Yet it is difficult to see what the Government can do to prevent Afghanistan once again descending into a dark age of tyranny in which women especially are likely to face cruelty and subjugation.
Military intervention is not an option. Britain simply does not have the muscle to drive the Taliban back, and frankly after the deaths of 457 service personnel over the course of the last 20 years, there is neither the political nor public appetite to start waging war.
Yet Government talk of bringing diplomatic pressure to bear on the Taliban, in concert with the international community, is not convincing. Violence and the promotion of terrorism against the west have been the hallmarks of this fanatical theocracy, and the likelihood of it now engaging in civilised relations with the rest of the world is remote.
Blame for the tragedy engulfing Afghanistan rests with the United States.
President Biden’s precipitate withdrawal of military support for government forces prompted their collapse, and it is obvious that too little thought was given by Washington to what would happen when US troops left. The concern for Britain and the rest of the world must now be that the Taliban once more turns Afghanistan into the crucible of international terrorism as it did 20 years ago, culminating in the September 11 attacks on America.
President Biden wanted US forces out by the anniversary of that emotive date.
The bitter irony is that by doing so, he may have made a renewed wave of Islamist terrorism more likely.
The world can only watch and wait.