Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I suppose I should I have included maps of the region earlier.

Both maps are courtesy of the Longwar Journal.

The first map shows the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in gold, which is considered the Taliban's and al Qaeda's stronghold and the Northwest Frontier Province in purple, which contains a mish-mash of Taliban, al Qaeda, and other groups. About 3.5 million people live in the FATA and 21 million people live in the NWFP. Obviously the dominant religion is Islam and people speak Pashto (closer to Afghanistan) and Urdu (closer to Pakistan).

The second map shows the relative degree of control of each province (or agency in Pakistan-speak). Red indicates total Taliban control, but I would suggest that the gold areas should also be red. Pakistan operates the Frontier Corps (FC) in these areas, a sort of paramilitary security organization, to police the area. In reality, the FC chose to either (1) enforce the law and ultimately die by the hands of the Taliban, or (2) get on the Taliban's payroll and look the other way.

It's interesting (and frightening) to note that Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, is less than 50 miles from the red areas. If one were to make a map of Islamabad itself, I would guess that there would be plenty of red areas within the city.


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