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From Counterterrorism to Counterradicalization
From Counterterrorism to Counterradicalization
On March 10, 2009, The Washington Institute’s Presidential Task Force on Confronting the Ideology of Radical Extremism released its final report at a special Policy Forum at the Institute.
Monday, March 16,2009 03:18
by The Editorial Desk IkhwanWeb

On March 10, 2009, The Washington Institute"s Presidential Task Force on Confronting the Ideology of Radical Extremism released its final report at a special Policy Forum at the Institute.

The report, "Rewriting the Narrative: An Integrated Strategy for Counterradicalization" offers recommendations to the Obama administration to expand focus from counterterrorism to counterradicalization.

The report provides analysis and recommendations on a spectrum of discrete policy issues, democracy promotion, political reform, public diplomacy, strategic communications, and counterradicalization, offering an integrated approach to staunching the spread of extremism. The extensive recommendations suggest an array of policy instruments, from creating a Counterradicalization Forum that draws on "best practices" of friends and partners in Europe and the Middle East, to infusing with renewed mission, urgency, and creativity U.S. international broadcasting to Arab and Muslim societies.

The report recommends that the Obama administration can and must pursue economic, social, and political reform in the region through a more consistent and long-term approach than its predecessor. In this effort, the United States should look not only to governments, but also to mainstream Muslims voices already competing against and advocating alternatives to the extremist narrative from within their communities. U.S. political engagement should give priority to these valuable partners.

The report includes several other specific recommendations to improve economic reform and democracy promotion. The United States must recognize the role of reform in expanding space for private economic activity and prioritize it appropriately. In addition, the administration should seek to provide additional resources for governance and democracy-related programs.

The report urges the administration to strengthen the capabilities of the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, to create an assistant secretary position within that office, and to add a deputy assistant secretary in each regional bureau to link public diplomacy and counterradicalization efforts to the responsibilities of those bureaus. Although international broadcasting operates separately from the State Department, it commands half of all public diplomacy funding and should take on the same sense of purpose in engaging societies within and outside the Middle East.

"Rewriting the Narrative" is endorsed by a distinguished group of policy practitioners: members of Congress Jane Harman (D-CA); Sue Myrick (R-NC), and Adam Smith (D-WA); former 9/11 commissioner Timothy J. Roemer; former U.S. ambassador to Morocco Marc Ginsberg; former deputy assistant to the president for homeland security Frank J. Cilluffo; the presidents of the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute Kenneth Wollack and Lorne W. Craner, respectively; prominent scholars Bruce Hoffman and Mohammed M. Hafez; former Kennedy School dean and Clinton administration official Joseph S. Nye, Jr.; former Bush administration officials Randa Fahmy Hudome and M. C. Andrews; president of the Henry L. Stimson Center Ellen Laipson; Freedom House executive director Jennifer Windsor; Hudson Institute vice president S. Enders Wimbush; president of the Progressive Policy Institute Will Marshall; Johns Hopkins SAIS adjunct professor Joshua Muravchik; and Washington Institute executive director Robert Satloff.

Download Full Report.


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