Winning the hearts and minds: improving U.S. counter-radicalization efforts through a study of the United Kingdom’s prevent strategy
Lavarias, Romeo B.
Smith, Paul Jonathan
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Warfare in the 21st century has matured to the point where military technology and force are no longer the keys to victory. Today’s warfare has become a war of ideas. Success in war now means winning the hearts and minds of citizens to prevent them from becoming radicalized. The research question posed is how can the United States effectively fight the war of ideas, and can it develop its own counter-strategic strategy? Utilizing the case study method aspects of the United Kingdom’s counter radicalization PREVENT strategy were examined. Based on this research, a U.S. policy model is proposed where the United States develops its own counter-radicalization strategy. The findings of this research show that a U.S. counter-radicalization strategy should be implemented. However, it would be carried out at the local level(i.e., mayor’s offices and/or governor’s offices). It will require the coordinated effort of several federal agencies to establish programs to address radicalization factors. The findings propose that this coordination be carried out by an appointed Counter radicalization Czar through the Department of Homeland Security. The Czar would have intra-departmental authority to coordinate federal agencies to promote and provide programs that address counter radicalization factors that make individuals susceptible to the terrorist message.
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