Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Cost, Value of government

After the election, I asked What’s a Free Election worth?.” John Robb over at Global Guerrillas has a partial answer, which is what the 2nd intifada has cost both sides over 4 years:

10% of Israel’s GDP (roughly 2.5% of GDP per year), and a stunning 300% of GDP over 4 years for the Palestinians.

Global Guerrillas is fascinating because he’s using economics, sociology, and epidemiology a lens for understanding terrorist and guerrilla action, trading in information, techniques, and material, spreading of infections, and the failure of the state. Not always spot on, but always challenging and interesting.

Also related, there are a couple of posts at Hit & Run on Somalia’s telecoms industry, based on a BBC story:

“The government post and telecoms company used to have a monopoly but after the regime was toppled, we were free to set up our own business,” says Abdullahi Mohammed Hussein, products and services manager of Telcom Somalia, which was set up in 1994 when Mogadishu was still a war-zone.

Mr Abdullahi says the warlords realise that if they cause trouble for the phone companies, the phones will stop working again, which nobody wants.