Article Title

What Price Security?

Author Biography

Donald C. Masters, Ph.D., was formerly with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (1973–1975) in the Public and Private Finance Division. He subsequently joined the U.S. Foreign Service (1977– 97) where he advised governments on economic and fiscal policies. During rotations at the State Department, he served as USAID Officer-in-Charge for various countries including Morocco, Tunisia, and Jordan. In 1998, he became a senior consultant for the International Development Business Consultants (IDBC) and later joined the faculty at the Monterey Institute of International Studies as an Adjunct Professor of Economics (1999–2002). Currently, he is an Executive Director on the Board of the Homeland Security Innovation Association (HLSIA), a private non-profit corporation whose primary mission is to aggregate information, disseminate potential solutions, and articulate technology-related issues pertinent to homeland security. Dr. Masters can be reached for comment at: mailto:masters@hlsia.org>masters@hlsia.org.



Subject Area Keywords

Counterterrorism, Economics, Homeland security, National security, Security policy, Security studies


This article presents a critique of the Copenhagen Consensus Center's(CCC) exhaustive study on transnational terrorism, published in 2008.The implications of this study are controversial, yet highly relevant in today's economic environment. The Obama administration must come toterms with fiscal realities that will challenge budget priorities and invigorate what will undoubtedly prove to be tough negotiations on Capitol Hill for homeland security dollars. It is proposed here that standard economic tools such as benefit cost analysis, cost effectiveness criteria, and simulation models can help identify areas where security can be either extended or improved using fewer resources. Greater movement towards competitive procurement practices will also result in lower costs and higher returns on security investments.