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The United States' current approach to counterinsurgency centers on protecting the population, with a special emphasis on political and economic development. But does that development-based strategy work? In a study using data on reconstruction spending and violence in Iraq, the provision of certain government services does lead to a reduction in violence.
The development of the field of terrorism studies has, in recent years, appeared to outpace the development of actual terrorism. Now may be the era of diminishing marginal returns.