Is this a widespread inference?

Afghanistan has been called the “graveyard of empires.” That is some impressive IO [information operations] phrase. It makes us fear failure in Afghanistan because it foreshadows the collapse of the whole western world — not just Afghanistan.

I kind of think the phrase obscures more than it reveals myself. But am I the only person who never thought it meant “the collapse of the whole western world”? Russia and Britain were both bloodied in Afghanistan. Somehow the west survived. But do other people figure this phrase to be more boogedy-boogedy scary than I do?