Countering Violent Extremism, Pt. 2: Scope

In my previous post, I proposed a minimal definition of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) as reducing the number of terrorist group supporters through non-coercive means. I also suggested that the spectrum of support ranges from those who are vulnerable to becoming supporters to those who are engaged in criminal activity. There are pros and cons associated with intervening in each group. The three groups at the far right of the spectrum are the easiest to identify because they have either consistently voiced their support for a terrorist organization or taken action on its behalf. Although they are extremely difficult to dissuade, focusing on them risks less blow back from the broader communities of which they are a part. There is also less risk of straying into the policing of thought crimes. Conversely, the two other groups, “vulnerable” and “radicalizing,” are theoretically easier to dissuade than the others but they are

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