It wasn't meant to be like this. The nice, friendly Northern Alliance, our very own foot-soldiers in Afghanistan, is in Kabul. It promised – didn't it? – not to enter the Afghan capital. It was supposed to capture, at most, Mazar-i-Sharif and perhaps Herat, to demonstrate the weakness of the Taliban, to show the West that its war aims – the destruction of the Taliban and thus of Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'ida movement – were inevitable.