The FBI arrested a Navy veteran for sending two letters to a Pentagon distribution center that tested positive for ricin, providing a test run on the effectiveness of interagency response to biological attacks, pandemics, and other bioincidents.
How serious a problem is terrorism? Krueger’s table of relative risks shows that the answer is “not very.” An American’s lifetime risk of being killed by a terrorist, calculates Krueger, is 1:69,000. Compare that to the 1:88 chance of being killed in a motor vehicle accident and the even more serious 1:7 risk of dying from cancer and 1:4 risk of dying from heart disease.
Comparing the jihadist attacks on September 11, 2001 to the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor has become a staple of commentary on the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history. Google this topic and nearly half a million links will pop up; google “lesson plans” and you’ll get nearly five million hits. In the catalogue of historical analogies, the comparison of 9/11 to 12/7 is perhaps the most popular outside the historians’ guild.
The honor recognizes Auslin for his original contributions to historical scholarship. The inaugural Williams-Griffis Fellow in Contemporary Asia at the Hoover Institution, Auslin specializes in global risk analysis, U.S. security and foreign policy strategy, and security and political relations in Asia.
We live in an age of terror. While the attacks of September 11, 2001, are a faint memory for many and sometimes not even that, children born after the attacks becoming adults this year after a decade and a half has passed. And yet the reality remains that those killed over 3,000 Americans on our soil in less than two hours would strike us again if the opportunity presented itself.