A friend sent me photos he took in 2007 of the Kamdesh area and one of the outposts that was attacked this weekend.
First is an aerial shot of the village of Kamdesh. The OP that was attacked after the COP in the valley is near the top.
Then, a shot of the village from further away, to give an idea of how exposed and isolated it is.
Then, a photo of the area near the COP itself. It is not an easily-defended position.
For some history, our best source is Richard Strand, a ethno-linguist who has studied Nuristan since the 1960s. Here is a Kshto settlement, Kshtorm, which was razed during a war with the neighboring Kom in 1998.
This is Kombrom, a Kom village in Kamdesh. Much of it was destroyed during the Soviet jihad.
Now, a brief note on geography. Notice how the Nuristanis seem to build their settlements on top of hills and mountains? It’s a basic defensive gesture. Why do we keep building our bases at the bottom of valleys? That doesn’t seem right, but surely there must be a reason for it… right?