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This is not simply a matter of words. Collectively, we must take concrete steps to address the danger posed by religiously motivated fanatics, and the trends that fuel their recruitment. Moreover, this campaign against extremism goes beyond a narrow security challenge. For while we have methodically degraded core al Qaeda and supported a transition to a sovereign Afghan government, extremist ideology has shifted to other places---particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, where a quarter of young people have no job; food and water could grow scarce; corruption is rampant; and sectarian conflicts have become increasingly hard to contain.Obama emphasizes here, right at the crux of his speech, not just “the danger posed by religiously motivated fanatics,” but also the “trends that fuel their recruitment.” Moreover, the President asserts that the destabilizing terror convulsing the region and attracting the attention of the world has strong structural undercurrents that will take a “generation” to solve. What kind of structural issues was the President talking about? Likely population pressure, among other things. Richard Cincotta, the demographer-in-residence at the Stimson Center, argues that youth bulges---working-age populations having large proportions of young adults---can harm the prospects for a stable, liberal democracy, especially when there is high youth unemployment. It stands to reason that, in countries where the fertility rate falls over time or where there are strong economic prospects for younger cohorts, the chances might be better. Unsurprisingly, the Middle East features both a youth bulge and high youth unemployment. While birth rates have fallen over time in some Middle Eastern states and in North Africa (the latter of which has seen democratization in some countries, like Tunisia), high fertility and economic stagnation remain prevalent across many hotspots, including Syria, Iraq, and especially Yemen. Seen in this light, it appears that demographics and inclusive economic growth, not guns, will drive outcomes in the long term. And if Cincotta’s probabilistic model is correct, and regional economic realities do not improve, then the prospects for peace delivered by robust US military action could be dim indeed.