Deterringthe radicalization and recruitment of violent extremists has been on the minds of US Government officials after meeting in February 2014 at the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). This is why the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has established a CVE Task Force.
“Countering violent extremism has become a homeland security imperative, and it is a mission to which I am personally committed,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson in reference to the newly established CVE Task Force.
Johnson continued, “At the Department of Homeland Security, our Office of Community Partnerships – which I established last year to take the Department’s CVE efforts to the next level – has been working to build relationships and promote trust with communities across the country, and to find innovative ways to support those who seek to discourage violent extremism and undercut terrorist narratives. The interagency CVE Task Force that we are announcing today, and which will be hosted by the Department of Homeland Security, will bring together the best resources and personnel from across the executive branch to ensure that we face the challenge of violent extremism in a unified and coordinated way.”
Increased determination of terrorist organizations, like ISIS, to recruit and radicalize American citizens has forced the US Government to increase existing CVE efforts since the implementation in 2011 of the Strategy to Empower Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States.
During the summer of 2015, eleven different department and agency representatives met to evaluate the present state of CVE programs and provide recommendations. The review validated the objectives of the 2011 strategy but identified gaps in its implementation.
- The review team pinpointed four essential needs:
- An infrastructure to coordinate and prioritize CVE activities;
- Clear responsibility, accountability, and communication across government and with the public;
- Participation of relevant departments and agencies outside of national security lanes; and
- A process to assess, prioritize, and allocate resources to maximize impact.
The CVE Task Force will be permanently housed within DHS as an interagency task force primarily managed by DHS and Department of Justice, with supplementary staffing contributed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Counterterrorism Center, and additional supporting departments and agencies.
The CVE Task Force’s main goals and directives include:
- Research and Analysis. The Task Force will coordinate federal support for ongoing and future CVE research and establish feedback mechanisms for CVE findings, thus cultivating CVE programming that incorporatessound results.
- Engagements and Technical Assistance. The Task Force will synchronize Federal Government outreach to and engagement with CVE stakeholders and will coordinate technical assistance to CVE practitioners.
- Communications. The Task Force will manage CVE communications, including media inquiries, and leverage digital technologies to engage, empower, and connect CVE stakeholders.
- Interventions. The Task Force will work with CVE stakeholders to develop multidisciplinary intervention programs.
“The federal government’s top priority is protecting the American people from all forms of violent extremism,” noted Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch. “By bringing together agencies from across the Executive Branch, this innovative task force will allow us to more efficiently and effectively support local efforts to counter violent extremism. The Department of Justice looks forward to joining DHS in leading this new initiative, which represents an important step in our ongoing work to keep our communities safe and our country strong.”