Maps of the Day: WikiLeaks Highlights Violence in Pashtunistan

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The Afghan War Diary leaks didn't so much reveal as confirm. Specifically, the documents gave merit to suspicions that the ISI is working with the Taliban, and, thanks to fantastic maps from the Guardian, illustrated that the war is mostly being waged in so-called Pashtunistan.

Anyone who has followed the war in the last eight years knows that the fight is in the tribal areas along the Pakistani border. But the WikiLeaks documents pin-pointed exactly where attacks have occurred over the past few years.

The first map below was produced by the Guardian and shows IED attacks in the last six years. The second map is from the Heritage Foundation and shows the area populated by ethnic Pashtuns in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Pashtuns account for 35 to 40 percent of the Afghan population but a majority of the violence, as the maps below suggest. However, it may be foolish to consider them a single group: Pashtuns are among the most tribal and fragmented people on Earth, underscoring the challenge of selling the concept of national unity.

IED Attacks in Afghanistan

Pushtan Region in Afghanistan

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Patrick Ottenhoff has been writing The Electoral Map blog since 2007. A former staff writer for National Journal Group and project manager at New Media Strategies, he now attends Georgetown's McDonough School of Business. More

Patrick Ottenhoff attends Georgetown McDonough School of Business in the Class of 2012. He previously served as a project manager in the Public Affairs Practice of New Media Strategies and was a staff writer for National Journal Group. Patrick has been writing The Electoral Map blog since 2007. As the name implies, the blog covers news and commentary at the intersection of politics and geography, but it also analyzes the stories, people, culture, sports, and food behind the maps and the votes. Patrick is a native Virginian and graduate of Union College in New York. You can follow The Electoral Map on Twitter and Facebook, and follow Patrick on YouTube.
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