Risk Perception in an Era of Terrorism: Strategic Questions, Issues and Implications   [open pdf - 641KB]

"History has demonstrated that in countries ruled by democratic forms of government, including the United States, public support is essential for the successful prosecution of a conflict, whether the adversary is another state or a non-state actor. [...] The administration has dubbed its 'active opposition' the Global War on Terror (GWOT). One must assume that, if it is to be successful, just as with past conflicts, the GWOT requires public support. Does it exist? Can and will such support be sustained? A recently completed study by a Study Group of the Atlantic Council of the United States notes public opinion polls showing that support for the Bush administration's efforts to address terrorism have fallen since their high point shortly after the tragedies of September 11, 2001. The public's confidence in the government's ability to prevent terrorism also has fallen since that time. At the same time, and somewhat paradoxically, public concern about terrorism has also diminished.2 Does this reporting tell the whole story about public support and the war on terror? And what does it tell us about the strategy necessary to both shape the U.S. approach to the terrorist challenge and sustain public support for that approach? This paper examines some of the key issues related to the GWOT, public attitudes toward and support for that 'war,' and the implications for the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)." Note: This document has been added to the Homeland Security Digital Library in agreement with the Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering WMD (PASCC) as part of the PASCC collection. Permission to download and/or retrieve this resource has been obtained through PASCC.

Report Number:
Report No. ASCO 2006 010; Report No. Advanced Systems and Concepts Office 2006 010; Report No. DTRA01-03-D-0017; Report No. Defense Threat Reduction Agency 01-03-D-0017
Public Domain. Downloaded or retrieved via external web link as part of the PASCC collection.
Retrieved From:
ASCO/PASCC Archives via NPS Center on Contemporary Conflict
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