Laurence Vance
January 13, 2013

This is a few months old, but I missed it and perhaps you did too. Must reading on the terrorist non threat to life and limb is John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart’s “The Terrorism Delusion: America’s Overwrought Response to September 11” (International Security, Vol. 37, No. 1 (Summer 2012), pp. 81–110). As Stephen Walt points out:

Mueller and Stewart analyze 50 cases of supposed “Islamic terrorist plots” against the United States, and show how virtually all of the perpetrators were (in their words) “incompetent, ineffective, unintelligent, idiotic, ignorant, unorganized, misguided, muddled, amateurish, dopey, unrealistic, moronic, irrational and foolish.”

Further, Mueller and Stewart estimate that expenditures on domestic homeland security (i.e., not counting the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan) have increased by more than $1 trillion since 9/11, even though the annual risk of dying in a domestic terrorist attack is about 1 in 3.5 million.

Indeed, as the shootings in America in 2012 show, you are much more likely to be killed by an American than by a bearded, sinister, nasty, smelly, dark-skinned, Muslim terrorist.

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