White House Releases Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in US

The first U.S. Government strategy and implementation plan to address ideologically-inspired violent extremism in the Homeland, the White House recently released the ‘STRATEGIC IMPLEMENTATION PLAN FOR EMPOWERING LOCAL PARTNERS TO PREVENT VIOLENT EXTREMISM IN THE UNITED STATES’ that will serve as a blueprint for how the Administration will implement the Domestic Strategy on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) in the United States, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Office of Public Engagement.

The Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) – developed by the White House, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and interagency partners – is a follow up to the National Strategy on ‘EMPOWERING LOCAL PARTNERS TO PREVENT VIOLENT EXTREMISM IN THE UNITED STATES’ signed by President Barack Obama in August 2011. The document – which defines violent extremists as “individuals who support or commit ideologically motivated violence to further political goals” – outlines a community-based approach and the Government’s role in empowering local stakeholders to build resilience against violent extremism since the “best defenses against this threat are well informed and equipped families, local communities, and institutions.”

According to the SIP, the current and future actions taken by the U.S. Government will be in support of a locally-focused, community-based approach. To reach the goal of “preventing violent extremists and their supporters from inspiring, radicalizing, financing, or recruiting individuals or groups in the United States to commit acts of violence,” the Federal Government is focused on three core areas of activity:

  • Enhancing engagement with and support to local communities; 
  • Building government and law enforcement expertise; and
  • Countering violent extremist propaganda while promoting U.S. ideals. 

Although the SIP will be applied to prevent all forms of violent extremism in the Homeland, the Administration “will prioritize preventing violent extremism and terrorism inspired by al-Qa’ida, its affiliates, and adherents” which various National Security Strategies identify as “the preeminent security threats to our country.” The focus on al-Qa’ida is a matter of prioritization and will not ignore other forms of violent extremism since the SIP states that “as the July 2011 terrorist attack in Norway underscored, free societies face threats from a range of violent extremists.”

The document ‘STRATEGIC IMPLEMENTATION PLAN FOR EMPOWERING LOCAL PARTNERS TO PREVENT VIOLENT EXTREMISM IN THE UNITED STATES’ (December 2011) is available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/sip-final.pdf.

The document ‘EMPOWERING LOCAL PARTNERS TO PREVENT VIOLENT EXTREMISM IN THE UNITED STATES’ (August 2011) is available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/empowering_local_partners.pdf.

The DHS ‘Fact Sheet: The Department of Homeland Security’s Approach to Countering Violent Extremism’ is available at: http://www.dhs.gov/files/fact-sheet-approach-to-countering-violent-extremism.pdf.

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