Pakistan is one of the most strategically important countries for the United States and the Muslim world, particularly in regards to countering violent extremism (CVE). In lieu of a robust government-led strategy, Pakistan’s civil society has had to take the lead in CVE. This paper analyzes existing initiatives and their capacities to counter extremism, identifies challenges in program implementation, and develops recommendations for national and provincial strategies to empower civil society as a bulwark against extremism.
Among the key findings:
The United States should prioritize working with grassroots civil society organizations and religious and community leaders who can best mobilize local resources and cultivate support for CVE objectives.
The United States should also convene CVE practitioners and experts, diaspora leaders, and academics to guide the development of the CVE agenda in Pakistan.
Ultimately, the good practices gleaned from successful CVE efforts in Pakistan can serve as a blueprint for other regions facing similar challenges.
[The resignation of assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs Wess Mitchell] is surprising news, which seems to have caught everyone off guard. He doesn’t appear to have shared this news with his ambassadors, who were in Washington last week for a global chiefs of mission conference. His deputy is also slated to retire soon, which raises question of near term leadership on European policy at a time of challenges there.
[Wess] Mitchell was a strong supporter of NATO, particularly in Eastern Europe where he will be sorely missed. His departure comes follows the resignation of senior Pentagon officials – Robert Karem and Tom Goffus – working on NATO along with Secretary Mattis. Without this pro-alliance caucus, NATO is now more vulnerable than at any time since the beginning of the Trump administration.