By Eric Rosand | September 10, 2017
Given the recent terrorist attacks in Australia, Canada, Britain, and the United States, and concerns about home-grown radicalization and fighters returning from Iraq and Syria, it is no surprise that “countering violent extremism” or CVE featured prominently in this summer’s annual “Five Eyes” gathering of ministers of interior and justice. In the Joint Communique issued following the meeting, the governments committed to take a range of CVE actions, including efforts related to “enhancing [their] knowledge” on “local level initiatives and sharing of best practices in prevention, intervention, and rehabilitation” of violent extremist offenders.
Let’s hope the U.S. side is serious about wanting to enhance its knowledge here. Unlike most other areas of counterterrorism, the U.S. government is generally near the back of its class on CVE and has few positive lessons and experiences to share. Indeed, if the United States is, as stated in the communique, committed to “step[ping] up efforts to counter terrorist recruitment and radicalization,” it should focus more attention on learning from others, starting with its Five Eyes partners.