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WMD TerrorismScience and Policy Choices$
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Stephen M. Maurer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262012980

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262012980.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

Setting Priorities: Assessing Threats and Identifying Cost-Effective Responses to WMD Terrorism

Setting Priorities: Assessing Threats and Identifying Cost-Effective Responses to WMD Terrorism

Chapter:
(p.190) (p.191) 7 Setting Priorities: Assessing Threats and Identifying Cost-Effective Responses to WMD Terrorism
Source:
WMD Terrorism
Author(s):

Thomas Edmunds

Richard Wheeler

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262012980.003.0007

Three facts have been established regarding homeland security: (1) there are groups around the world that are motivated to attack the United States; (2) there remain serious vulnerabilities that, if exploited, could result in staggering consequences to population and infrastructure; and (3) there are not enough resources to fully defend all targets. This means that rational strategies must prioritize potential countermeasures according to how cost-effective they are in reducing total risk. This chapter examines homeland security’s unique prioritization problem using concepts and techniques from risk assessment, decision analysis, game theory, threat-based planning, and other disciplines. It argues that formal risk analysis techniques originally developed for twentieth-century industry have provided a firm foundation for quantitative analyses of WMD terrorism.

Keywords:   homeland security, national security, prioritization, defense strategy, risk assessment, risk reduction

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