. "3 Discussion of Terrorist Threats in the United States and India and Relevant Science and Technology." Science and Technology to Counter Terrorism: Proceedings of an Indo-U.S. Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2007.
The following HTML text is provided to enhance online
readability. Many aspects of typography translate only awkwardly to HTML.
Please use the page image
as the authoritative form to ensure accuracy.
Science and Technology to Counter Terrorism: Proceedings of an Indo-U.S. Workshop
moment. Ultimately, federal funding will be necessary, but he asked: Will the systems deployed be effective? His answer was that this will depend on whether or not the problem is looked at comprehensively, which was one of the tasks to be undertaken by the Homeland Security Institute. It was intended to be a decision support organization to convince the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and other senior officials to look at the deployment of these technical fixes in the context of a realistic and comprehensive analysis, including the likelihood that terrorists will become more sophisticated in their attacks. Branscomb estimated that the United States would go through a period of several years in which the money available will be used to purchase whatever is offered by the most politically persuasive vendor, and it will take a few years to find out that it does not work. This was a point also made by an Indian participant, Gopal, who noted that there was likely to be tension between antiterrorist cooperations and commercial interests. The classic example he cited was the 1972 Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention (BWC), which is still hampered because of the conflict between the need for inspections of facilities and the resistance of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
The session ended with some additional remarks by Raman on the dilemma of dealing with contemporary terrorists. He noted that “classical” terrorists had political gains in mind and did not really want to kill people, but did so only to obtain favorable treatment for their cause. Contemporary terrorists do not care about that, Raman noted; they want to destroy the opponent. The dilemma is that these people will not simply assert that they have a weapon and that they will set it off unless their demands are met; there may well be a weapon that will be detonated without any warning, and this will be the first time we know of it.