It will take some time to sort out the carnage that terrorists caused in Brussels Tuesday, but it is already clear what kind responses are likely to encourage further atrocities. First, terrorists want the public to overreact, conferring on their actions a significance that is not merited. Second, blaming immigrants for the attacks will help terrorists to recruit within immigrant communities and make those communities less likely to cooperate with law enforcement. Third, adoption of repressive measures to cope with the threat will provoke a backlash and undermine counter-terror efforts. Fourth, sending troops to the source of the threat in the Middle East will make it easier for terrorists to kill Americans. Finally, rallying around a strong leader who promises to make us safe could end up subverting democracy far more effectively than terrorists ever could. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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