William Braniff

Recasting and Repositioning CVE as a Grand Strategic Response to Terrorism

START Consortium


The United States does not have a grand strategy with respect to terrorism. In the 16 years since the attacks of September 11, 2001, we have relied on our criminal justice and military communities, enabled by more and better intelligence, to disrupt terrorist adversaries and prevent another large-scale attack. In this we have succeeded. Along the way, however, global terrorism has reached historically high levels triggering reactionary violence and polarizing debates about immigration and refugees, nationalism and internationalism, security and liberty, and religion. Our traditional counterterrorism tools are necessary, but they appear to be insufficient in terms of mitigating terrorist violence and its deleterious political consequences over time. The CVE paradigm, if focused by a guiding principle, could directly inform a new grand strategic response to terrorism with traditional counterterrorism serving as a necessary but subordinate role.