By Andrew Glazzard and Eric Rosand | June 11, 2017
Not so long ago, CVE or PVE—countering or preventing violent extremism—was the new hot thing. President Obama was its most visible standard-bearer, hosting conferences and urging nations to invest more in preventing radicalization and recruitment to violent extremist groups. Former U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was not far behind, presenting his Plan of Action for Preventing Violent Extremism, an apparently decisive contribution that offered global legitimacy to what had been viewed as a largely U.S.-led effort. As early as 2011, the Global Counterterrorism Forum, bringing together 29 countries and the European Union, put CVE at the center of its activities, producing best-practice guides and sponsoring two new institutions dedicated to the task. Many national governments seemed to buy in, with presidents and prime ministers publicly embracing the need to go beyond security-led responses to terrorism and address its symptoms using a variety of “softer” approaches. New policies and programs soon followed around the globe, from Albania to Afghanistan, Canada to Cameroon, and Kenya to Kazakhstan.