Counterterrorism Policy and Public Fear White Paper

Pages: 5 (1371 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Safety  ·  Written: February 6, 2019

They state that terrorism does not necessarily inevitably have long-term negative consequences for small, domestic incidents like the killing of 49 people in a nightclub in Florida, they state, at least in an American context. This may be because small incidents are often spawned by single actors rather than seem to be ongoing threats. In contrast, Islamic terrorism, they state, has long-lasting consequences for the airline industry and the destruction to property caused by a threat to major government and financial institutions and the physical infrastructure of the nation.

But while this may be true in a direct since, any financial investment in fighting terrorism arguably is money diverted away from other possible investments such as education, tax credits for business. The fact that the public states that “they are less willing to fly on airplanes, go into skyscrapers, travel overseas, or attend events where there are thousands of people,” results in economic losses and virtually all types of terrorist incidents (regardless of cause or ideological background) focus on crowds and public occasions (Muller & Stewart, 2018, p.7). A lack of trust within the community, particularly the diverse American community, likewise has a psychological as well as an economic cost.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Root Causes of Irrationality in Terms of the Public Fear of Terrorism Relative to Other Threats

White Paper on Counterterrorism Policy and Public Fear Assignment

The report highlights the interplay between real life events and human psychology. Public psychology is not entirely irrational, as reflected in the understandably heighted concern post-9/11, and the retraction of such concern given that the likelihood of an equally severe attack was nor borne out in the subsequent months. On the other hand, there is irrationality in terms of the public fear of terrorism relative to other threats, such as the threats of guns. “The chances of winning the lottery or of dying from terrorism may be microscopic, but for monumental events that are, or seem, random, one can conclude that one’s chances are just as good or bad as those of anyone else” (Muller & Stewart, 2018, p.16). The uncontrollable and random nature of terrorism makes it particularly frightening to the public, as well as the fact that controlling the terrorist threat seems to be in the hands of politicians rather than in the control of the public itself (such as deciding to quit smoking, for example, or abstaining from eating unhealthy foods). This phenomenon of predictable irrationality in the face of personally uncontrollable threats may result in greater willingness to support public efforts and expenditures to control terrorism over a sustained period of time (Ariley, 2010).

Importance of the Issue

Clearly, the authors state, it is important to encourage public support for counterterrorist efforts, given this requires significant financial expenditures, and also an expenditure of time in terms of enduring security measures. Again, however, there must be balance in the ways that specific kinds of terrorist threats are viewed. Arguably, just like the public tends to underestimate threats from ordinary gun violence relative to terrorism, the public may be more worried about foreign terrorist threats versus domestic terrorist threats because of the shadowy and unknown nature of the perpetrators. There is a responsibility on the part of policymakers to ensure that they educate the public, rather than capitalize upon such fears in a self-serving fashion. Ideally, policymakers should educate, rather than excite unreasonable concerns.

Impact to the Community

Terrorist threats have a negative impact upon the community in terms of loss of life, loss of property, and also loss of trust in one another and in the stability of the United States government and infrastructure. The aftermath consists of economic losses and often heightened prejudice, often against people who had no role in the attacks. There is also a financial and civil liberties cost to fighting terrorism. This is why expenditures on the war on terror must be judiciously allocated.

  1. Ariley, D. (2010). Predictably irrational. New York, NY: Harper Perennial.
  2. DHS. (2019). Official Website. Retrieved… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Counterterrorism Policy and Public Fear" White Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Counterterrorism Policy and Public Fear.  (2019, February 6).  Retrieved September 22, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Counterterrorism Policy and Public Fear."  6 February 2019.  Web.  22 September 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Counterterrorism Policy and Public Fear."  February 6, 2019.  Accessed September 22, 2020.