Delivering the Message to Terrorists—The Boston Way

The twin bombings at the Boston Marathon and the manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers captivated the nation in the last weeks of April 2013. Nearly a dozen years after 9/11, a great U.S. city was once again under attack. Typical of U.S. citizens, the response by Bostonians was to care for the wounded, support efforts by law enforcement to identify and apprehend the culprits, and take back their lives.

Societal resilience can help deter future terror attacks. Embracing it is not an act of defeatism and resignation. Instead, it is a commitment to ensuring that communities and critical infrastructures are not soft and tempting targets for those who might consider pursuing terrorism as a means of warfare. If an attack ends up being a fizzle instead of a big bang, would-be terrorists have to reconsider the value of undertaking such attacks on U.S. soil. Terrorism as a weapon becomes far less potent and attractive when it fails to achieve its disruptive goals.