How Overreaction and Misdirection Play into the Strategy of Terrorism

Capitol Hill Briefing
May 11, 2009 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM EDT

B-339 Rayburn House Office Building

Featuring Christopher A. Preble, Director of Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute and David Rittgers, Legal Policy Analyst, Cato Institute, and three-tour veteran, Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan.

Terrorism seeks to weaken strong powers like the United States by goading them to overreact and waste their own blood and treasure, give sympathy and recruiting gains to terrorists, and come loose from their ideological moorings. Beyond avoiding war and misdirected homeland security efforts, sound counterterrorism strategy requires subtle awareness of the different ways a victim state's actions can play into terrorists' hands. Countering the strategic logic of terrorism will require policymakers to adopt very disciplined responses and deny superficially appealing impulses toward overreaction. Please join Cato scholars David Rittgers and Christopher Preble to discuss a more effective way to respond to terrorist threats and activities.