How Much Homeland Security Is Enough?

Monday, October 24, 2011
Noon (Luncheon to Follow)

Featuring John Mueller, Woody Hayes Chair of National Security Studies, Mershon Center, Ohio State University; Mark G. Stewart, Professor of Civil Engineering, Director, Centre for Infrastructure Performance and Reliability, The University of Newcastle in Australia; moderated by Benjamin H. Friedman, Research Fellow, Defense and Homeland Security Studies, Cato Institute, Co-editor, Terrorizing Ourselves: Why U.S. Counterterrorism Policy Is Failing and How to Fix It.

Because of the ongoing construction in our building expansion, this Cato Institute Book Forum will be held at
Mount Vernon Place • Undercroft Auditorium
900 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C., 20001

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Americans tend to evaluate homeland security by asking, "Does it make us safer?" That, however, is the wrong question. Even the most extravagantly wasteful security measures enhance physical safety from attack, however microscopically. The better question is, "Are the gains in security worth the funds expended?" John Mueller and Mark Stewart's new book, Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security, uses cost-benefit analysis to show that for the vast majority of U.S. homeland security and counterterrorism policies, the answer to this question is a resounding "no." Though the analytic approach employed in the book is common in regulatory agencies charged with protecting public safety, the Department of Homeland Security still neglects it. Mueller and Stewart will discuss the findings in their book and the U.S. government's curious disinterest in them.

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