WASHINGTON, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - Americans' anxiety over security threats ultimately benefits the defense industry and may come at the expense of important investments, Christopher Preble, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, said Wednesday.
"Our perceptions are inevitably distorted by probability neglect. We focus a lot on the nature of the danger, but miss, or at least misperceive the likelihood it will occur," Preble said at an event reviewing the book "Threat Perception and US National Security," which he edited.
Asked by RIA Novosti about who benefits from the distortion and exaggeration of security threats, Preble answered that "the security industry, people who are providing defense against threats" do. "There are a lot of people who have a vested interest in making a particular claim" about high security risks to the United States, he added.
According to the expert, "overinvesting" in the security sphere results in the lack of investments "in other things that are actually more valuable."
While much of the US and international media is focused on security threats ranging from Islamic State in the Middle East, to cyber warfare, nuclear weapons states, and terrorism, Preble argues that the United States and the world are in fact safer than at any other time in human history.
According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the United States spends on defense more than eight next countries combined.
The reports by the independent Center for Defense Information say that the US national security expenditures for 2014-2015 will slightly exceed $1 trillion, which includes the Pentagon and other agencies.