How Should America's Anti-Terrorism Budget Be Allocated? Findings from a National Survey of Attitudes of U.S. Residents about Terrorism

U.S. residents are very concerned about future terrorist attacks and they are willing to commit substantial sums to prevent further terrorist acts. Protecting against another 9/11 style incident is important, but U.S. residents are more concerned about protecting the food supply system and preventing release of chemical or biological agents in public areas. On average respondents would allocate 13.3 percent more to protect the food supply chain and 12.0 percent more to protect against release of a toxic chemical or biological agent than they would to protect against another terrorist attack using hijacked aircraft. Approximately $5 billion is currently spent to protect civil aviation. The 2006 budget provided $8.6 billion of fiscal authority for programs protecting against all types of catastrophic terrorist incidents, including protection against radiological or nuclear incidents, as well as protecting the food supply and preventing chemical or biological attacks. No one would argue that decisions on the size and internal allocation of the nation's homeland security budget should be made on the basis of a public opinion survey, but this survey indicates that Americans would likely support additional spending to defend the food system and protect against release of a chemical or biological agent.

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Working Paper 2006-01

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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