Latest in CVE

Foreign Policy Essay

Addressing the Threat of Homegrown Violent Extremists Sympathetic to the Islamic State

Editor’s Note: In recent years, so-called homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) have eclipsed returned foreign fighters and other sources of terrorism. National Defense University’s Kim Cragin assesses the HVE threat and finds that, contrary to popular opinion, Western security agencies are disrupting many HVE plots and otherwise doing well against this potentially dangerous threat.

Daniel Byman

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Foreign Policy Essay

Lessons From a Year in the CVE Trenches

Editor’s Note: Government programs to combat violent extremism get far more media attention than resources, in part because it is not clear how to make these programs stronger. Jesse Morton, a former jihadist, and Mitchell Silber, the former NYPD director of intelligence, are working together to combat extremism. Drawing on their experience, they propose a series of practical steps the U.S. government could take to become more effective, focusing on the pre-criminal stage and recidivism, as well as proposing a more coherent bureaucratic division of labor.

Foreign Policy Essay

Responding to the Rise in Domestic Terrorism: Don’t Forget Prevention

Editor’s Note: Programs to counter violent extremism often are well-meaning but misconceived and poorly resourced. As a result, for jihadist-linked terrorism they usually prove ineffective and are a policy afterthought rather than a key counterterrorism tool for the United States. Eric Rosand, the director of The Prevention Project and a nonresident senior fellow at Brookings, argues that these programs can be critical components of effective counterterrorism for right-wing and other forms of domestic terrorism.

Foreign Policy Essay

Trump’s Domestic Countering Violent Extremism Policies Look a Lot Like Obama’s

Editor’s Note: Programs to counter violent extremism seemed under siege in the early days of the Trump administration, with officials questioning their focus and very purpose. Seamus Hughes and Haroro J. Ingram, of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, argue that far less has changed than most people recognize. Despite a lot of rhetoric, U.S. government CVE programs have a similar orientation as they did under Obama but remain underfunded and inadequate.

Daniel Byman

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Foreign Policy Essay

Setting the Standard for CVE

Editor’s Note: Few people disagree with the goal of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), but in practice the programs have faced many problems. A big one is that it is hard to know if they are working, as existing metrics do a poor job of measuring success and failure. Evanna Hu of Omelas proposes a set of fixes to CVE programs that would make them more rigorous and more effective.

Daniel Byman

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Foreign Policy Essay

Dignity and the Needs of Young Syrian Refugees in the Middle East

Editor’s Note: Programs to counter violent extremism (CVE) are often focused on established communities in the United States, Europe, and the Muslim world. However, refugees are among the most at-risk communities, often trapped in a world of violence and despair. Maira Seeley of Princeton University examines the risk of radicalization for refugee populations and finds that they have different needs for CVE programs than their host communities. She lays out a series of recommendations on how to design CVE better for the millions of refugees from the Syrian civil war.

Foreign Policy Essay

Connecting the Dots: Strengthening National-Local Collaboration in Addressing Violent Extremism

Editor’s Note: Counterterrorism is usually a national government concern, but much of the day to day of radicalization occurs in local towns and neighborhoods. However, integrating local actors into programs to prevent and counter violent extremism is often done poorly or not at all. This may be changing.

Foreign Policy Essay

America’s Terrorism Problem Doesn’t End with Prison—It Might Just Begin There

Editor’s Note: Israel, France, the United Kingdom, and other countries that have faced a persistent terrorism threat have found that putting terrorists in jail does not solve the problem. In jail, terrorists network and proselytize, making the problem worse. Lorenzo Vidino and Seamus Hughes of George Washington University's Program on Extremism warn that released jihadists in the United States may pose a similar problem and call for a more comprehensive approach that recognizes and counters the risks of prison.

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Foreign Policy Essay

Preventing, Not Just Countering, Violent Extremism

Editor’s Note: Programs to counter (or, if you prefer, prevent) violent extremism are much talked about but rarely implemented. The Obama administration did some initial exploratory efforts, but even these small programs are on the chopping block in the Trump administration. Katerina Papatheodorou contends that this is a mistake: High levels of extremism make these programs necessary, and there are multiple models that offer lessons for the United States.

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Foreign Policy Essay

Reassessing Belgium’s ‘Failed’ Counterterrorism Policy

Editor’s Note: Belgium has earned a bad name in counterterrorism circles, with critics charging that its security services did too little too late when it came to disrupting the Islamic State and other groups on Belgian soil. The tragic terrorist attack in Brussels two years ago, however, marked a turning point. Thomas Renard and Rik Coolsaet of Egmont detail the significant steps Belgium has taken in recent years to improve its counterterrorism capacity.

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