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<snip from http://www.cato.org/pubs/fpbriefs/fpb-050es.html>

Executive Summary 

According to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, terrorism is the most
important threat the United States and the world face as the 21st century
begins. High-level U.S. officials have  acknowledged that terrorists are now
more likely to be able to obtain and use nuclear, chemical, and biological
weapons than ever before. 

Yet most attention has been focused on combating terrorism by deterring and
disrupting it beforehand and retaliating against it after the fact. Less
attention has been paid to what motivates terrorists to launch attacks.
According to the Pentagon's Defense Science Board, a strong correlation
exists between U.S. involvement in international situations and an increase
in terrorist attacks against the United States. President Clinton has also
acknowledged that link. The board, however, has provided no empirical data
to support its conclusion. This paper fills that gap by citing many examples
of terrorist attacks on the United States in retaliation for U.S.
intervention overseas.  The numerous incidents cataloged suggest that the
United States could reduce the chances of such devastating--and potentially
catastrophic--terrorist attacks by adopting a policy of military restraint
In fact, the interventionist foreign policy currently pursued by the United
States is an aberration in its history. Adopting a policy of military
restraint would return the United States to the traditional foreign policy
it pursued for the first century and a half of its existence before the Cold
War distorted it. Such a foreign policy is more compatible with the
individual freedoms and economic prosperity that define the American way of