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Counterterror Strike Effects on Civilian Attitudes in Yemen

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posted on 09.06.2022, 20:54 authored by Eoin Wilson-Manion

This project examines the effect of the United States’ counterinsurgent/counterterror (CT) strikes on civilian attitudes towards the US. I conduct a statistical analysis, utilizing public opinion and attitudes data from the Arab Barometer, drone strike data from New America, and terrorism data from the START database. I take advantage of the timing of the Arab Barometer’s third wave of public opinion surveys and the Obama administration’s drone and airstrike campaign against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Ansar al-Sharia Yemen (ASY) between 2009-13 for a unique research opportunity. Using specific responses from the Arab Barometer survey, I create models to explain Yemeni individuals’ negative attitudes toward the US based on the number of civilians killed by US counterterror strikes in their region. The results of the analysis ultimately show a significant and positive relationship, suggesting that more counterterror violence, especially the death of civilians, negatively affects Yemeni civilians’ perceptions of the United States and increase the respondents’ rate of believing that armed opposition to the US is justified.




Degree Type

Master's Thesis


Institute for Politics and Strategy

Degree Name

  • Master of Science (MS)


Pearce Edwards

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