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Deterrence, Preemption and Panic: A Common-Enemy Problem of Terrorism

Das, Satya P. and Roy Chowdhury, Prabal (2008): Deterrence, Preemption and Panic: A Common-Enemy Problem of Terrorism.

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Abstract

We develop a game-theoretic analysis of terrorism that examines the interaction between a terrorist organization and multiple target countries, and considers both pre-emption and deterrence as counter-terrorist policies. The damage from terror includes not only the material cost of fatality, injury and loss of property, but also the resultant fear. The fear-effect leads to different kinds of equilibria and implications for counter-terrorism policies. In particular, the model identifies conditions under which greater pre-emption may be the rational response to an increase in terrorism, i.e., it analyzes the merit of the dictum: ``offense is the best defense.'' Further, it examines the characteristics of cooperative behavior among target countries in dealing with the threat of terrorism.

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