0 votes

More airport security won’t do much to stop terrorists, Leaving the Middle East would

More airport security won’t do much to stop terrorists. Leaving the Middle East would.
Ending US interference, including military support for Israel, could significantly reduce the rationale for terrorist acts.
By Jeffrey A. Miron

Cambridge, Mass.
Earlier this week, Osama bin Laden praised the Christmas Day attack in which a Nigerian-born man living in London attempted to blow up a Detroit-bound airplane by igniting explosives in his underwear.

Mr. bin Laden’s endorsement, along with recent attacks in Baghdad, raise concerns about a new round of attacks against the United States. Politicians, security experts, and pundits have therefore called for heightened security measures at airports and on airplanes.

It won’t work without addressing why there are attacks to begin with.

Additional security measures may prevent a few attacks, at least until terrorists learn to circumvent the new policies. But these measures will have little lasting impact, as with many past tactics, because they do nothing to reduce the demand for terrorism against the US.

If the desire to engage in a certain activity is not reduced, attempts to raise the costs (such as harsher punishment) of such an activity do not matter much.

Consider the evidence from existing policies toward drugs, prostitution, and immigration. In each case, policy tries to ban or limit the activity, hoping to raise the costs of supplying it. Meanwhile, minimal effort is exerted to reduce the demand for intoxication, sex, and a higher income.

The net result is that drugs and prostitution are widely available and the US is home to at least 9 million illegal immigrants. Sure, existing laws may reduce these activities somewhat, but the net impact appears to be minor.


Desire often trumps law. And it’s just too easy to get around the law. Illegal drugs and immigrants can enter the country along lengthy borders and via sea, air, or land routes. Purveyors of prostitution services have endless means for avoiding even the most robust enforcement effort, from massage parlors to escort services to Internet sex.

Thus governments cannot substantially reduce drug use, prostitution, or immigration by raising the penalty (supply costs): If demand is strong, underground markets will accommodate it. Whether policy should attempt to reduce these demands is a different question. Regardless, policies that only address the supply side cost a lot and afford minimal results.

What does this mean for antiterrorism policy? The same conditions that undermine supply-side policies against drugs, prostitution, and immigration apply here.

There are too many potential terrorist targets and too many ways for terrorists to innovate their tactics for the US government to seriously tackle them all in a meaningful way.

But while not everyone in the US agrees that the drug trade, prostitution, and immigration are something that should be addressed, all Americans want to reduce the number of people or organizations that seek to commit terrorist acts against the US – the demand.

So what can the US do to reduce this demand?

The answer is expeditious withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other Middle Eastern countries, along with cessation of economic and military aid to Israel, Egypt, Pakistan, and the rest of the region.

Continue reading: http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2010/0128/More-a...

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

"Airport security"

is not "airport security".
It is oppression designed to acclimate the domestic travelers to increased levels of domineering gov't search and seizure tactics.
Conditioning people for further encroachment on their rights and liberty.

I don't believe that this "security" has foiled even one attempt, nor is it clear that there even were any "real attempts" that occurred within the US.
US gov't reports are unreliable, and often falsified to promote their policy agenda.

In my view, airports are "occupied territory", and I won't go there.

If we leave the Middle East, the terrorists will get on the

SS Terror and land on our shores within a few days. When they get off the ship, they'll spread in every direction and go house to house killing people. What the author of this piece doesn't understand is that the people in the Middle East won't rest until they have killed all of us for being so free and prosperous.

You know what's really funny about what I just wrote? You could copy it and put it on the Hannity, Levin, Limbaugh, TCUnation, Free Republic, etc sites and get a bunch of--"That's right! The author must be one of those liberal muslim-lovers".

You have a point!

BTW please check new e-mail address and note it for ROCR, if possible.

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15


for others to read.

"We can see with our eyes, hear with our ears and feel with our touch, but we understand with our hearts."

Here's another reason

MI5: Terrorists 'Surgically Implanting Bombs'



RPs ideas are getting more and more "mainstream". EXCELLENT news.

Thomas Jefferson: “Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever."

Viva La Revolucion!

meekandmild's picture

He's sounding like Ron Paul

"It won’t work without addressing why there are attacks to begin with."
The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”
Joseph Stalin

Miron is a Libertarian

"Jeffrey Alan Miron is an American economist. He served as the chairman of the Department of Economics at Boston University from 1992 to 1998, and is currently teaching at Harvard University.

Miron is an outspoken libertarian. He was one of the 166 economists to sign a letter to congressional leaders in opposition to the bailout plan put forth by the U.S. federal government in response to the global financial crisis of September–October 2008. He advocated that those companies that floundered during the crisis should be bankrupt instead of receiving government help. He has studied the effects of drug criminalization for fifteen years, and argues that recreational drugs should be legalized."


Rand Paul 2016 for Peace