In that event, America and the West potentially would face an army of as many as 5 million young terrorists.
Right now, Iraqis suffer from 50 percent unemployment, and the prospects are especially grim for the nation's youth, noted Paul Brinkley, deputy undersecretary of defense at the Pentagon.
Iraq is largely a nation of children, he says, with some 40 percent of its population of 26 million under the age of 15. Only about 20 percent of the U.S. population is under 15, by comparison.
If economic opportunities don't improve, the children of Iraq represent "a potential pool of recruits for terrorism," Brinkley warned.
He added that despite their liberation from the clutches of tyrant Saddam Hussein, Iraqi youth currently have a "negative" impression of America due to deteriorating economic conditions.
"They have justified frustration," he said, adding that their resentment will only deepen if economic conditions don't change.
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