The Growing Economic Consequences of Terrorism

According to the Institute for Economics and Peace, “in 2014 the global economic costs of terrorism reached US$52.9 billion, with a total economic impact of US$105.8 billion.” These alarming stats beg the question, “is the civilized world doing enough to combat terrorism or has the collective interests failed to effectively address this metastasizing cancer?” Obviously lives lost to terrorist actions are without a doubt unconditionally tragic, but rarely do the media emphasize total costs – both direct and indirect – associated with such activities.

According to Fortune, “in 2014, the number of terrorism-related deaths rose severely, too, increasing to nearly 32,700 from more than 18,000 the year prior. And 93 countries suffered attacks, up from 88 the year previous.”

Again lives lost are unquestionably heartbreaking, but consider for a moment the 93 countries that were forced to respond to and then recover from the debilitating economic consequences of terrorist’s attacks. Granted most world leaders understandably lean towards diplomacy to find resolution rather than wage costly wars. However, given terrorism is on the rise why hasn’t the international community identified a viable and sustainable solution to cut out this deadly cancer from the fabric of the 21st century? To be clear terrorism is a global problem and all nations should accept and bear some responsibility to help combat the problem.

For now and into the foreseeable future it appears governments will continue to struggle with fighting terrorism. Undoubtedly political infighting is merely one catalyst that creates unnecessary obstacles to overcome. In the meantime as world leaders fumble around in their attempts to identify realistic solutions countries should anticipate terrorism and the byproduct of GDP contraction.

The most haunting question to contemplate is what will it take for the international community to put an end to terrorists and terrorists groups? Another 9/11? Another downed aircraft? Another France? Perhaps it is time for civilized society to seriously evaluate the true meaning of Edmund Burke’s famous one-liner…”All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”



Edmund Burden

I help business owners grow their businesses through effective use of financial technology tools. Personal finance is a passion of mine so I try to stay on top of all the trends and write about where I see the market going.

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