War on Terror Driven by Overreaction, Expert Says
By Evan Moore
America's war on terror is driven by an irrational fear of terrorism, according to one homeland security expert who believes that the money spent and the security steps taken after 9/11 do not match the reality posed by the threat. Other experts, however, insist that the terror threat is real and credible.
Dr. John Mueller, professor of political science at Ohio State University, wrote in the current issue of The American Interest -- a center-left foreign policy magazine -- that when it comes to finding al-Qaeda-linked terror cells within the United States, "investigators haven't found much of anything because there isn't much of anything to find."
Domestic security agencies such as the FBI "have dutifully and laboriously assembled masses of intelligence data and have pursued an endless array of leads," Mueller said. "Almost all of this activity has led nowhere, but it will continue because, of course, no one wants to be the one whose neglect somehow led to 'another 9/11.'"
In an interview with Cybercast News Service , Mueller admitted that "there are bad guys out there, and they can sometimes do bad things, but to consider them to be an existential threat is really a massive extrapolation from [the] single tragedy" of 9/11.
Mueller said it would be "so easy" for al Qaeda to do a "small-scale attack" in the United States -- blowing up a fast-food restaurant, for example.
"It seems likely that...they just don't intend to do it, and it may be that they're perfectly happy to keep watching as the United States overreacts and gets itself deeper into the ditch," Mueller said.
In his article, Mueller quotes New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as saying in 2007, "Get a life ... you have a much greater danger of being hit by lightning than being struck by a terrorist."
However, Dr. James Jay Carafano, an expert in homeland security at the conservative Heritage Foundation, told Cybercast News Service that according to publicly available information, 19 terror attacks aimed at the United States have been thwarted since Sept. 11, 2001. Other attacks may also have been stopped, but information on those incidents may be classified for security reasons.
1) War on Terror Driven by Overreaction, Expert Says