When it comes to topics such as the 'War on...', I always find it first necessary to talk about numbers.
- TSA budget is about $8 billion in 2012.
- NIP and MIP (National and Military Intelligence Programs, respectively) budgets at $53 billion and $27 billion in 2010.
- Dept. of Homeland Security budget at $60.8 billion annually.
Between all these different departments created to 'protect' our civil liberties, we're talking about $140 billion a year spent. Regardless of what you think about it, do you really believe that anything will possibly change when we're talking about 10x more money than the projected $15 billion on surveillance globally in 2013?
As with everything else, security is really just a guise to create a new market, accessible by the few who can afford to lobby and the few who have the network connections into the top brass at each of these agencies that farm out the business to contractors.
So yes, is it irrational? Sure. Does it matter? Nope. Because fear is an economic driver, and we need to keep driving the econonmy any way we possibly can. The goal is to ensure the dollar is the strongest currency and financial instrument- because if it isn't, then the national debt is in serious trouble, since there will be no will across the world to continue to invest in the dollar.
Terrorism is a method not to 'create fear', but to create an asynchronous war. The 9/11 attack was funded by approximately $400,000 to $500,000 in funds from Al Queda. The total 'cost' of the attack is calculated to be $15 trillion, when factoring in debt, markets, capital, budgets, reconstruction, etc.
That's asynchronous. That's a factor of 30,000,000:1 in financial damage.
Can we even afford the war on terror? No. Is it worth it? No. Can we stop it now that it drives a signficant portion of the US economy? No.
Terrorism works because of how we respond to it.