US Presses on Prevention to Counter Violent Extremism


A More Preventive Approach Needed

Highlighting that violent extremism has become an extremely dangerous and destabilizing phenomenon, the United States of America underlined the importance of prevention particularly protecting individuals and communities from violent extremism.

In her remarks in Geneva in Switzerland, Under Secretary Sarah Sewall for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Geneva Centre for Security Policy said the world continues to expand its approach to counter terrorism to include greater emphasis on prevention.

“Global counter-terrorism efforts must learn to build resilience and resistance within the most vulnerable communities, helping address the range of human needs we have just discussed.” – Ms. Sewall

Oslo, Norway immediately after the 2011 terrorist attack in Norway perpetrated by Anders Behring Breivik.

Prevention includes pushing governments to ensure space for dissent and religious freedom to reduce perceptions of marginalization and enable communities to find their voices; training security forces to protect instead of profile their citizens; supporting civil society to engage youth through educational, service or mentoring programs; partnering with businesses to expand vocational training or economic opportunities in marginalized communities; and amplifying the voice of cultural or religious leaders to challenge violent extremist marketing and propaganda.

Prevention A Critical Part Of Countering Violent Extremism

According to Ms. Sewall, effective prevention means identifying priority regions and communities at greatest risk of radicalization to violence and working proactively to address the grievances and needs violent extremists are most likely to exploit.

In addition, helping communities and governments provide alternatives that are credible, visible, empowering, and broadly available are also crucial to counter the surge of terrorism.

“Local actors must lead this effort, for they have the greatest credibility, knowledge and long-term stake in implementing effective and at times, interrelated interventions.” – Ms. Sewall

With regards to the Government initiative, it must also acknowledge their contributions to the grievances violent extremists exploit, like police abuse and corruption, and act swiftly to remedy them.

Local actors also play vital role to prevent terrorism. In fact, with the case of the September 11 terror attack, considerable military, intelligence, and law enforcement tools can significantly diminish the capabilities of violent extremist groups, unless local actors address the underlying grievances that feed them.

The US believes that focusing on prevention is a critical part of how they can counter violent extremism and increase the likelihood of avoiding costly interventions later.

Even the United Nations has long emphasized the need for prevention in its longstanding counter terrorism strategy. To cite an example, at the White House Summit, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon announced his commitment to develop a CVE plan of action to guide member states’ and the UN’s prevention efforts.

Some Of The Violent Terrorists

Some of the most violent extremist groups, such as Daesh or Boko Haram, differ from Al Qaeda. Many of these new actors seize land, resources, and population to consolidate geographic control and advance their apocalyptic visions.

These notorious terrorists violate human rights in the most egregious ways imaginable, exacerbate communal differences, and lure foreign fighters to incite violence around the world.

In addition, these groups destabilize entire regions and inspire, if not actively plot, attacks on the US homeland and against our allies. The worse thing also is they pose very real threats to U.S. interests and to international stability as they propagate and violently pursue their nihilistic goals.

One cannot miss of course to mention the notorious ISIS terrorist group.

The sudden and dramatic rise of ISIS has animated a robust military coalition to defeat it. The group has been plaguing the global headlines because of their violent nature. Killing of innocent civilians in inhuman ways and kidnappings of civilians made them so notorious and wanted around the world.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.