DEFENCE Secretary Ben Wallace is correct. As he said, it is “the right thing to do” for Britain to take 3,000 Afghans, and their families, who helped our troops in our war in their home country.

It is embarrassing that, having already taken 1,300 Afghan friends, we have taken so long to reach this point.

These people risked their lives by helping our troops – often by acting as interpreters – and now we are leaving, they clearly face getting caught up in reprisals.

But this leads to a much bigger point: what sort of a country are we leaving behind?

In 2006, the then Defence Secretary John Reid explained that British troops were in Afghanistan “to help and protect the Afghan people to reconstruct their economy and democracy”.

But despite the loss of the lives of 453 British personnel, and thousands of other lives, it now looks like we are leaving a country where the Taliban is resurgent and where its members will exercise their own version of law and state-making.

And then what? With their economy in tatters, will they start supporting terrorists launching attacks on the west?

US president Joe Biden is leading the withdrawal from Afghanistan with many of his Nato allies unhappy at the unfinished business. This circle of failure has gone on for the last 150 years, so we have to hope that the president’s gamble pays off, otherwise in a few years time, we will be forced again to face a failed state.