Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Young Yemenis: Bin Laden is so 2001!

I was reading a detailed, thoughtful survey of Yemeni public opinion conducted by Glevum Associates, and was struck that Osama bin Laden is more popular with older Yemenis than with the youths. He is rated favorably by just 3 percent of the 15 to 25 year olds but by 17 percent of the 31 to ...

purpleslog/Flickr
purpleslog/Flickr
purpleslog/Flickr

I was reading a detailed, thoughtful survey of Yemeni public opinion conducted by Glevum Associates, and was struck that Osama bin Laden is more popular with older Yemenis than with the youths. He is rated favorably by just 3 percent of the 15 to 25 year olds but by 17 percent of the 31 to 40 year olds.

On the downside, Yemenis are close to unanimous (99 percent) that the United States is a baleful cultural influence on the world. Indeed, they are a bit more irked by American culture than they are by American economic and military power. Almost as many (96 percent) think the West is at war with Islam. Those of youse who are tempted to agree should keep in mind Krepinevich's law of the disaggregation of enemies: Never have any more than you really need to.

I was reading a detailed, thoughtful survey of Yemeni public opinion conducted by Glevum Associates, and was struck that Osama bin Laden is more popular with older Yemenis than with the youths. He is rated favorably by just 3 percent of the 15 to 25 year olds but by 17 percent of the 31 to 40 year olds.

On the downside, Yemenis are close to unanimous (99 percent) that the United States is a baleful cultural influence on the world. Indeed, they are a bit more irked by American culture than they are by American economic and military power. Almost as many (96 percent) think the West is at war with Islam. Those of youse who are tempted to agree should keep in mind Krepinevich’s law of the disaggregation of enemies: Never have any more than you really need to.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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