« Freakonomics Radio

196. Is There a Better Way to Fight Terrorism?

2015-02-12 | 🔗
The White House is hosting an anti-terror summit next week. Summits being what they are, we try to offer some useful advice.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This podcast dynamically inserts audio advertisements of varying lengths for each download. As a result, the transcription time indexes may be inaccurate.
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next week the White House is planning to host a summit on countering violent extremism was originally scheduled for last year, were got delayed and then put back on the counter after the Paris terrorist attacks in January. What should be spectrum, a summit like this, alas, very little of a positive nature. I view this principally as aid as a media event. I hope I am wrong just in case the summit does turn out to be primarily a media event. We thought we'd take this podcast, which technically is media event turn it into a terrorism. Some talk about which known, what's not known about terrorism, will talk about what's working in, what's not to prevent it and what we should be thinking about, but aren't now. How do we accomplishes basically
we asked some people who know a lot about terrorism to tell us what they say if they had the ear of President Obama and other world leaders, many people might think that we couldn't make the problem worse. Oh yes, we can make it much worse very quickly, as who's. All with the rack problems. We can never get rid of terrorism, one hundred percent in the same way that we can't get rid of school shooters, one hundred percent, so we have, and be resilience as a country to be able to recognise that the outline tag doesn't mean that its doomsday leadership is taking people to replace they wouldn't have gotten to already. Have you see a parade going down the street and you run up and
actually following you, you want some bad guys can no longer guy, but what I would like to see some logic attendant to what our tactical moves are, and I don't see it better. from the w, and my see this is free economics, radio, the package that explores the hidden side of everything: here's your host Stephen Governor Steve Lever is my for economic spreading Co. Author teaches economics at innovation,
However, I don't I'm doing great over you tomorrow, so you may have heard the White House is putting together an international summit to address terrorism. Him have you been invited, maybe my invitation at last in the mail, but I don't think so. Let it admits that his discipline doesn't necessarily have much to offer on the topic of terror If you turn to economics and what you can now has to say about fighting terrorism, it's it's hard problem, because economics really centres around incentives and the kind of incentives we tend to use are things like prices or world punishment in prison or what not. But, but when people are willing to pay the ultimate price and in the form of suicide, to do to reach our goal, then they're, not the kind of. were used to incentive rising and motivating so rather than rely on economists for our on summit, we reached out to a different set of folks. Like me, a bloom
Oh I'm a professor at the University of Massachusetts on the lower campus, I'm a professor of security studies, and my name is Robert ARM, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago and Director of Chicago project on security and terrorism. I'm Nathan, your vote, I met ceo at intellectual ventures and I'm Anderson, catastrophic risks. Appointment, I'm Jack Jacobs U S: Army, retired Jacobs turns up on tv pretty regularly these days commenting on national security issues, it was Jacobs you heard earlier saying he doesn't expect much from
wait. I have some if the government is is convening a conference about this subject. Perhaps the government may be amenable to coughing up some resources to solve some of the major problems attended to it, but that I mean that's a scant hope. In actual fact, what you need is leadership in order to solve problems about national security, domestic terrorism, terrorism full abroad, and it requires a great deal of effort and organization, and if the government is good at things it's I can tell you this they're, not good at this hour. So maybe we can lend a hand. A good place to start is what we know and dont know about the root causes of terrorism, its natural to react to a media event, the emotions and headlines that accompany them. But let's try to go deeper, will start with Robert
even though he is a political scientists to feel that most of us associate with theoretical works. Peat is a hard core. Empiricists data free just as big data, has come into our life in sports, our life in the media so too, Big Data, help to inform me some of the sum Therefore, policy, prescriptions on national security affairs most have peeps. Research has focused on suicide attacks. I collected the first complete database of all suicidal. around the world shortly after nine eleven that data went from the early nineteen eighties when the modern phenomenon began to just before the Iraq war, two thousand and three during that window of time there were three hundred and forty three completed? Suicide attacks were an individual killed himself or herself on a mission to kill others
So what can these data tell us where the main risk factor people think it's associate with sewers I'd attack is islamic fundamentalism, religion and, specifically, comic fundamentalism because they witness they observe the attacker nine hundred and eleven, where islamic fundamentalist many of the attackers in Iraq ISIS is an islamic fundamentalist group. Well, what this research found really for the first time is that religion is not as prominent a cause of sewer terrorism, as many people think the world leader. During that twenty four year period was not an islamic group. They were the Tamil TIGERS in Sri Lanka, a marxist group, a secular group, a Hindu group, the Tamil TIGERS in Sri Lanka did more suicide attacks,
then Hamas or Islamic Jihad. What over ninety five percent of all suicide attacks have in common is not religion but a specific strategic objective to compel a democratic state to withdraw combat forces from territory. The terrorists see as their homeland or prize from Lebanon. in the West Bank back then to Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, this idea of military occupation? Is the leading risk factor producing over ninety five percent of the suicide attacks that we see, as even as we speak, Ok, so if occupation then is on an oath, if we, if its appropriate to call it the root cause of the majority, I think that's a great way to think about it. Stephen occupation is the root cause. There are additional
enabling causes or secondary causes? So I don't mean to say that this is a minor causal explanation, but it's like smoking causing lung cancer is the root cause of much of the lung cancer that we observe military occupation is the root cause of suicide terrorism and there are two types of military occupation: there is a law of foreign, very distant or external cooperation such as when the United States occupies a rack and then there can also be an internal occupation such as when one group occupies another group, such as in Iraq. Today The sheer dominated government is occupying the sunni population in Iraq. The reason we're talking now
The reason that the world, his amp up its interest in preventing terrorism lately is because of the recent turret terrorist attacks in Paris, which were not suicide attacks and were, ah examples of religious extremism are fundamentalism, so that goes against the the components of your research and a couple ways, but I'm guessing. You still have something. Well, you know, I, I guess I'd like to stop you there for a moment, Stephen, because there is no doubt that religion was part of the cocktail, but now that we know more about the biographies of the various attackers and it's made possible because a we serve the french authorities arrested and prosecuted a hum several of the attackers
actually knew quite a bit about them, so we have depositions about what's motivating them, and I just point out that what we know about the Paris attackers at their powerfully, motivated by the Iraq war by the Abu Ghraib, torture abuse. So this isn't just simply a matter of religion. This is a matter of individuals being motivated by seeing harm of on kindred populations in wanting to do something to to prove that harm or to ameliorate the harm. So considering that conclusion, how do you start to think about addressing the problem? Maybe maybe it's not a prom. We should talk about in terms of solving as many problems never get solved, but considering that the root cause is based on an occupation of one kind or another, which has happened in the past, even if youve, ah you know, D occupied,
Initial cause still exists in the minds of those who are agitated by it. How do you begin to think about dealing with the aftermath if you're, the kind of country like us or like France, or like Britain, that carries out its national security in the ways that it does and perhaps inspires people to hold this kind of grudge. There's really two things that we need to do. Stephen first is not make the problem worse before the invasion of Iraq, there were about fifty suicide attacks ring around the world in two thousand and one and two thousand and two and only a handful of those were Anti american. Then we thought we'd fix the problem of terrorism. By going to a rack, an essentially ringing the islamic fundamentalism out of the Middle EAST by democratizing it well, what happened by two thousand and seven is it, there were over five hundred suicide attacks that year,
over three hundred of them in Iraq, which had never experienced a suicide attack before so. We made the problem dramatically? Worse and in fact, the roots of ISIS and, as I just told you, the Paris attack, go back to the american occupation for luge, boo grave. These are the ingredients, the cocktail of what we're living with today. So if we were to then respond to the terrorism that, see by putting another massive army in either a rack. Syria, Yemen, Saudi arabia- these are very big countries, very big populations. Many people might think that we couldn't make the problem worse. Oh yes, we can make it much worse very quickly, as we saw with the rack. The second thing
is we should be focusing on especially empowering moderates in local communities to compete head to head with with terrorists. We did this, a rack starting in two thousand and wait two thousand and six and two thousand and seven and two thousand and eight in the sea. community. When we started to foment and foster an impasse where the amber awakening this was essentially a hundred thousand sudanese many of them connected with local sunni tribes, where the United States its paid individuals, three hundred dollars a month to do just one thing: don't kill us, don't shoot at us. These had been shooting us before. This was a controversial thing when the Bush administration did it, but
this had a dramatic effect in weakening suicide terrorism, the most important effect of anything that we did. We should be doing this as we go forward in Iraq. We should be doing this as we go forward in Yemen. backed from what I can see of the Obama administration they are moving in this direction, given what the? U S others, have spent on the war on terror. How would you care derisory our ally? I would say that, unfortunately, is quite negative, harking back to Rumsfeld in two thousand. Five, he had a famous line where he asked publicly Are we creating more terrorists than were killing and answer was in two thousand and five we were we not only had invaded in occupied a rock most of the public will know about Abu Ghraib and the poor and the torture scandal.
But in addition to that, we were imprisoning thousands of Iraqis that we thought were connected with the insurgency, and that was growing into that as an informed. The insurgency was estimated to be just five thousand, and then we started to improve in an arrest and we ended up. Presenting almost twenty thousand over the next year and a half, and then we started to kill insurgents. We ended up killing eighteen thousand over the next year and have so that what we do as we thought we were going to go and stamp out. The problem with toppling changing the political system, one that didn't work. We thought we'd go and stamp out the problem with vicious behaviour run sort of the Hornets nest of some of the insurgents like Fuji, and what that those policies dead by two thousand and five is they just made the problem dramatically? Worse Rumsfeld himself
saw that, and let me ask you the flip question, then how would you character eyes the our ally for terrorists and, let's not limit this to Islam fundamentalists in the last ten or fifteen years. Let's talk about terrorism generally, it it seems as though they force their enemies, to spend billions preps trillions of dollars. There are all kinds of less easily measured costs than dollars all buying thing, a relative pittance of their own. I mean, I know it's hard for me to think of a movement or an activity. It has a larger, our ally. Frankly, horribly then terrorism. It works on your ear, exactly right, Stephen, Nine eleven by all estimates, including them eleven commission costs, Al Qaeda, less and a half million dollars in it produced
many billions of dollars of damage, not just in the loss of air traffic over the next year and a half, but in launching a two major wars, one of which, in a rack, turned out to be extremely expensive, extremely costly, and so there, is absolutely no doubt that terrorists have an enormous return on their investment, that terrorists are doing terrorism because they think it pays, and there is evidence that it pays, but that wouldn't work if we wouldn't overreact and help terrorists increase their return on investment, we have a smarter approaches to the problem then, I'm just simply reacting on the basis of fear and anger and hitting back give me an example of a government that you feel
all understands and handles deals with terrorism. Well I'll give you two examples: one the basque government, so we used to have in Spain a basque terrorism problem that terrorism problem has essentially gone away. It was was a major problem for several decades in Europe and in Europe, stages. Like many governments, the government tries handed military force to try to deal with the issue public's, of course, are afraid and fearful. They liked the public's like to see a tough talking, tough action, but that just made the problem worse and then, basically through a series of education and demographic policies, the basque separatists, basically that political movement
peered in disappeared, because the spanish government stop treating the underlying basque community as a separate community and started to have more integration is in assimilation as policies In the case of Northern Ireland. With the eye array, the British had an enormous problem with the eye are re. That really was you know, just awful thousands of people dying in the early nineties, seventies and the British first try to deal with this problem by being very tough and Maggie Thatcher, who was very kind. derivative reader of Britain in the nineteen Eightys was known as being a very tough woman. Well she's, the one who started the secret talks with the irish leaders, which the public didn't know about at the time, but ended up leading to the good Friday accords and ninety ninety eight that essentially cut a deal for us
mendous amount of political autonomy for the local communities in Northern Ireland, which effectively ended virtually end that I guess terrorism has gone on for decades. So what we have seen as we see a pattern- and we see a pattern- were states who faced terrors initially want to react with very heavy handed force. Some force, of course, is necessary, not sing, none but often oh, react make the problem worse and then, over time, worn lay cravat pay me Abloom day. You mass professor security studies, also thinks a lot about terrorists before it happens, so one of my main approaches is to look at how
terrorist groups, change and innovate, how they learn from each other and looking at, for example, changing operatives. males who were suicide bombers to looking at women terrorists and to increasing we move into the future. Looking at child who engage in political violence. For example, we see children and buckled forearm and- this cubs and we're seeing more and more children. Poor militarized across the world it takes what you might call an environmental approach, show understanding terrorism if you an environment in which young people think that there is nothing for them to lose and if they ve gotten into lose becoming a martyr, isn't really a high cost. That is a very good an environment that, if you have
society in which you have very capable young people who think that they have a bright future ahead of them. The push factors are the structural conditions of poverty, lack of education, perhaps occupation, but the pull factors are also things that the terrorist groups are able to offer the individual. So, for instance, many people think it's cool to be a terrorist. Theirs is jihadi cool associated with being a young person who my travel either to have. Ghana stand Chechnya, Bosnia or now increasingly to Syria, Tibet and me Abloom, says the internet contempt down the cool after as much as it might build it up. We have some of these jihadi on social media from the UK, complaining that you know they went to Syria thinking that they were going to be a hero and all their due these cleaning toilets bloom. Also like the idea of patrolling- We need to make sure, The internet is a safe place for young people, so
as much as we please for sexual creditors. We should be looking for these jihadi predators, we need to have it is pleasing that is very successful, as well as outreach and supporting communities. We should know, however, that Robert Peeps research doesn't give much credence to blooms contention that poverty and lack of education are what pushed someone toward terrorism. I did the largest demographic profile of suicide attackers that we, how I was able to collect socio economic data on four hundred and sixty two suicide attackers about half of them from middle eastern countries, that is, the population we most want to know about. It really shows quite striking way that the impression we have in the media that suicide attackers are these loners dregs of the earth there, uneducated, all religious,
are simply not the case. Even in the Middle EAST, in fact, many of them come from quite normal backgrounds, our mobilise by the political anger and the political problems it's kind of political activism gone wrong. In any case, MIA blooms view of terrorism contains a personal strand within about three years of starting my research and terrorism, a friend of mine from school someone I'd grown up with had gone to Israel and join military and eighteen eighty. Ninety three was kidnapped and tortured and eventual. killed by Hamas and so part of My interest was to try to understand what motivated individuals to perpetrate terrorist attacks, but I all We felt that the reaction to Jason's death was very disquieting. It caused a lot of people to justice We should just kill everyone who is in the territory These are the reaction.
was very negative against all Palestinians, even though at the time Hamas was a fringe movement course. That's no longer the case, but I thought it was important to have an approach to studied terrorism. That was one to try to understand the motivations and as well as the political context, the environment in which we see terrorism and to look at terrorism in a global perspective and not just for example, looking at tourism in the Middle EAST. coming up and I was radio, what are the motivations and what should be done about it. Also. Are we
and by we I mean Americans. Are we making too big a deal out of terrorism? Terrorism in America is not something to work on and do not worry about terrorism. Could it be that we're worrying about completely the wrong kind of terrorism, for example a new? Bioterrorist attack on the United States could easily kill and in all simulations and studies done so far, kill a hundred into a million Americans? Thanks to Pennsylvania, lottery, scratch, ass, pennsylvanians or scratching their way to fine and we'd newgate every month, big top rises and second chance, drawings, excitements, always in order
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day and right now you can try zip recruiter for free at zip, recruiter, dot, com, slash freak, that's zip, recruiter, dot, com, slash freak, yet hi, I'm guilty and Jacobs, and I'm Deanna reasonable. We ve got a new path task called if that worry politically talk to scientists, engineers NASA folks, just a punch of really smart curious people about cool stuff Julian. I think most people know you from your work on love and community, and most people would know you as friends, EC scientist Casey Heinz on Anti I ass, so we were both. but what most people don't know is that we're both really curious and passion. About stem. If we have a more the first outlook in how we look at science and engineering and technology and map, then what this is possible. I get
heavy when I get to speak to these people carriages tat back into my curiosity excitement. You know that I have a kid about all these topics so come on this journey with as we learn from some of the poorest smartest people in their fields. If then, is out now just search, if slash than to find the show that, if slash then no spaces, listen in stature apple, the serious Ex m F or wherever you get your PA, casts from W and Y see. This is for economics, radio. Here's your host Stephen governor
they were hosting a freak. Not mix summit gather ideas, ass long to an upcoming White House summit on fighting extreme violence in the Middle EAST, Europe and the Eu S elsewhere. We ve been talking with people like the security scholar me Abloom, who, since we interviewed her, has been invited to join the way, how someone, so maybe President Obama and the others there We hear a story like this one about a would be homegrown terrorist. I ask, for example, of a close friend of mine who being shake about his experiences because he ended up in ok to training camp and, in fact, came back to North America with the intend to perpetrate terrorist attacks. Any eventually change his mind and began to work as an undercover agent for the canoes in security services, but I asked him what appeal to him. You know this was a middle class kid who had grown up. You know he didn't. So we experience is love
phobia or hatred. He was well integrated and I asked me being how he was able to be convinced of the value of jihad, he said well, one of the things that they did was they distorted the Koran. So perhaps we need to make sure that people have a good islamic education? It not a secular education. That is the solution. it's to make sure that people have an education that is ground in the Koran and doesn't skip. Chapters are verses, doesn't look at sort out the toolbar and go from verse. Five ever in chapter nine, to verse, seven skipping, six, which you know, talks about the prophet, provided free access or free exit for people who want to leave the battlefield and he protected them. So it's really improve Heartened that you know, perhaps when young people are studying the great books, one of the great book should be the Koran, perhaps children in Middle America. In the middle
Nebraska should know what the Koran is about and demystify it not just for muslim communities so that they can great and that they don't feel isolated, but also just to educate. You know the country in general when it comes to educating the country in general about terrorism. Some people think we need a different kind of education entirely. The world has turned a blind eye towards what I call strategic terrorism: the idea that a terrorist group could inflict damage of enormous consequences- and we just don't seem Newark and on its Nathan, mere volt he's a forum. Microsoft executive now runs intellectual ventures. He writes about modernist cuisine. A couple years ago, he made some noise in national security circles by publishing a monograph called strategic terrorism. A call to action, strategic terrorism is categorically different from what marvelled calls technical terrorism
For example, a bioterrorist attack on the United States could easily kill and in all simulations and studies done so far is a killer hunter. thousand to a million Americans. Meanwhile, suicide bomber and a mall could kill ten people. Now, if you want to, a hundred thousand people, a suicide bombers. You need ten thousand attacks. Frankly, that's not very likely, but it may be possible for our group to execute. Why
attack the kills, a hundred thousand or a million or maybe even more. What kind of a bioterrorist attack does marvelled envision smallpox is the one everyone talks about. A small box is a truly horrific disease. Huge part of the population was never immunized because we drove smallpox extinct except there's some labs that have it and Russia actually produced weapon ized smallpox. That was problem, we have much more virulent strain than the wild one they produce literally tons of it. Thousands and thousands of of pounds of this deadly deadly transmissible thing. If a terrorist got their hands on the at or frankly, they got their hands on a natural thing. Like Ebola, you know we saw the amount of terror that he Bola struck, Ebola is actually fairly mild.
There are too many of these biological agents in terms of infectiousness. That's because Ebola requires you to get bodily fluids on you and EMU smallpox transmits through the air So, just having a conversation with someone riding on a bus or a plain you're gonna get it to the degree you have a human to human transmissible diseases like this and you release said you create a global pandemic that would shake the foundations of modern civilization, a sceptic and say: look, it hasn't happened yet so maybe you won't happen or someone gets able gi. Terrorists are more interested in blowing, people are shopping centres or flying aeroplanes in the buildings, and they are the things, and I call this. The Blanche do Bois straps
From a street car name desire, no I've always relied on the kindness of strangers. Well, this is relying on the kindness of terrorists and its true that most terrorism is low tech and its true that most terrorism is about getting some misguided person to strap a suicide vest on. and and go to crowded place, but the nine eleven attack showed enormous strategic, intend. It showed tremendous planning should operational discipline, Mohammed Oughta, the leader of that attack,
had a masters degree from a universe in Germany in urban planning if he'd had a masters degree and molecular biology. Instead, he could do a lot more damage in miracles, view the: U S needs to put a lot more emphasis on strategic threats versus technical threats, as it has done in the past. Will I think the best example is that after world war, two with the advent of nuclear weapons, we split the air force in the Navy into both the strategic forces, so that is the strategic air command. In the case of the air force, it's the young nuclear submarine force in the case of the Navy and those folks deal with missiles that have nuclear warheads, the could frankly on the world, and they don't give a damn about anything else. About tanks are not about pistols or
helicopters are all kinds of other weapons thereabout what are called strategic weapons. Meanwhile, the rest of the armed forces there, the guys that carry guns and have tanks and ships and all of the other sorts of things that are focused on the tactical stuff so why do you think, there's not more coordination, whether within the Eu S or between countries against strategic terrorism? Is it a resource allocation issue? Is it a probability, misperception issue, something else all of the above? Well, I think it's it's a lack of top down leadership. I think that many people in at least in the U S in the military, in the FBI and the intelligence agencies. Many people recognise that this is a possibility that our people who study it and who work on it and they do so in their own little files, and I believe that if there was an attack tomorrow,
a future. Nine eleven, like report written by the survivors would say. Actually, while we had this piece of interim, is amiss peoples of Intel on that, and we kind of put it together, but not fully, and then oops. We didn't actually have any protective gear and we didn't know what to do. You know that their this old truism that generals always ready to fight the last war, not the one they have to fight and its human nature. It's a thing we actually focus on are the novel, the things that are fresh in our minds, the lessons we think we learn from last time right, but you could say that a lot of things that we do. Naturally you know their human nature and therefore we accept them. We explain them. We rationalism weathered something to do with how we treat our our bodies with something we do in society with how we treat the environment and so on.
and yet we worked pretty hard to supersede that human nature in matters where the stakes are high enough. So how do you do that here and that's the definition of leadership? Leadership is taking people who place they wouldn't have gotten. To already of you see a parade going down the street and you run up in front of it and I actually following you: if you're only leading, if you take them no place, they wouldn't have gone to buy them lowness themselves and, of course we have lots of people trying to supply that leadership at many parts of the government. I don't mean to sell them all short, but I think that the fact that we haven't seen this kind of attack already, Billy effects everyone's expectations. We ask anybody at the top of the food chain and national security. He'll tell you exactly the same thing: that's Jack, Jacobs, retired Army colonel
He is a medal of honor recipient, Prince heroism during the Vietnam WAR. These now a military analysed for NBC and Emerson. We Really dont have any national strategy, but to be fair, trying to develop a national strategy in kind of national security environment. We were just. getting started. It's probably too much to ask and in fact what the National Command Authority that includes President United States and all the people who direct the report to him, including the chairman of Joint Chiefs of staff and so on. What they're doing is solving tactical problems, they're, making tactical decisions in the circumstances. In the absence of an overarching strategy, that's probably all you can do but I would like to see a summit convened and not an open session either by the way there determine what our national security objectives are on. What are the specific
goals we need in order to achieve them until we do that. We're gonna be planned tactics in that strategy. We're, gonna, be sending drones to blow up guy or guy, be without any. About what the long term positive strategy that achieves I'm, not averse to that. You know if you want some better guys killed. I'm your guy. I am strongly in favour of that, but what I like to see some logic attended to what our tactical moves are, and I don't see any of that. Yet, what's the difference jack in how politicians view terror.
Some compared till it say: military law enforcement intelligence. I think politicians have a tendency to use the term terrorism to apply that anything that looks dangerous and particularly those things that we don't seem to have any plans to deal with it be whose them to categorize almost everything is terrorism. The result of that is that we ignored some the threats in which people don't directly get killed, and cyber security is one of them. So talk to me for a minute about that, if you were on allocating resources to physical sick, already in cyber securing what end, whatever other kinds of security might want. How might you colonel Jacob suggest we do things differently, while I spent a lot more, my a lot more time and a lot more other resources, including human resources.
to solve the problem of how we protect our data at rest, we're just now. We rising that all of our data are at risk. I was talking to a friend of mine who runs. A very large retail operation. We retire about cyber security- and I said well, what do you care you just like selling socks, slurp bees or something or other, he says you must be joking, we're a bank. We have everybody's credit card numbers, baking, information, everybody's address or phone numbers, everything about them, so every enterprise, every commercial enterprise is, has data at rest. That needs to be protected, not just the defence department or the Energy Department and so far we ve paid short shrift too, that threat enemies of the United States.
casual hackers have no problem whatsoever, especially if they ve got the sophisticated computers have no problem entering our systems and the danger is real and we are just now realising that the dangerous real I would spend lots more money in that so what sort of advice we turned up to date? Pass along to the White House Summit, me Abloom, and Robert Paper told us the root causes of terrorism often not what we assume in this obviously effect. I think about prevention, Jack Jacobs and neither marvelled warned us not to spend so many resources preventing old fashioned physical terrorism when the threats of bioterrorism and cyber terrorism may be much greater Steve Levitt. Meanwhile, my economist friend, he too thinks it. Americans worry more than they should about the threat of physical terrorism.
Thank you just want to start with the basic idea that is almost zero, that that, whether its relevant bigger now a little bit less now terrorism for essentially for ever, has been been just a drop in the bucket of the ways that people can die, and you know if you compare it to any sort of a health risk like diabetes, heart attacks or cancer or any sort of socially constructed risk like dying in a car crash or even accidents like fine downstairs in general terrorism in America is, is not something to worry about a very different view. If you live in in Syria or or Iraq Something like that. Look tears matters there, because terrorism is is like a way of life like it's really terrorism in, and you know the fight for for control of government, whether or not our all kind of mixed together, but in of your american
and you don't want to be a victim of of Terry if you Basis Day in United States in anywhere anywhere other than in places that are actively fighting for government here incredibly safe limit, doesn't think that he has much to contribute to an anti terrorism summit. To be honest, I think if someone wanted to use my services more effectively, I think I would be much less effective in a bomb administration get together. Trying to fight terrorism, then, actually working on the other side had think it much easier for economists to come up with good ideas about how to be terrorist rather than how to fight terrorism, because how to be a good terrorist is, is about thinking. What are the things you can do to a society which is most disruptive him most most affects either the psychology or the commerce of a country and its it's almost the economic question in reverse that account,
and allowed hunting Hata most efficient and make a condom is run, so I think, were actually pretty good at figuring out how to destroy economies to, and so not that I think any of us are actively engaged in that endeavour, but I do think we would be more useful on that side of the table case that, after the anti terrorism summit is over, if they hold a pro terrorism summit, you'll volunteer for that. I'm not saying I would want here, but I would say that if I says wanted to be particularly effective, perhaps they should kidnap a bunch of economists and em and treat us kindly and introduce into believing their mission and take advantage of our not
in win, because then the economist go away to a package of measures on the next economics radio we have agreed, far ranging conversation with Jimmy on Kim the President of the World Bank first question: how did someone who trained as an empty and an anthropologist become head of the World Bank I started off by saying: will present Obama have you read your mother's dissertation and he said looked at me and he said well yeah I have him is a different kind of World Bank president and when it comes to fighting poverty, he is looking for a different set of solutions for having a good time
next time, its next time for economic freedom. Reaganomics radio was produced by W and Y see and Abner productions. Our staff includes Gregory speak Caroline, English Susie Luxembourg and Chris Bannon withheld from Christopher weren't Anna higher Rick Kwan, David, Herman and Marriage Jacob. If you want more frequent comics radio, you can subscribe to our podcast on Itunes or go to free economic stock com, real fine lots of radio, a blog, the books or.
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Transcript generated on 2021-03-11.