By the end of the Cold War, Afghanistan's potential trajectories had been dramatically - and traumatically altered. What had formerly been a far-flung kingdom better known for its location on the Hippie Trail had thrust itself into the middle of superpower competition to finance its own national development, but the mix of nationalist urges and failed foreign-funded economic development projects that ensued only supercharged the old dream of Pashtunistan. The coup d'etat, civil war and Soviet occupation that followed in the years to come wrecked the country, totaled the developmental hardware foreigners had built, and altered the balance of power in the decades-long rivalry between Pakistan and Afghanistan over 'Pashtunistan.' Formerly forgotten by history, by the early 1990s Afghanistan seemed all too historical - before being forgotten again by the superpowers of the day.
How does a 'spatial history' or 'digital history' of these episodes help us better understand this country's and region's past? What are the gains and losses in using digital scholarship to understand the shattering of Afghanistan? How might this kind of scholarship help historians of Central Asia - and even more importantly, Afghans themselves - come to terms with violence in this post-traumatic part of the world? This final section seeks to offer reflections on these questions, while leaving the door open to the user for further probing of the documents and data.