Brent Darsch

Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. James Eaton

Degree Award Date

Spring 2008


Governmental Responses, Terrorism, Game Theoretical Analysis


Applied Statistics | Institutional and Historical | Military History | Numerical Analysis and Computation


One of the main features of the political arena in the 21st century is the discussion of terrorism. Governments all over the world have come to recognize that terrorism is a threat to the stability of a country and the safety of its citizens. One of the most predominant actors against terrorism is the government of the United States. Following 9/11 the government of the United States, under the leadership of President George W. Bush, declared a war against terrorism. One of the most significant acts of the war was the invasion of Iraq in March of 2003 under the goals of removing the government of Saddam Hussein due to the alleged stockpiling of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Since the invasion five years ago, the US has become entrenched in Iraq in an attempt to help rebuild and stabilize the country. However, it remains questionable if the US has managed to decrease terrorist activity in the post 9/11 world.

This study attempts to identify whether or not the United States has been successful in the War against Terrorism in the period from 9/11 until the end of 2004. I will first create a definition of terrorism to apply to the study. Then I will analyze governmental choices used to respond to terrorism, and show how the choices of two different governments can be analyzed in a game theory model. I will also look at different methods of preemptive and deterrent policies that governments may choose to pursue. I will relate the theory of public goods to governmental policies and discuss the implications of providing a public good when combating terrorism. I will then analyze statistical evidence on the level of terrorist acts from September 2001 through December 2004. Finally, I will apply 1 the evidence to the policy choices of the United States government to determine if the choices made were effective or not.