Just watched the whole talk - very well done! Kudos to Bruce.
That said, one point I don't agree with, at least not entirely - when he said, "Terrorism is hard". Given the terrorists we have, he's probably correct. Given the terrorists we COULD have, I'd say that isn't correct. As I've said here before, most terrorists aren't terribly competent (neither was I when I tried it.) Whether that's because of the terrorist mindset or whether that's because most terrorists don't get professional training of the sort that the military, especially special ops guys like SEALS, or law enforcement, get is not clear.
But I do believe that if we had a slightly higher grade of terrorist in the world, and more importantly, if we had terrorists who really had an overall PLAN to destabilize the US - rather than the random "let's just do something to the US" type we have - things would be different in this country.
Bruce talks about the reaction to terrorism as being "We need to do something, this is something, let's do it". Well, on the terrorist side, this is precisely the terrorist motivational mindset. They say, "The actions of the US are intolerable, we have to do something, this is something, let's do it."
So they come up with some scheme sans overall strategic thinking and execute it. Which is WHY, as Bruce correctly notes, terrorism is rare. It's rare because there usually is no overall strategic plan behind it.
Random terrorism is not terrorism. Chronic, continuous terrorism, of the sort some countries like Turkey and Italy have experienced in the past, is much more effective at destabilizing countries. Single, large-scale terrorist events like 9/11 can be useful to produce systemic changes in countries, as it has here. But lower-level chronic terrorism would be much more effective in that regard - at least until the population becomes inured to it, as has happened in some countries.
So in some sense, while Bruce may be correct that "terrorism is hard", it's only that way because the terrorists have made it so by 1) not thinking about their strategy, and 2) concentrating on single, difficult to implement large-scale events rather than smaller, more easily implemented chronic events.
That could change at any time. The rise of things like the Mumbai assault and the suggestion that terrorists are now considering such assaults is an indication that it may be changing, however slowly.
Large-scale events like 9/11 are effective in a sort of "shock and awe" manner. But chronic, more probable, less rare, more individually targeted terrorist events can be equally effective in producing a general terror effect on a large population.
As an example, look at the "Zebra" killings in San Francisco years ago. A small handful of black men who committed just a few random shootings managed to scare the entire city population. I remember those days, and those attacks did impact the attention of the population. Because the nature of the attacks was that you could never know whether that black man approaching you on the street - in a suit no less - was carrying a gun.
So it would be unwise to assume that just because "terrorism is hard" NOW that it will remain so.
However clearly it will always still be statistically rare, as Bruce clearly demonstrated with his "X airplane deaths per billion boardings" statistic.
And the recommendation of deciding to not be terrorized still stands as the correct response. Unfortunately this is ALSO as "hard" as terrorism is to implement in a general population.