Since the September 11 attack in 2001 on the world trade center, terrorism transformed into a global issue and since then it has assumed a center stage with the US taking a leading role in the fight against terrorism. This has forced the US to spend billions of dollars in fuelling the fight against terrorism and in ensuring that homeland security is uplifted. If terrorism is left loose the amount of damage and death it can cause is devastating as seen in bombing of world trade centre in New York. To some extent governments are justified to spend substantial resources and time on counterterrorism measures to ensure safety of its citizens. But on the other hand some think that the threat posed by global terrorism is not worth for governments such as US to spend billions of dollars on counterterrorism measures when in fact there are more pressing issues such as health issues and environmental issues that are claiming many lives annually yet they have not been given the attention they deserve. Some Experts think the more governments are going to spend on counterterrorism the more severe the issue of terrorism is going to be. They suggest that the fight against terrorism can be won by spending less and emphasizing international cooperation. This paper tries to bring out both sides of the argument on expenditure in terms of resources and time in curbing global terrorism (Federal Research Division, 2009).
Why spending a lot time and resources on terrorism is justified
Although global terrorist networks are small the amount of destruction they can bring when they they hit is very devastating as seen in September 11 attacks on world trade center in New York by al-Qaida. The fight against global terrorism is a very complicated issue that world leaders are always confronted with. This is because terrorist networks have undergone transformation both in terms of ideology and operation and therefore uprooting them has proved to be a nightmare for countries like US which has been keen to take a leading role. Therefore this means that world leaders should give the fight against global terrorism the proper attention it deserves and give counterterrorism measures proper funding to ensure that the world is free from threats posed by this menace (Federal Research Division, 2009).
Some have argued that based on the small size of terrorist networks in the world, world leaders should not pay a lot of attention in fighting the menace. But some experts say that the threats posed by terrorism on economy and world peace and stability are very real and worth spending. If this menace goes uncontrolled it can bring the whole world down its knees. For instance the September 11 attacks affected stock markets in the whole world something that took many days to recover. Some experts think that the fight against terrorism and the associated expenses are not exaggerated. They think that the threats posed by terrorists are real and if given a chance they will cause damages and losses that will cost a lot of resources and time to fix than if preventive measures had been taken (National Counterterrorism Center, 2009).
Some experts suggest that that the attention the world leaders is giving the fight against global terrorism in terms of time and finance is justified because today the world is experiencing a rebirth of attacks from terrorist groups that calls for renewed efforts which can only be effective if sufficient resources and time are committed into counterterrorism measures. With the renaissance of terrorism that the whole world is experiencing, each nation is justified to do whatever it has to do to guarantee safety of its citizens and the world is a peaceful pace for everybody (National Counterterrorism Center, 2009).
Terrorism currently is one of the major problems facing the world and is recurring around the globe in many ways threatening world peace, economy and stability. Some experts suggest that this will require increased counter terrorism measure to counter balance this threat. For instance the US spends around 5 billion dollars in counterterrorism measure something that some say is bearing fruits because it is becoming increasingly difficult for any terrorist group to carry out an attack in the US (Federal Research Division, 2009).
Why amount of resources and time spent on terrorism is not justified
The bombing of the world trade center by al-Qaida terrorists instilled fear among world leaders especially the US. It is been this fear of terror that justified the Iraq and Afghanistan war, where billions of dollars have spent in fighting an elusive enemy. It has been argued that terrorism is a threat to individual freedom of the Americans but according to George Orwell it is the very government that is purporting to protect the people (Mark, 2008).
Most citizens from developed countries view terrorism as one of greatest threats in the world. Research has shown that trans-national terrorist claim just average of 420 lives annually. Therefore someone can argue that terrorist have been successful in luring developed countries to make poor investments worth billions of dollars in counterterrorism activities while ignoring most pressing related to environment, health, governance and conflict (Mark, 2008).
Studies indicate that expenditures on homeland security procedures have gone up by about 70 billion US dollars since 2001. This increased spending has made even the problem worse. Despite the increased spending on counter terrorism, deaths resulting from attacks by transnational attacks have e been increasing by an average of 67 annually. Some experts think that the annual increase in death toll is as a result of terrorists responding logically to the imposed risks by high security measures that have been put in place. Therefore terrorist have started using attacks that are likely to create more carnage so that they create more impact with the few attacks they make. Therefore it can be argued that the more the amount spent on counterterrorism and the tighter the security measures, then the severe the attacks from terrorist attacks and the more daring these terrorist groups become (Mark, 2008).
Economists argue that in order to increase defensive measures by 25 % worldwide it will require at least 75 billion US dollars for a period of five years. Terrorist will respond by turning their attention to softer targets. In turn this will mean that for every extra dollar spent on counter terrorism it will achieve a maximum of 30 cent s return and only 105 lives will be saved annually worldwide in the best scenario. If this money is channelled to other pressing issues such as health, transport safety and environmental issues it will bring more return and more lives will be saved. For instance it estimated that road accidents in the US claims about 30,000 people annually yet the government has never paid much attention in curbing the menace. (Mark, 2008).
The amount of money spent on counterterrorism measures is not proportional to the threat posed by the act of terrorism taking into account that terrorist network are very small. Some Experts suggest that instead of spending a lot of money on counterterrorism, international cooperation should be emphasized to cut off all sources of finance to terrorist. This will be far much cheaper and effective. This will ensure that money which otherwise would have been wasted is spent on more pressing issues (Mark, 2008).
Global terrorism is a serious threat that is posing a serious threat to world peace and stability. Although terrorist networks are small in magnitude the destruction they can cause when they strike is far reaching. To curb this menace, it calls for proper attention and resources. Currently the resources and time that world leaders are spending in the fight against terrorism is overemphasised compared to the real threat posed by terrorism. This has been made worse because despite the huge resources and time spent in this fight, the number of deaths arising from terrorism keeps on increasing and terrorist groups are getting tougher. This calls for world leaders to come up with strategies that will call for less resources and time for instance through international cooperation in cutting down the sources of finance to this groups thus ensuring that other pressing issues get the required attention and resources.