The Danger of Overreacting to Terrorism—and How to Resist It

A Belgian soldier patrols on a main boulevard in Brussels, Nov. 22, 2015 (AP photo by Geert Vanden Wijngaert).
A Belgian soldier patrols on a main boulevard in Brussels, Nov. 22, 2015 (AP photo by Geert Vanden Wijngaert).
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Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series inviting authors to identify the biggest priority—whether a threat, risk, opportunity or challenge—facing the international order and U.S. foreign policy today. For the prosperous and stable nations of Europe and North America, the cost of terrorism is usually dwarfed by the cost of reactions to it. Avoiding such overreaction is the most pressing challenge in security policy today. The number of Westerners killed by terrorists has grown of late, thanks largely to attacks in Brussels, Paris, Istanbul and Nice related to the self-described Islamic State. Still, the threat remains […]

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