Attrition: What Really Matters


November 4, 2010: While terrorism in Yemen gets a lot of media attention, it's not the big killer there. In the last two years, terrorism and related tribal conflicts in Yemen have killed about 60 people a year. But there are more dead each week from tribal conflicts related to land, water and personal feuds. Less than ten foreigners a year are killed, usually by terrorists seeking to destroy the tourist industry (they have succeeded because of the enormous media attention these attacks receive.)

The tribal deaths are generally ignored outside of Yemen, as this violence is considered normal for Yemen. Inside Yemen, the additional casualties from Islamic terrorism is more likely to be put in perspective. Yemenis have more urgent things worry about. Not just tribal violence, but also 30 percent unemployment, corruption, pirates and a growing water shortage.



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