Political Scientist Tierney Describes Dilemma of Homeland Security in TNR

Stacey Kutish

Political Scientist Dominic Tierney 
Describes Dilemma of Homeland Security in TNR   

by Stacey Kutish
12/16/2008

Alan Baker

Dominic Tierney, author of Failing to Win

 

Assistant Professor of Political Science Dominic Tierney says in The New Republic that the same public fears that encourage government officials to spend money on flashy preventive measures also encourage them to exaggerate the terrorist threat.  "It's very difficult for a government official to come out and say anything like, 'Let's put this threat in perspective,'" he says. "If they were to do so, and there isn't a terrorist attack, they get no credit; and, if there is, that's the end of their career."

Tierney is co-author of Failing to Win: Perceptions of Victory and Defeat in International Politics (2006), which is cited by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in the same article as a book that has influenced his thinking about how to measure success. This surprises author Jeffrey Rosen, who notes that one implication of Failing to Win is that DHS should never have been created. more