Monday, March 06, 2006

How much does it cost to fight and defend ourselves from terrorists?

They blow themselves up, hide in caves, steal planes with boxcutters and fly them into buildings. Does it really take Cold War level military spending to protect ourselves from them? Just look at some of these figures. In 2005 the U.S. accounted for 43% of the word's total military spending; the next highest nation, China, accounted for 6%. If the hundreds of billions dollars we already spend on military can not stop a terrorist attack, why will another hundred billion make a difference?

Isn't this a problem of approach rather than resources? And isn't it clear that our approach is not working? The "axis of evil" is more dangerous today than it was in 2003. Muslim world opinion of the United States is less favorable today than it was in 2001. Radical Islamic anger over American military prescence in the Middle East has been stoked by the invasion of Iraq, which has turned a nation that did not hosts terrorists prior to the invasion into the terrorist capital of the world. Global terrorist activity has increased. Nuclear proliferation has increased and the United States itself has helped weaken the Non-Proliferation treaty. We have undone decades of diplomacy and earned the scorn of our allies for our unilateralism and abandonment of the human rights standards of the Geneva Convention and international law.

Our approach to terrorism seems the equivalent of pouring gasoline on a fire.

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