U.S. can counter extremism across the globe
September 11, 2018 - The United States needs a new national security strategy to prevent the spread of extremism in fragile states, the co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission warn in a new report.
The report entitled “Beyond the Homeland: Protecting America from Extremism in Fragile States,” is released Tuesday on the 17th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks to address the 9/11 Commission’s unfulfilled call for the U.S. to adopt a preventive strategy to reduce the spread of extremism.
The report’s authors -- led by former Gov. Tom Kean of New Jersey, a Republican who chaired the 9/11 Commission, and former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), the commission’s vice chairman -- don’t criticise President Donald Trump, but their conclusions clash with Trump’s foreign policy.
“The time has come for a new U.S. strategy,” the report states. “Going forward, the priority for U.S. policy should be to strengthen fragile states -- to help them build resilience against the alarming growth of violent extremism within their societies.”
The report details how extremism is fuelling growing instability and security threats to the United States in fragile states, and how America’s rivals -- China and Russia -- are exploiting this disorder to expand their power and influence.
Extremist groups have evolved, especially over the past decade, focusing not just on attacking the West but also on establishing political orders that offer frustrated populations alternatives to corrupt and ineffective governments, the report states.
One prominent example was the Islamic State terrorist group’s attempts to build a “caliphate” in parts of Iraq, offering an alternative to the Shiite-dominated central government.