While the U.S.-led military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria continues to degrade the organization, our long-term counterterrorism success will depend on our ability to prevent new recruits from entering the terrorist pipeline.
On May 30, Hudson Institute hosted a discussion with Ambassador Nathan A. Sales, the coordinator for counterterrorism at the U.S. State Department. Ambassador Sales focused on the State Department’s critical role in this arena, often referred to as countering violent extremism.
Countering terrorist ideology and messaging are at the forefront of this effort. We need to limit the appeal and spread of terrorist propaganda, particularly with vulnerable youth. The State Department cannot undertake this challenge on its own, and is building strong partnerships with government and community actors who can serve as credible messengers or as influential voices in preventing those who may be susceptible from going down this path. The Department is also expanding its private-sector engagement to counter terrorist use of the internet on encrypted and public platforms. Rehabilitating and reintegrating those who have already radicalized—including family members returning from war zones—is another component of Ambassador Sales’ efforts.