time on Monday, ending the country's longest war. The departing troops left somewhere between 100 and 250 Americans
, tens of thousands of Afghans entitled to protection from former US comrades and an entire nation to their fates under fundamentalist Taliban rule -- along with an even more extreme faction of ISIS.
For them, the "forever war" is far from over.
But any sense that the US is free of consequences of a war in which it bled for 20 years is belied by the history of a country that exacts a fierce price from its former occupiers. And the trauma of the two weeks since the fall of Kabul have already left an indelible mark on Joe Biden's presidency, Washington's bitter politics and the reputation of America among its disappointed allies.