Five Ways The New Administration can Counter Violent Extremism

By: CSIS Commission on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)

The United States and its allies need a new, comprehensive strategy to counter violent extremism.

A reliance on fighting terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them on our soil may be effective in the short term but will fail in the long term if we do not significantly weaken the appeal of extremist ideologies and narratives.

A new strategy to prevent and counter violent extremism must:

  1. Strengthen resistance to extremist ideologies: Forging a new global partnership around education reform and expanding efforts to enhance respect for religious diversity, stem the spread of intolerance, and reinforce community resilience to extremist narratives.
  2. Invest in community-led prevention: Enabling civil society efforts to detect and disrupt radicalization and recruitment, and rehabilitate and reintegrate those who have succumbed to extremist ideologies and narratives.
  3. Saturate the global marketplace of ideas: Mobilizing technology companies, the entertainment industry, community leaders, religious voices, and others to compete with and overtake violent extremists’ narratives in virtual and real spaces.
  4. Align policies and values: Putting human rights at the center of CVE and ensuring that U.S. engagement with foreign partners advances the rule of law, dignity, and justice.
  5. Deploy military and law enforcement tools: Building a new force capability and coalition to quickly dislodge terrorist groups that control territory, avert and respond to immediate threats, weaken violent extremists’ projection of strength, and protect our security and the security of our allies and partners.

This strategy seeks to plug the gaping holes in the United States’ current efforts and amplify what is working. It is focused on actions that the U.S. government should take, in partnership with key stakeholders, in the United States and abroad. Implemented together, at scale and with the right partners, these elements will have a significant impact on reducing the reach and regeneration of violent extremist groups.

Read the full comprehensive strategy to counter violent extremism here.