Public Safety and the Moral Dilemma in the Defense Against Terror
The economic theory of defense has traditionally described public safety as achieved through investments that deter adversaries. Deterrence is however ineffective, and preemptive defense is required, when a population of intended victims confronts supreme-value suicide terror. A moral dilemma then arises, since preemption may impose collective punishment, while, in the absence of preemption, the population of intended victims is exposed to acts of terror. We consider how a population of intended terror victims confronts the moral dilemma, and compare the threatened population’s response with the public-safety recommendations of external judges who are not personally affected by the threat of terror.
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