A method for identifying the optimal portfolio of defensive countermeasures

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Newswise – Mega sporting events, such as the upcoming Olympics, are ideal targets for terrorist attacks, due to their visibility, size and the number of people involved. Mega-sporting events differ from other well-studied counterterrorism analyzes because of the defensive measures made public and prioritizing deterrence against any attack due to the scale of the event. All security concerns at the Tokyo Games have been focused on the pandemic, overlooking the risk associated with terrorist attacks. This paper emphasizes the relevance of security preparedness.

This article proposes a method to identify the best defense measures to minimize the risk of a terrorist attack during a mega-sporting event. This method identifies how to allocate defense resources to manage risk while considering multiple attack scenarios. The advantage of using this method is that the defense can understand the attacker’s strategy.

This method has been applied to real-world scenarios, such as planning for the 2016 Brazilian Olympics. The 2016 Olympic case study showed a non-linear relationship between deterrence and budget spending. It is possible that high levels of deterrence can be achieved with a small budget.

Mega sporting events remain an active target of terrorism and must be properly protected. This research develops guidelines for future counterterrorism operations in order not only to protect the public, venues and athletes, but also to reduce costs and increase defense efficiency.


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