US should help fragile states prevent spread of violent extremism: Task Force Report

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 (APP):The United States, going forward, should help fragile states build resilience against the spread of violent extremism within their own societies, says a report by a task force on extremism, nothing that extremist groups have expanded their outreach and staged five times as many terrorist attacks in 2017 as in 2001.
Extremist groups have spread to 19 of the 45 countries that make up the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, and the Sahel. The sense of injustices and political exclusion of their citizens spread of extremist ideology and presence of extremist groups, all contributed to the problem, according to the interim report by the Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States.
The Task Force has been convened under the aegis of the US Institute of Peace (USIP), an independent, bipartisan institute, and is headed by Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, lawmakers who were the co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission. It will released its full report in 2019.
Set up by the Congress, the Task Force will recommend a new approach for U.S. policy that harnesses existing U.S. programmes and international partnerships to target the underlying causes of extremism and limit the ability of extremist groups to exploit fragile states.
According to the interim report by the body, as reported on the website of USIP, terrorists states 10,9000 attacks in 2017, five times more that the number recorded in 2001, when terrorists had killed nearly 3,000 people in attacks on the United States on Sept.11, 2001.
According to its findings, since the tragic attacks of Sept.11, extremists group have spread across the Middle East, sowing chaos and undermining already fragile states. The Task Force called for a new strategy to mitigate the conditions that enable extremist groups to take root, spread, and thrive in fragile state.
The report said that the states of the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, and the Sahel have become increasingly fragile; their governments lack legitimacy, struggling or failing to provide security, justice, and basic services. “Extremist groups are increasingly focused on exploiting fragile states’ weaknesses to seize and rule territory to establish a new political order.”
The Task Force noted that extremist groups have drawn the US into an expanding fight against terrorism. The U.S. has spent $5.6 trillion on military efforts to combat terrorism since 9/11 and conducted combat operations in five of the 45 countries that make up the Middle East, Horn of Africa, and the Sahel since January 2017. It also provided security assistance to 39 of those 45 countries.
The Report said that the time has come for a new US strategy to alleviate the conditions that enable extremism in these fragile states and could pose security threat to the homeland. Going forward, the priority for the US policy should be to help fragile states build strong resilience against the spread of violent extremism within their own societies.
It is recommending that a preventive strategy would be cost-effective sustainable. “Preventive measures cost far less than military interventions, saving $16 for every $1 invested,” the report said adding that the US should catalyze investments where its partners are working nationally and locally to address the conditions that fuel extremism.
However, the Task Force noted that the US cannot execute a preventive strategy on its own, and should effectively share the costs of a prevention strategy with willing international partners, including the global allies, international organizations and the private sector.
Even as our partners shoulder their share of the burden, U.S. leadership will be critical to mobilize collective action toward a common goal, the report said adding that a sustained commitment to a long-term strategy of strengthening governance in fragile states will be needed to help foster societies that can resist violent extremism.