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American politics has been captured by terrorists. In December 2015 polls showed that one in six Americans, some 16 percent of the population, now identify terrorism as the most important national problem, up from just 3 percent in the previous month. This is the highest percentage of Americans to mention terrorism in a decade, although it is still lower than the 46 percent measured after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 . Some politicians are starting to call the battle against terrorism "World War III".Terrorism is not the biggest threat facing people in advanced countries.Indeed, terrorism is not even a big threat – or a small one, for that matter. One is likelier to be struck by lightning than to be killed by a terrorist.Experts estimate that an American's annual risk of being killed by a terrorist is one in 3.5 million. Terrorism is not World War III.No terrorist organization is as powerful as a state, and few terrorist movements have succeeded in overthrowing one.Smart power is needed to defeat terrorism.
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