Afghanistan documents by the numbers
July 27th, 2010
07:20 PM ET

Afghanistan documents by the numbers

We’re working to get the big and small stories contained in the tens of thousands of Afghan war documents leaked this week. It's obviously taking time to work through all the field reports and verify what we can, so we thought we'd also try a different, quicker, tack to get an insight into these documents – the search button.

Here's the number of times various words appear in the papers released publicly by Make of them what you will. They are not all the documents that were leaked to the media in the past few days. Al-Qaeda (or in military spelling al-Qaida) appears more than 30 times, the current and former presidents just 8 times between them. There are more reports about opium than Iran. Perhaps one insight into the daily life of troops there is that the word "ambush" appears 3,914 times and IED (military-speak for a crude bomb, or Improvised Explosive Device) is mentioned 37,599 times.

  • [President] Obama – 2
  • [President] Bush – 6
  • [Taliban leader] Mullah Omar – 7
  • [Insurgent leader Gulbuddin] Hekmatyar – 11
  • [Afghan President] Karzai – 260
  • VBIED [Vehicle-borne improvised explosive device] – 476
  • Pakistan – 2,197
  • Taliban – 3,567
  • Ambush – 3,914
  • IED – 37,599
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Filed under: al Qaeda • Iran • Karzai • Pakistan • Taliban • WikiLeaks
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Adam

    If soldiers from a faraway land were marching through the streets where I live, I would try to kill them. I would use guns, makeshift bombs and shoulder-launched rockets. I would double my efforts if those soldiers were killing children and destroying my country. You probably would, too.

    July 30, 2010 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jitendra

    This leak business is a God send for Pakistan. Its democratic leaders should take charge and put the genie of the ISI back in the bottle. This republic and flourish and make its ordinary people prosperous only when the Army goes back to barracks. It is time to introspect and take stock of the benefits which have been bestowed by the ISI.

    July 29, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mike clark


    July 29, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. doug denunzio

    indeed the risk for Afghanistan troop levels could lower in the next ten years or so.

    July 29, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. JesusNeedsABreak

    An American poet wrote this: Don't wanna be a martyr in this war. Don't wanna hear the same excuses anymore, that everything's a threat and it's only gonna get worse if we let it. Freedom is seldom found by beating someone to the ground and telling them how everything is gonna be now. Now if the tables were turned tell me how you would feel, if somebody busted up into YOUR house telling you to stay still! While the leaders will deny defeat ...Innocents they testify by dying in the streets" Amos Lee's song FREEDOM.

    July 28, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. karen h

    Amazing for the amount of insight. Then whos on Americas side?

    July 28, 2010 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
    • JesusNeedsABreak

      why must their be a side?

      July 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JesusNeedsABreak

    Gather around politicians (any flavor). I hereby pledge my vote to anyone that runs on the platform to end the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns. I will also pledge all my available resources towards your campaign and work tirelessly against anyone that opposes you. I believe my offer is firm and unwaivering. Be warned if you re-neg on the deal then I will also bring all resources to bear against your re-election. While I can't promise a major landslide for the candidate that takes this challenge I do believe its the most single important topic of the next round of the "pick someone ...anyone" show.

    July 27, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Frank

    "Make of them what you will". great journalism...

    July 27, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. qwerty

    I'm sorry, but that Wikileaks guy just looks slimy and untrustworthy...

    July 27, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • davis

      qwerty...bush looked the same and you voted for him.

      July 28, 2010 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  10. Pete Larson

    I posted some preliminary statistical analysis of the Wikileaks data on my personal blog including some maps that you probably wouldn't normally see. Please take a look at it if you are interested.

    July 27, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • moniba

      Thoughtful analyses, and well written. Unfortunately, a lay person will have no clue about most of the statistical analyses you go into.

      Data is the plural of datum.

      July 27, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |