The political humiliation of the US abroad runs counter to the country’s economic success at home. Why, despite the supposed damage to American prestige, is the dollar decently up on the level of early this month, when prospects in Afghanistan seemed decidedly brighter?
There is a simple explanation. In the brutal calculations that the markets make, Afghanistan does not matter. It is a tiny economy, with the World Bank estimating its GDP at just under $20bn. That is smaller than that of Reading, at £16.4bn or $22.5bn.
So – and it is most uncomfortable to have to acknowledge this – what happens is of huge humanitarian and political significance, but of no economic importance.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies