Terrorism in perspective: some numbers

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Double click to enlarge.

Terrorism is an outrage, but it isn’t a worse individual danger for Europeans or Americans than many other things.  Above all, it is not a reason to surrender to fear, or to let our fear override our judgment or our principles.

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Notice that the two countries which have suffered the most from terrorism are Iraq and Afghanistan, which the United States invaded supposedly to fight terror.

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For more perspective, here is some data on the risks that Americans face, and the money we spend responding to risks.  The information is from 2011, but I don’t think anything has changed significantly since then.

death-and-dollars

Click to enlarge.

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Finally, here is data about nations where terrorism really is something to be afraid of.  Note that these figures about civilian casualties are about deaths from explosive devices only.  They include deaths from bombings and killer drones as well as improved explosive devices used by terrorists.  The IEDs accounted for more than half the deaths.

Civilian-deaths-from-explosive-weapons-riseCivilians-killed-in-Pakistan-in-2014

[Afterthought 12/8/2015]  The statistics on killings by means of explosives should be a warning against thinking that gun prohibition will prevent terrorist killlings.

LINKS AND SOURCES

Islamic State Terrorism Is Serious, But We’ve Faced Even Deadlier Perils in the Past by Chris York for Huffington Post UK.

Terrorism and Threat Inflation: Fear Is the Mind-Killer by W.J. Astore for The Contrary Perspective.

Anti-Terrorism Spending 50,000 Times More Than on Any Other Cause of Death on Think By Numbers.

Surprising facts about the war on terror on War on Irrational Fear

Explosive States: monitoring explosive violence in 2014 by Action on Armed Violence.

Pakistan ranks 5th in terrorism – affected countries list by Walid Zahid.

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One Response to “Terrorism in perspective: some numbers”

  1. John Pennington Says:

    Thank you for these enlightening figures. Our response is obviously overblown. We should be trying to cut deaths elsewhere. When there is a terrorist event, we should get on with life ASAP.

    Like

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