A bout of brutal reflection will follow in the wake of the withdrawal of Canadian and eventually all NATO troops from Afghanistan.
Canada's flag comes down in Kabul today, ending a 12-year military mission in Afghanistan.
The last Canadian troops will leave the war-torn country before the week is over.
The soldiers have been training Afghan forces since Canada's combat mission ended in 2011.
Graeme Smith, an analyst with the International Crisis Group, says the departure of almost all NATO troops this year means Afghan forces will fight on alone. But he says they will still need significant financial backing from the West
Smith says western forces are leaving a security, economic and humanitarian mess.
Britain's top military commander says the departure of the last Canadian troops from Afghanistan will no doubt prompt a lot of reflection.
But General Sir Nick Houghton, whose troops will stay until the end of the year, says no one should rush to judgment. In an interview with The Canadian Press, Houghton said the objective of expelling al-Qaida was achieved, but the public narrative was hijacked towards nation-building. He says that's where it becomes less clear cut.