No, imperialism got involved in Afghanistan because it had become a nuisance - not least by having bin Laden as an honoured ‘guest’ and letting him use the country as a base for military operations - crucially, of course, the September 11 2001 attacks on New York and Washington DC. For that the Taliban government had to be removed in the name of the ‘war on terror’. Of course, this foreign adventure was the product of the Bush administration’s imperial hubris, which genuinely believed that the US military could just march into any country it liked and then mount a dignified - if not noble - withdrawal at the moment of their own pleasing. Defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld promised a swift militarily victory ... and got one. However, the few thousand US and other troops could not impose and kind of order. Indeed warlordism, banditry and opium production were “given a new lease of life”. Moreover, the Taliban, who shifted the centre of their operation to Pakistan, were soon back in control of the southern half of the country.