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Terrorism is not an existential threat the new

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Unformatted text preview: inspections of containers, may be more onerous for imports coming from uncertain ports than for exports packaged in the United States. And although a widespread labor action would stop most maritime trade completely, a terrorist strike would only slow trade rather than stop it. When added together, these factors mean that the disruption to the flow of goods as a result of a current terrorist attack could be roughly similar in size to the effect of a major port strike in the 1960s. Therefore, we feel that these historic labor actions correspond closely enough to the kind of port disruption that a terrorist attack might bring to tell us a lot about the probable effect on the national economy of a terrorist attack on the ports. We will show how these labor actions are visible in the import data and export data of the period. In all cases, there was a small increase in import volume before these actions, a drop in volume during the action, and a large surge in import volume after the dispute was settled. Because of the size of that postdisruption volume surge, the overall loss of trade during a labor action was very small and in some cases nonexistent. 6|Page Port Security Negative BDL Low Risk of Port Terrorism [___] [___] Only a 1 in 80,000 chance of being killed by a terrorist The New Republic, 2008 (December 24, p. 22) As a result of this psychological bias, large numbers of Americans have overestimated the probability of future terrorist strikes: In a poll conducted a few weeks after September 11, respondents saw a 20 percent chance that they would be personally harmed in a terrorist attack within the next year and nearly a 50 percent chance that the average American would be harmed. Those alarmist predictions, thankfully, proved to be wrong; in fact, since September 11, international terrorism has killed only a few hundred people per year around the globe, as John Mueller points out in Overblown. At the current rates, Mueller argues, the lifetime probability of any resident of the globe being killed by terrorism is just one in 80,000. [___]Terrorism is not an existential threat The New Republic, 2008 (December 24, p. 22) Last March he declared that, "if we don't recognize the struggle we are in as a significant existential struggle, then it is going to be very hard to maintain the focus." If nuclear attacks aren't likely and smaller events aren't existential threats, I asked, why did he say the war on terrorism is a "significant existential struggle"? "To me, existential is a threat that shakes the core of a society's confidence and causes a significant and long-lasting line of damage to the country," he replied. But it would take a series of weekly Virginia Tech-style shootings or London-style subway bombings to shake the core of American confidence; and Al Qaeda hasn't come close to mustering that frequency of low -level attacks in any Western democracy since September 11. "Terrorism kills a certain number of people...
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This document was uploaded on 02/06/2014.

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