Thirteen (years), unlucky for some? For one, the 447 dead British troops - and their families - and the thousands more now living with life-changing injuries.
For another, the literally countless hordes more Afghans also killed.
And not forgetting - even if many will or have - the multitudes left surviving rather than thriving in a so-long-benighted nation, staging Western-waged war since 2001, plenty more conflicts during preceding centuries, and sure to be haunted for generations to come.
Metro recently undertook Afghan travels, witnessing the country’s travails, from increasingly-insecure capital Kabul to spectacular, still anxious, mountain setting Bamyan to drug-addled Uzbek-facing border province Balkh.
Afghanistan may no longer feel like some promised land, but promised aid is already notably shrinking even as the middle-sized-city-shaped bases at Camp Bastion and Kandahar begin to be dismantled.
United Nations donations for the country have slipped from £542million in 2011 to £308million last year and £246million this time around.
The phrase ‘cut-and-run’ may feel insubstantial for what has actually been a drainingly long-drawn-out retreat, but Barack Obama’s apparent eagerness to put the whole Afghan thing behind him risks more than merely brief embarrassment.
Modern-day Afghanistan may benefit from a fair few more schools open for all, some stability in the hotels and palaces of the Kabul elite, and literal bridges built in Helmand by the British army’s handiest soldier-workmen and women.
And yet, as Islamic Relief UK’s study published last week put it, the country remains ‘in limbo’ ahead of presidential elections next month and a full Allied military pull-out promised by the end of this year.
On average, there are 16,000 Afghans to every one doctor, 101 children for each qualified primary schoolteacher, 1.5million nomads among a 27million-strong population and 36 per cent people living below the poverty line.
And Kabul, like the rest of Afghanistan, remains dangerous: a Lebanese restaurant was blown up, killing 21 in January, while a British-Swedish journalist was shot dead when visiting there this month and an AFP reporter and his family were shot dead last week by Taliban intruders somehow infiltrating a smart hotel.
The typically-uninhibited Taliban have vowed throughout to do all they could to disrupt what will surely prove disputed elections for quite some time beyond polling-day itself.
The very deliberateness of the Western pull-out seems certain to provoke at the very least a scattergun flurry, as in Iraq where the British forces’ last days in Basra were pockmarked by nightly rather than weekly or even monthly rocket-fire raids.
Well, why not, while you still can, and your enemies are – just about – still in the vicinity?
Picturesque images can still linger - snow spattering over Kabul, United Nations helicopters soaring into the skies and scything through snow-streaked mountain slopes - yet few Western intruders feel much wiser nor assured about controlling those sprawling, eclectically-isolated areas.
Toddlers firing toy pistols, newly-literate mothers passing on embroidery and entrepreneurial tips, or damaged former mujahedeen fighters now reduced to picking up scraps – this country feels like it should feel safe by now, and yet few folk here do.
No thanks, in part, to our dragged-out yet still-limited and strange sort of Western security.
Which, now approaching its end, could leave an already-accursed country left largely alone.