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  1. JOHN MUELLER OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY SIX PROPOSITIONS RATHER UNUSUAL ABOUT

  2. 1. Seen in reasonable context, terrorism generally has only limited direct effects

  3. Worldwide chances of being killed by international terrorism over a lifetime: 1 in 80,000 • Worldwide chances of being killed by a comet or asteroid over a lifetime: 1 in 80,000 • Chances of an American being killed if there were one 9/11 in the U.S. every three months for the next five years: 2 one hundreds of one percent

  4. Concerns about terrorism, 2001-2006 How worried are you that you or someone in your family will become a victim of terrorism? Very worried, somewhat worried, not too worried, or not worried at all? (CNN/US Today/Gallup)Percent very worried or somewhat worried. How likely do you think it is that there will be another terrorist act in the United States within the next few months: very likely, somewhat likely, not very likely, or not at all likely? (CBS News) Percent not at all likely.

  5. 2. The costs of terrorism very often come mostly from the fear and consequent reaction (or overreaction) it characteristically inspires

  6. Bin Laden goal: overreaction It is easy for us to provoke and bait....All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin...to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al‑Qaeda in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses. Our policy is one of bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. The terrorist attacks cost al‑Qaeda $500,000 while the attack and its aftermath inflicted a cost of more than $500 billion on the United States.

  7. Bin Laden goal: fear America is full of fear, from its north to its south, from its west to its east. Thank God for that.

  8. The costs of fear • Economic Travel and tourism Waits in airports International commerce restrictions • Human life Driving after 9/11 Waits in airports Health effects, Chernobyl • Opportunity costs Katrina Vaccines Crime • Wasteful and counterproductive policies Iraq Generating Muslim hostility The quixotic quest for invulnerability

  9. 3. The terrorism industry is a major part of the terrorism problem.

  10. Politicians • Bureaucracy • Media • Risk entrepreneurs The profits of doom

  11. --Department of Homeland Security Today's terrorists can strike at any place, at any time, and with virtually any weapon.

  12. Now putting your child on a school bus or driving across a bridge or just going to the mall—each of these things is a small act of courage. And peril is a part of everyday life. --Charles Gibson, ABC News, September 11, 2006

  13. --Michael Ignatieff, 2004 • we can confidently expect that terrorists will attempt to tamper with our election in November • a few individuals equipped with lethal technologies threaten the ascendancy of the modern state • inexorably, terrorism, like war itself, is moving beyond the conventional to the apocalyptic

  14. 4. Policies designed to deal with terrorism should focus more on reducing fear and anxiety as inexpensively as possible than on objectively reducing the rather limited dangers terrorism is likely actually to pose

  15. New York Washington, DC Chicago Los Angeles San Francisco Houston Seattle TARGET CITIES

  16. Philadelphia Boston San Antonio Arlington Sacramento Portland Dallas Milwaukee Pittsburgh Fort Worth Phoenix Anaheim Santa Ana Oakland San Jose Indianapolis Honolulu Atlanta Tampa Long Beach Denver San Diego Charlotte Jersey City Las Vegas Buffalo Newark Cincinnati Oklahoma City Cleveland Toledo Louisville Baton Rouge Baltimore Detroit Minneapolis New Orleans Kansas City St. Louis Omaha Miami Jacksonville TARGET CITIES New York Washington, DC Chicago Los Angeles San Francisco Houston Seattle COLUMBUS

  17. 80,000 THE QUEST FOR TARGETS

  18. John Athanason, Weeki Wachee marketing and promotion manager: “I can’t imagine bin Laden trying to blow up the mermaids.” “But with terrorists, who knows what they’re thinking.” “I don’t want to think like a terrorist, but what if the terrorists try to poison the water at Weeki Wachee Springs?” Athanson said Weeki Wachee Springs is working to get some of the federal counterterrorism funding that has been allocated to the Tampa Bay region by the Department of Homeland Security. --St. Petersburg Times, April 22, 2005

  19. Police Nuclear Seek to reduce fear Absorb Put risks in context Explore security theater Avoid policy overreaction Reassess the quest for invulnerability

  20. Potential public policy projects Airport security—costs, risk comparisons, costs of waiting Economic impact of terrorism response Is a repeat of 9/11 possible? Health impact of terrorism response—the costs of anxiety Value of security symbols (theater?)—visible, nonvisible Hardening potential targets (M. Stewart) Determining potential targets (malls? bridges?) Costs and value of relocating personnel (Army) Determining acceptable radiation levels for dirty bombs (cleanup costs, property value) Enlisting ordinary people as emergency responders or health workers Risk communication—can accepted fears be reduced? Sunstein, Slovic Cost and other comparisons with anxieties about crime (property values) Costs and value of exit visas International economic effects—immigration, commerce, tourism, travel Value of security cameras, if any Costs of increased border waits Evaluation of the air marshal program

  21. Potential public policy projects How has DHS determined risk? Assessment of DHS expenditures Incentives to increase fears Value and costs of police at subway entrances 9/11’s impact in reducing spending and increasing saving Impact of terrorism on charitable giving Opportunity costs—health service, crime Terrorism and other instances of probability neglect Democracy, security, and the pork barrel Efforts Hollywood and television to exploit fears of terrorism (24, WTC) The media and terrorism Terrorism reporting (compare to crime or health reporting?) The incentives for politicians, bureaucrats to exaggerate the threat The cost and effectiveness of policing efforts The fate of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation on getting responders to be able to communicate with one another and the communications industry The war in Afghanistan and the war on drugs Fear of terrorism and political outbidding

  22. Potential public policy projects Policing terrorism—costs and effectiveness Insurance opportunities Costs and effectiveness of data mining Comparisons with policing domestic Communism (Stephan and “Communazis”) Potential value of repeated terror warnings on reducing fear (cry wolf) Assessment of official predictions about the imminence of another attack Impact of terrorism warnings on politics, on Bush’s approval ratings Getting computers to work at the FBI and NSA Costs and value of heightened border security Costs and effectiveness of the US-VISIT program Tradeoff between policing terrorism and policing crime Opportunity costs of the war on terrorism (health, Katrina) Security barriers in panic situations Comparing terrorism to other risks (lightning, astroid impact, eating nuts, deer) Reasons for the remarkable absence of terrorism in the US since 9/11 Costs and value of requiring passports to go to Canada, Mexico Costs and value of training security guards

  23. 5. Doing nothing (or at least refraining from overreacting) after a terrorist attack is not necessarily unacceptable

  24. Lebanon 1983 • Lockerbie 1988 • Somalia 1993 • World Trade Center 1993 • Oklahoma City 1995 • Khobar Towers 1996 • U.S.S. Cole 2000 • Anthrax 2001 • Madrid 2004 • London 2005

  25. 6. Despite U.S. overreaction, the campaign against terror is generally going rather well

  26. The United States is living on borrowed time‑‑and squandering it. How much security is enough: when the American people can conclude that a future attack on U.S. soil will be an exceptional event that does not require wholesale changes in how they go about their lives. The entire nation...must be organized for the long, deadly struggle against terrorism. --Stephen Flynn

  27. The greatest threat is from al-Qaeda cells in the US that we have not yet identified. al-Qaeda maintains the ability and the intent to inflict significant casualties in the US with little warning. That threat is increasing partly because of the publicity surrounding the DC sniper shootings and the anthrax letter attacks. al-Qaeda has developed a support infrastructure inside the US that would allow the network to mount another terrorist attack on US soil. I think, therefore they are, 2003 --Robert Mueller February 11, 2003 testimony

  28. The greatest threat is from al-Qaeda cells in the US that we have not yet identified. al-Qaeda maintains the ability and the intent to inflict significant casualties in the US with little warning. That threat is increasing partly because of the publicity surrounding the DC sniper shootings and the anthrax letter attacks. al-Qaeda has developed a support infrastructure inside the US that would allow the network to mount another terrorist attack on US soil. I think, therefore they are, 2003 --Robert Mueller February 11, 2003 testimony

  29. 2005 I remain very concerned about what we are not seeing. (bolded) I think, therefore they are, unable to identify a single true al‑Qaeda sleeper cell anywhere in the country --FBI, secret report, 2005 --Robert Mueller February 16, 2005 testimony

  30. 2007 We believe Al Qaeda is still seeking to infiltrate operatives into the U.S. from overseas. --Robert Mueller January 11, 2007 testimony

  31. 19 in US before 9/11? 9/11 effect, Afghanistan many arrests (overseas) reactions to post-9/11 terrorism al-Qaeda’s vast enemies list • all Middle Eastern regimes • Muslims who don't share their views • most Western countries • Jews • Christians • the governments of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia • most news organizations • the United Nations • international NGOs amount of destruction

  32. Charles Krauthammer, 2004: “three years in which, contrary to every expectation and prediction, the second shoe never dropped” Graham Allison, 2004: “in the weeks and months following 9/11, the American national security community focused on what was called the question of the 'second shoe.' No one believed that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were an isolated occurrence” Lockerbie 1988 Oklahoma City 1995 Aum Shinrikyo 1995 DC sniper 2003 WWII But WWI, WTC 1993 9/11: aberration or harbinger? In our recent Western history war has been following war in an ascending order of intensity; and today it is already apparent that the War of 1939-45 was not the climax of this crescendo movement. --Arnold J. Toynbee, 1950

  33. THE END