There is a very interesting op-ed in the Times today (complete with handy chart by our friend Rob Di Ieso, Jr.) about applying game theory to terror attack prevention. The way the game works is that we try to secure our ports and airports, and terrorists try to find the easiest way through that security. We must, therefore, argues Lawrence Wein, make sure every possible permutation of routes that a bomb could enter the country is equally hardened. If one is easier, that is the one the terrorists will pick, but we wont know it, because we're ignoring it.The chart breaks down all 132 ways that a dirty bomb could end up in an American city, so you can identify the choke points where money can be spent most efficiently to stop the most number of outcomes. Ideally, that means stopping anyone from putting a nuclear bomb on a plane or a boat in a foreign country. That becomes harder in principle, and to hear Wein tell it, we're not doing a great job on a lot of the other options.
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