About six months ago, I did an elegant back-of-envelope calculation about the Western Hemisphere Travel Restriction Initiative’s cost in terms of lost freedom and commerce. I came up with an estimate of about half a billion dollars (net present value).
If that estimate was a little too airy, here’s a clearer cost of WHTI: $944 million over three years. That’s the direct cost we’re paying through the State Department for the WHTI rules.
So now we’re at around $1.5 billion. Will $1.5 billion+ in damage to the United States’ people, possessions, infrastructure, and interests be averted thanks to WHTI? No. As a security measure, it’s Swiss cheese.
WHTI does more harm than good. It is a self-injurious misstep - precisely what the strategy of terrorism seeks to cause.