For many Americans, the events of the past several years—from the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, to the January 6 assault on the Capitol building—have driven home a disturbing conclusion: that the problems of extremism, violence and terrorism are not just overseas phenomena, but have taken root here in the United States.
One of President Biden's first actions upon assuming the presidency was to direct his staff to produce a strategy for addressing this challenge. One hundred days later, they did so, putting forward the first ever "National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism." To discuss this strategy, Scott R. Anderson sat down with White House official Joshua Geltzer, who is currently serving as a special advisor to the Homeland Security advisor and who oversaw the development of the national strategy. They talked about the logic behind it, the challenges and obstacles its authors encountered, and what it means for U.S. national security policy through the Biden administration and beyond.