The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently took three steps to strengthen the architecture for preventing targeted violence and terrorism within the United States. The first is the creation of a $35 million multi-disciplinary research consortium based at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. The second is an expanded office to “equip and empower local efforts — including peers, teachers, community leaders, and law enforcement — to prevent individuals from mobilizing to violence before it becomes a law enforcement matter.” And, just this week, DHS announced a $10 million grant program to support these local efforts.
None of these initiatives, despite being replete with the references to “violent extremists,” uses the CVE (countering violent extremism) or P/CVE (preventing and countering violent extremism) acronyms most commonly found in this space, possibly because of the Trump administration’s aversion to methodologies used by its predecessor and/or because those terms were perceived by some in the United States as being too narrowly focused on Jihadi-inspired violence. But these developments reflect the extent to which both CVE and P/CVE, and prevention in particular, have gained traction over the past decade, whether in the United States or dozens of countries around the globe, to address terrorist and violent extremist threats.