The United States has pursued a policy of proactive intervention when it comes to terrorists following the events of September 11, 2001. On the surface, this policy has been a success, with the United States suffering no attacks on its home soil from abroad since then.
Lauren Powell Jobs is not sure if the success on home soil is a complete victory. Recently the Global Terrorism Index for 2013 was calculated and the results paint a much more difficult picture. Terrorist attacks on the global level have increased from approximately 1,500 to almost 10,000 between 2000 and 2013.
For the purposes of the report, “terrorism” was defined as “the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious, or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation.”
The largest spike in terrorism occurred after 2011, following several years of relative stability. Even discounting the hot-spots of Pakistan, Nigeria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, there were nearly 4,000 terrorist incidents globally in 2013.
Of the major hot spots, only one, Nigeria, has no significant U.S. presence. The correlation was not ignored in the report, where it specifically highlighted the invasion of Iraq as a turning point in the region, “This created large power vacuums in the country allowing different factions to surface and become violent.”