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The Cost of Fighting Terrorism

The recent deadly attacks in Paris remind us that beyond individual victims, these attacks also generate an enormous cost to society. A few days after these dramatic incidents, the French government announced the recruitment of more than 2,600 police and gendarmerie officers including intelligence officers : the budget cost is estimated at €740 million. Despite this precise figure it is hard to assess the real cost of terrorism for Nations. Probably billions of $, even trillions per year! We have to think first about the loss of life, then the economic damage but also the increasing security spending to fight terrorism. What we know for sure is that the cost of fighting terrorism shows a significant increase. Measures in this area include education programmes in order to counter radicalisation and the strengthening of police and justice resources, mainly by financing sophisticated surveillance techniques and weapons.Terrorism is well known to affect negatively specific industries such as tourism (ex.Egypt).But above all it is drawing resources from private sectors to security sectors contributing further to the tight budgetary situation in many States. A report published by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs estimated that in 2013 the extra trade costs due to terrorism could amount to $180 billion.Unsurprisingly the Global Terrorism Index 2014 which is ranking 158 Nations around the world focuses on Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria. But it also affects India, Russia and the UK and France. It is a global threat. And to face this asymmetric warfare we now urgently need to put in place an effective and renewed international cooperation.

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