Assessing Policing, Mitigation,
We have thus far applied widely accepted cost-benefit and risk analysis techniques to assess overall homeland security expenditures, that major portion of those expenditures designed to protect infrastructure (however “critical”) and resources (however “key”), and those expenditures devoted to airline and aviation security. Given the limited capacity of the terrorists and the massive number of potential terrorist targets, we have found the quest to make the country less vulnerable to be a dubious enterprise, even quixotic. There may be a few specific protection measures among the many that have been massively enhanced since 2001 that make sense, but much of the effort, on reasonably close examination, seems to have been highly questionable.
However, although we find that the increase in overall spending on homeland security in the United States is not cost-effective, and although we find few protective measures that seem to pass a reasonable costeffectiveness test, there may be some counterterrorism efforts that are cost-effective. These might include, or be found in, streams of homeland security spending only incidentally considered thus far: policing (or active defense), mitigation, and resilience (or absorption). The effectiveness of these measures is yet to be proven, but this book provides some of the tools to start the risk assessment process to identify which counterterrorism measures are effective and worthwhile and which are not, and in this chapter, we lay out some preliminary considerations for evaluating the effectiveness of policing, mitigation, and resilience.