The Afghan War Diary leaks didn’t so much reveal as confirm. Specifically, the documents gave merit to suspicions that the ISI is working the Taliban, and thanks to fantastic maps from the Guardian, it illustrated that the war is mostly being waged in so-called Pashtunistan.
Anyone who has paid attention in the last eight years knows that the war is being waged in the tribal areas along the Pakistani border. But the Wikileaks data pin-pointed exactly where enemy attacks have occurred.
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 — as the maps suggest — a majority of the violence. 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 them on the concept of national unity.