Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Global Terrorism on the Decline

According to the Human Security Report Project, an academic institute now housed at Simon Fraser University, global terrorism has declined dramatically, challenging the expert consensus that terrorism is on the rise. The key findings are outlined in its press release:

Fatalities from terrorism have declined by some 40 percent, while the loose-knit terror network associated with Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda has suffered a dramatic collapse in popular support throughout the Muslim world.

There has been an extraordinary, but largely unnoticed, positive change in sub-Saharan Africa’s security landscape. The number of conflicts being waged in the region more than halved between 1999 and 2006; the combat toll dropped by 98 percent.

The decline in the total number of armed conflicts and combat deaths around the world that was reported three years ago in Human Security Report 2005 has continued.
The entire report can be accessed here.

Does this mean the global war on terror is working? Perhaps not. Consider the results of another study reported today by the University of Texas: researchers there have studied the cost-effectiveness of anti-terror policies, finding that the most expensive yield the lowest payoff:
The research found that increasing homeland security worldwide by 25 percent resulted in a payback of about 30 cents on a dollar.

Increased offensive measures, like those against the Taliban after 9/11, had a payback of 8 to 12 cents on a dollar. The biggest benefits came from increased cooperation among police forces and governments. This approach paid back $5 to $15 per dollar spent, depending on cost assumptions.

1 comment:

Jeff said...
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