NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Increase In Terrorism Predicted

September 21, 1999

Americans at home and abroad will the subjected to increasing terrorism in the next 25 years. Meanwhile, even as the U.S. military is shrinking, we are increasingly involving our troops in "peacekeeping" operations around the globe. Those are the observations of a federal advisory commission which warns that the nation is not prepared to defend itself from terrorist threats at home.

The commission, headed by former Senators Gary Hart and Warren B. Rudman, voiced these concerns:

  • The most serious threat to our security may consist of unannounced attacks on American cities by terrorist groups using germ warfare.
  • Another threat may be a well-planned cyber-attack on the East Coast's air traffic control system as some 200 commercial aircraft are trying to land safely in a morning's rain and fog.
  • U.S. forces will be increasingly involved in humanitarian missions in trouble spots around the world, fueling resentment toward us.
  • In one of its grimmest predictions, the report said that "Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large numbers.

While Russia and China are likely to become competitors to the U.S. in global influence, it is also possible that Russia and China could disintegrate.

The predictions were not entirely gloomy, however. The spread of democracy, advances in medicine and technology and new economic opportunities raise the prospect of increased stability and security around the world, the commission said.

Source: Steven Lee Myers, "Federal Commission Predicts Increasing Threat of Terrorism," New York Times, September 21, 1999.


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