A few months ago I pointed to an important piece in Foreign Affairs by Micah Zenko and Michael A. Cohen who argued that despite the constant fear-mongering and threat inflation in America, we are actually very secure and face very few, very minor external threats. I especially liked their explanation of why this threat inflation comes about. I called it the public choice of U.S. warfare:
Warnings about a dangerous world also benefit powerful bureaucratic interests. The specter of looming dangers sustains and justifies the massive budgets of the military and the intelligence agencies, along with the national security infrastructure that exists outside government — defense contractors, lobbying groups, think tanks, and academic departments.
See Zenko interviewed on these ideas further:
As Less Antman said recently, “Drowning people in fear is the key to power.”