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The seven percent solution

Reader comment on item: The Limits of Terrorism

Submitted by Sully (United States), Apr 24, 2009 at 08:53

Given the huge advantage of organized states in mustering resources I'm surprised that terrorism achieves even a 7% success rate.

A seven percent success rate means that seven of every hundred goals will be met by relatively small and elusive groups that spring up and morph and change and refine tactics much more rapidly and easily than nation states. I imagine there were a thousand Mongols who failed to achieve their dreams of conquest in the middle ages; but that was no doubt small consolation to those who suffered when Ghenghis came along. Similary, failed prophets are a dime a dozen in history; but Christianity and Islam each developed huge followings and political power over nation states.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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