By Eric Rosand | May 6, 2016
In the face of seemingly weekly terrorist attacks and reports that Islamic State affiliates are growing in number, political leaders are under pressure to take tougher action against ISIS and other violent extremist threats.The more challenging task, however, may be preventing individuals from joining the Islamic State or future groups in the first place and developing, harnessing, and resourcing a set of tools to achieve this objective. Violent extremism is most likely to take root when communities do not challenge those who seek to radicalize others and can’t offer positive alternatives. Prevention is thus most effectively addressed by the communities themselves—mayors, teachers, social workers, youth, women, religious leaders, and mental health professionals—not national security professionals, let alone national governments. But it’s easier said than done for national governments to empower, train, and resource those communities.