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Cell Phones and the Course of War

Posted on 4.23.2008
How important is your cell phone to you? Would you ever think it could change the course of a war?

In an article by Laura King for Tribune Newspapers, the Taliban are losing supporters among Afghans by destroying telecommunications towers, thereby interrupting cell phone service. The insurgency suspects that recent success by NATO to track and kill Taliban commanders is due to cell phones signals being picked up.

In a country as poor as Afghanistan, one in six have cell phones, and its become a major industry for both providers and commerce in the region. As King writes, "To Afghans, the country's rapidly expanding cell phone network is a symbol of pride and hoped-for prosperity." In other words, Afghans are rapidly adopting technology and shrinking the gap between themselves and the western world. Cell phones equal opportunity, prospertity and freedom - having tasted it all, the Afghan people are not about to give it up.

Summed up nicely and hilariously, "'I'm so, so furious about this,' sputtered businessman Rahim Agha. 'Why do they have to do this to us? Why can't they just turn off their phones?'"

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