tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN June 5, 2018 2:12pm-3:00pm EDT
c-span 3. and tomorrow, health and human services secretary alex azar was the before the house education and workforce committee. that's live starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span 3. lds daily., where history in 1979 c-span creed as a public service by america's cable television companies. oday wenue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress. the white house. the supreme court. and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite id. next on c-span 3 the state department's coordinator for counterterrorism on the department's strategy to counter violent extremism. from the hudson institute in washington.
this is 50 minutes. >> welcome, everyone. i'm eric brown. i work herethe ititute and want to welcome all of you as well as our c-span viewers for our discussion this hour with ambassador nathan sales who is the state department coordinator for counterterrorism and counter and violent extremism. there s-i think a basic consensus that the struggle with violent extremism is at its core an yilgiccal one and we need buel supported civilian allegations, strategies and programs to compete in that space. over the years the practice ofc
thichks. cde has had some important successes and high-profile failures. thoughtful defenders as well as thoughtful critics. there's a vigorous and healthy policy debate in and out of e athlete we're contending of with, what more needs done with our allies and friends around the world, the effectiveness of our capabilities and over what in the end realistic success in the political and ideological study looks like. the ambassador is here to speak about the administrations policies on cde. he is a noted lawyer, score and public servant. before joininghe zemt avenues professor at syracuse university where he taught administrative law, constitutional law, national security law and counterterrorism law. about before syracuse he had extensive government experience as well as deputy assistant
secretary for policy at the department of homeland security. and in the office of legal policy at the u.s. department of justin. ambassador sales is with us for just under an hour. after he speaks we'll have limited time for questions and discussions. if you have a question please jot down on one of the index cards that's available in the back your question. and my colleagues and i will be collecting the cards at the end of each of these rows and we'll do our best to have your questions addressed in the time that we have remaining. with that, thank you and please join me in welcoming ambassador sales. [ applause ] well thanks very much, eric, for that kind introduction and thank you for the invitation to be with you here at the hudson institute. i'm a recovering academic so it's a pleasure for me to be here in the think tank world to dip my toe back into these
waters. i'm here to speak about counter violent extremism which is a critical counterterrorism tool. we're in a critical moment, a vital moment, a turning point in our fight against terrorism. we've made extraordinary progress against isis over the past year. nearly all the territory isis once held in syria and iraq has been liberated. this fight wasn't easy. our partners on the ground fought mile by mile, block by k aetes house by house to free raqqah and the surrounding country side of this threat. the fight wasn't easy but we persisted. while our victories on the battlefield are significant, they are not a permanent solution. at the state department we're focused on aligning our civilian sponse to the terrorist threat with the military responses. because that's the only way to ensure an enduring defeat of our enemies. our civilian efforts include law
enforcement tools. we'll need tougher border screening and morrow bust information aring. both within governments and between them. we'll need to designate and s g sanction affiates. i think we actually need to be more ambitious than the name suggests, cde. in addition to countering the violence we have to counter underlying ideas that animate it. isis, al qaeda and other terroristrganations continue to radicalize and recruit. their message transcend borders. over the last 20 years this call to violence has resonated in the middle east, in asia, af, ro a here in the united states. despite our military ccesses,
young men and women across the globe are still being convinced to join isis and al qaeda or to commit acts of barbarism in their name. the united states and our partne m persuade them otherwise. we must engaging a contest of ideas. today i would like talk about american values and the threat posed to them by terrorist ideology. then'l discuss some of our natural allies in this contest and wrap up by describing what we in the counterterrorism bureau and the state department more generally are doing to promote american values and american interests. contesf ias is not unique to our fight against terrorism. throughout history america's licts have oftenad ideological dimensions. during the cold war our objective was contain and roll back the soviet empire but when he to go beyond that. we needed to show that the ideology on which the soviet system was based was false. its teachings ran counter to the
most basic human desires for freedom and dignity and so we engaged in a vigorous debate through voice of america, radio free europe and other platforms to advance the values we share with our allies and partners. we were out the persuade the world that the soviet world view was wrong. both morally and as a system of governance. we succeeded. ideas matter. where we find ideologies that espouse freedom, and threaten dignity. winston churchill said arms are not such enby themselves. we mutt add the power ofidea people say we ought not to allow ourselves to be drawn into an anta govern nism between inzaism or freedom. but its here now.
so what are the competing ides in today's contest of ideas? america is commied to individual rights. we recognize the inherent worth and dignity of every human become. we are all in the word of a declaration of independence endowed by our creator with certain unalienable right including life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. from this we derive a number of specific values. we're committed to rigus liberty. our first freedom. this is not just as some would have it a freedom to worship. our constitution guarantees us the free exercise of religion. conduct in addition to belief and expression. we're also dedicated to the notion of equality before the law. we fought a civil war for this principle and then we implanted it in our constitution in the form of the 14th en we'remi pluralism. we acknowledge our fellow citizens will disagree with us.
we're okay with that. we expect our government to be okay with ittoo. we deny officials any authority to mandate a uniformity of thought. here's howhe supreme court put it in a world war ii era case. if there's any fixed star in our constitutional constellation it is that no official, high or petty can prodescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism or religion or force citizens to confess their act within. these reits and liberties are the entitlement of every american no matter their background or creed. let me tell you about a supreme court case from 2015 that i think nicely captures the american commitment to liberty, equality and pluralism. gregor holt was an inmate in arkansas and wanted to grow a half inc beard which he believed he was required to do as a muslim.
prison guards prohibited him from doing so. he filed a lawsuit and the u.s. department of justice took his side. defending his right to freely exercise his religion. the supreme court's decision in the case was unanimous. it held he was entitled to an exemption on the ban from facial hair. arkansas's interest in prison discipline had to yield to the inmate's right to religious liberty. our adversaries reject all of this. isis and al qaeda deny the worth and dignity of the individual. here's how osama bin laden once put it. we love death. americans love life. that is the big difference between us. indeed it is. today we see the toll this bloody ideology is exacting on the world. it's responsible for deaths of countless iraqis and syrians, approximately 100,000 afghan, 9/11 close to 3,000 innocent people from 90 countries around the world.
its followers enslaved women and girls from their families. beheaded sons on television. they burn people alive. thrown them from tops of buildings and drowned them. our enemies are not shy about the ideas that inspire them to this brutality. our enemies reject religious liberty. indeed a liberty as they seek to rule by constant bloodshed. they reject equality and seek to empower themselves at the expense of those that they regard as their inferiors. they reject pluralism because they regard any other religion, any other tradition within islam itself as a crime that carries a death sentence. so as we confront terrorists on the battlefield and in courts of law and other theaters we also must confront the twisted ideas they use to justify their violence. we have allies in this effort. many. we need to work with them as they share our values and refute the violence, supremism and intolerance of our enemies.
we need to partner with government officials but just as importantly we need to work with community leaders, religious figures andths who have a standing to credibly counter terrort ideas. luckily it's easy to find partners like these. i've met with man of them since i took office just under a year ago. let me give you a few examples. starting in indonesia. southeast as, sadly is no stranger to terrorism. last year we saw isis seize a city in the philippines and earlier this month isis inspired terrorists carried out a series of attacks in churches and police station in indonesia. i recently met with indonesians working hard to counter terrorist ideology in their country. indonesia stands as a potent antidote to extremism. it has a proud history of religious tolerance. landfall year a group of indonesians published an 8,000
word on humanitarian islam that reflects the best of the country's traditions. they focused on three areas. increase religious understanding and mutual respect, emphasizing what they term humane dimensions of tir fate. they want to promote critical thinking skills to provide people to resist the song of terrorism. it's voices like these that must be ified. they share the values that america holds dear and they are critical partners in our effort to defeat terrorist ideology. like indonesia, jordan is also a center of pluralism. top jordanian officials supported interfaith dialogues that callor peace and tolerance both within the islamic community and other religious groups. they are also tackling the inconsistencies between religious texts that have been hijacked by isis and intellectual and philosophical legacies within islam.
they are scouring script you're the to expose the illegitimacy of terrorist claims. one scholar said the following. a in the any minority of muslims are misrepresenting it. true piety means kindness to all others. we were created to be kind to our neighbors no matter who they are or what their faith. another natural partner with a strong commitment to pluralism. to stem the growth of extremism in 2015 the king established the mohamed the vi institute. its mission iso promoteregious tolerance particularly in africa. today this school attracts students from across the
continent and from europe as well. a student body of over 12,000 people per year hails from places from morocco, tunisia, chad, nigeri senegal and france. initiatives have voices that will drown out isis and al qaeda. what's the u.s. role? candidly i think we need to approach that question with a healthy dose of modesty. the federal government is not a religious authority. i certainly am not. there are limits to what we can do to disprove our vears claims. what we can do, however, is partner with leaders and authorities share o val and interests. let me tell you a bit about what the counterterrorism bureau in particular and state department in general has been doing to support our friends in this contest of ideas. first, we're working to promote
authentic voices that are committed to pluralism and human rights and can speak credibly to those who are at risk of buying in to terrorist ideology. one exa is e center a partnership with the american united arab emirates. the center develops and die sres information. we've also supported community leaders to develop tailored messages for local audiences. in stheast asia we train university and high school students to create and share videos on peace, toler entrance and alternative to terrorism and ideology behind it. students learn how to operate video cameras, write a story board and a script and edit their work. even more importantly the event held video screenings and discussions that reached thousands of other students with a positive message. in another initiative, we
supported a documentary by mothers whose sons went to syria to fight for isis. this widely viewed film showed the devastation that families experience when their son and daughters abandon them for life of bloodshed. it forced would be recruito think twice about their support for terrorism and to confront the false ideas that encouraged them in the first place. the second thing we're doing at stat is engaging with communities most affected by terrorist messaging. civic leaders often are the first ones to spot the early signs of radicalization. they can function as an early warning system. when young people are on a path to terrorism it's important to connect them and to connect their families to religious figures and mentors and other stakeholders in their communities. they need to hear electronic authentic voices whose messages of nonviolence and tolerance will resonate with them. that's why the bureau support the strong cities network which includes 100 cities from every
corner of the world. under the program we matched cities in the united states with counterparts abroad and encouraged them to share information and good practices on how best to counterterrorism and its underlying ideology. these exchanges are producing real results. a few years ago we paired belgium with columbus, ohio. at the time, a city north of brussels had one of the highest per capita numbers of foreign terrorist fighters who were traveling on to syria and iraq to fight for isis. belgian delegation included the mayor and chief of police and other community leaders. in ohio they met with a number of local figures, including officials from the city school dirict. hilliard is one of the most diverse districts in the country because of an influx of somalia immigrants. columbus has worked hard to integrate these kids and build their resilience to harmful outside influences.
when he returned, the mayor implenew cmunity engagement and resilient strategies. a few months later, he had noticed a drop in foreign terrorist fighters leaving. down to zero. he's now a member of the strong cities network and the mayor speaks regularly with meyers around the world about its efforts and itscces third and finally, we're working at the state department to deradicalize those who prove susceptible to terrorist ideology. one of the groups we're focusing on is prisoners. we know the story of al qaeda's origins with those who were further radicalized in egyptian prisons. in the past several years we've seen foreign former prisoners commit attacks in denmark and belgium. as we prosecute foreign terrorist fighters who have been taken off the battlefield and sentenced them to jail for the crimes they committed we need to prevent them from radicalizing their fellow inmates.
at the same time, prisons can also present deradicalization opportunities as inmates can be cut off from their previous networks and contacts. in kosovo we're launching programs to help prison officials rehabilitate prison fighters who return home. we're helping the kosovo people develop standard operating procedures to manage terrorist inmates and how to monitor communication and other activities. course we c't just limit our efforts to prisoners. we have to reach people before they commit crimes that will land them in jail. that's why the state department developed an international trading next in abu dhabi. one of the most important projects is its library which has defector narratives from former terrorists. many who left isis and other groups became disillusioned with them because of their brutality
particularly against their fellow muslims. he used this library to create regional training guides on crafting messages to dissuade would be terrorists. these demonstrate that wherever terrorist ideology begins to take hold it's also possible for us to free people from its clutches. in conclusion, isis is down but it's not out. in southeast asia, east africa, europe and south america, the re oterrorism and ideas that animate it a very real and are growing. our military victories by us time to win a more fundamental contest, a contest between competing ideologies. this essential wk wil require determination and patience, but i'm confident that with the will and commitment of our partners, our ideas will prevail. just as they always have in the past. eric, hudson institute again thank you for hosting me, thank
you for listening and i look forward to our conversation. [ applause ] great. thank you. we have a bunch of questions from the audience. but i want to begin by asking something of you about the rule of law. you have a background as a scholar and as a lawyer. what role do you see the promotion of the rule of law playing in helping to build resilience in societies that are affected by violent extremism? how does the state department coordinate with other government agencies to promote that? >> i think it's a great question. and it's an incredibly important part of the suite of tools we use to confront terrorists and the ideas that animate them. rule of law instruments can have
ctal benefits and strategic ones. let me talk about the tactical ones first. when you catch a terrorist that committed a crime, a country needs to have capability to investigate them, to prosecute them, for judges to adjudicate the charges against them and then for these inmates upon conviction to be incarcerated properly. so on a tactical level, building rule of law institutions that are capable of doing that is an incredibly important priority. those efforts als have broader . about courts adjudicating cases we're talking about a fundamental system of values that this is the way you deal with disorder and violence and discord within society, not through arbitrary dictates issued by authoritarian governments but through the rule of law. it's no coincidence that governments that are characterized by high degrees of
rule of law commitments display high levels of resilience to terrorism and terrorist ideology than other forms governments. and i think the reason is fairly intuitive. the reason why is fairly intuitive. democratic systems based upon the rule of law give lie to the terrorist falls claim that resort to violence is necessary to achieve your political objectives. it's never necessary. never appropriate to use violence. but in a system that gives citizens multiple outlets for the expression of their concerns, opportunities to seek change, it's even less appropriate. >> right. i'm so glad that you mentioned the declaration on humanitarian islam and a lot of the other projects you had singled out some of the working done in moroo, the government as well as by religious leaders there, the working done in jordan and uae.
you mentioned that the u.s. government has a role to play in amplifying some of those messages, perhaps providing resources and support. could you elaborate. i take your point aut the humility and modesty that the u.s. government needs to have in doing this work. this is not necessarily our fight. beyond the role of the u.s. government what can civil society, american civil society do? what would government ask american civil society to do? >> i think the government would ask civil society to perform behave as civilian society does which is to say not at the direction of the government. that said, private institutions, whether they are academic or religious or otherwise in the united states and elsewhere that share ouriol commitments to things like individual liberty including religious liberty, equality, pluralism,
toler entrance, respect. organizations in the u.s. and around the world that share those commitments don't keep your cardle undndle under a bus. these are important voices that can add to the conversation and that can demonstrate the value of our system of government and underlying that are set of social norms and values and illegitimacy, falsity and inferiority of a system of ideas based on compulsion, on violence, on supremacy. >> the center is it still active, is it growing under this administration and how much of e global engagement center focus on terrorist recruitment via propaganda from countries like russia and china? >> the center is very important
partner of ours in the bureau. it was originally conceived as a government body that could engaging the development of content and the propogation. it has a broader mandate. to concussion on other threats to the united states. state based threats. disinformation campaigns launched by peer powers or other state affiliated entities. so it is addressing the full range of national security and foreign policy challenges we face. at the top of the list we find the cde and counterterrorism issues that we were talking about today. >> good. we also had another question about the fight in cyber space and on social media. there's been a lot of criticism of some american companies social media companies among other things about how they have
served as a platform for spreading radical ideas and for organizations and sometimes under criticism they have been, some critics claim have been slow to take down ors mantle the networks that have been formed on their platforms. can you give us a sense of how important you see the involvement and the responsible behavior of businesses and counter and violent extremism? >> certainly. radicalism and the process of radicalizing take place through a number of different channels. sometimes it's face-to-face. sometimes it's online. we have to be mindful of various different vectors through which radicalizing content is dis
disiminated. silicon valley has an interest their platforms not being seen as connected with isis. none wants to be platform of choi for terrorists. so we've seen them take to rally the industry behind a shareden of obligation to do more. they found an organization called gift ct, i'll forget the exact name of it, but it's global internet forum to counterterrorism. the point of which is to enable incumbents in the marke that have fairly well developed lities to information and also share techniques with some of the new entrants about how to spot terrorist content, how to take it down and so on. we're encouraged by the steps that is i lie convalley is taking but we're going to continue the encourage them to do more.
we can't -- we're trying to deny physical safe hey convenience for al qaeda and isis in places like afghanistan and syria. we can't allow the home have virtual safe hey convenience to. we had a question from the audience about careers and what advice you would give to young people who are seeking a career in counterterrorism. >> come work for me. send out an application. there's another dimension to that question. we're in a long struggle that's become a mantra. it's true. we're in a very long struggle. when you think about how the u.s. government operates and various nongovernmental agencies operate, what new capabilities does our government need to compete in this long term struggle? where else do we need to make investments in government and out of government to effectively work with our partners around the world? >> i'll answer that question but let me actually answer the first
question first. because it's the sort of thing that back when i was an academic i used to get from my students all the time and i quite enjoy answering it. there's no one path, i think, towards a career working on these issues. let me just say, you don't have to go work for the state lo to have you orny other vernment agen. there are plenty of opportunities to engage on these issues in the private-sector, in academia, think tanks like the hudson institute. i think it's simply a matter of remaining current in the literature, coming to events like these, being mindful of unexpected opportunities that will present themselves and, you know, as an illustration of that i can offer my own background. i started working on these issues by accident. i was a young lawyer, fresh off a clerkship here in washington, d.c. with a federal judge when i got hired to work on
administrative law issues at the justice department. this was in august of 2001. three weeks later administrative law seemed less important. we had to get very smart on national security and counterterrorism issues pretty quick. it was just that happenstance of being there at that moment in time that i began to develop an interest and focus on these issues. of course, we pray that there's never a catastrophic career shift but mindful of those opportunities or opportunities not like that to just sort of move into a space you fine interesting. remind me of your second question. >> the long term capabilities we need. i mean there's been quite a bit of innovation in our government, i think a lot of the innovation has been driven on the military side. we have an enormous amount of talent and expertise in our civilian agencies. i'm not always sure that they
have been properly led with the right policies with respect to this issue of cv. but beyond that, where will the innovation need to come from within the civil agencies. what new civilian capabilities do we need to more effectively counter violent extremism. >> cv is part of it we need to use a wider angle lens to answer that question. one of the sets of tools we need is border security. particularly information about airline passengers who are traveling to the united states, or to and from allied nations. you can't spot terrorists and interdict them at the boarder unless you know who is coming and going. so what's important is collecting information about inbound and outbound arm travtr. then compare to watch lists.
other countries need to do a better job of. develop those lists of known and suspected terrorists. in the u.s. we've been doing this since early post-9/11 era. a number of our partners around the world are following our lead. but we think that it's such a useful instrument, useful tool to spot terrorist travel that other countries need to step up to the plate as well. biometrics is a third issue. terrorists will try to masquerade, assume new identities. using biometric identifiers at ports of entry is a valuable way to verify that the person who is presenting them self as joe smith is actually joe smith and not an isis operative. that's one suite of tools i think the united states has bean real leader on. and that we're going to be looking for other partners in other countries around the world to do more on.
designations and financial tools are another critical set capabilities. you know we don't just want to stop the bomber. we want to stop the guy, the money man who buys the bomb. so working with banks, working th inttional institutions, working bilaterally with other countries, we need to be imposing sanctions onse individuals and entities that are funneling money to al qaeda, to isis, to hezbollah and other entities like that that pose a threat to us and our friends. >> skipping around here but if i might back to the ideological dimensions of the struggle. we have a question about isil propaganda these days which uses a lot of justification, attempts to justify its actions based on appeals to law, to legality, among other things. do you think that leader and members of the islamic state generally believe in the principles of accountability and
fairness or is this recognize simply designed to appeal people for dignity and justice and more torant societies. >> you can judge them by their deeds. when you set a man on fire in a cage you are not concerned about fundamental values. when you behead people and boast about it your values are fundamentally inconsistent with those of the civilized world. i would judge them by their deeds not their words. >> another question, how does cve fit within the state departme broader diplomatic mission, particularly in affected part of the world like the middle east which i would argue is experiencing an unprecedented historical political and ideological convulsion. and we have the largest displacement of humanity since the end of world iin west asia.
part of this is connected to the fact that there is a robust geopolitical and strategic competition in the region between saudi arabia, iran in particular. but beyond that, the convulsio th we' seen and revealed that a lot of countries are very fragile and very weak. the region has known that for some time but in the tumult we've seen since the 2011 arab uprisings, a lot of that fragility has become more and more clear and it's being exploited by violent extremists. my question is how does cve and your effort in the counterterrorism bureau work with other agencies and state and elsewhere to helpld greater resilience in these societies and where do you see in the middle east situations of self-sustaining strength if you wihat can become political models and models of good governments going forward to that could help to show there is a civilized way to construct a future for themselves?
>> i think you're exactly right we're living through a very interesting time in that part of the world. the world is watching, crown prince ambitious reform agenda. make no mistake, he is pursuing a quite ambitious agenda, not just to reform his coun omynd posit it t mpete on a global stage for decades to come, but more importantly for our purposes today to also address the ideological cnts that are important to us struggling against terrorism and also for ensuring the long-term viability of the saudi system. we are encouraged by some of the stuff that the crown prince has taken. as you know, he's announced that women will be allowed to drive for the first tim and the united states applauds
these reforms. and we look forward to continuing to see the progress that will be made in the region. >> we have another question from the audience, which is dea to a slot o here at hudson institute. what does the usg do when nondemocratic governments try to secure u.s. help or what they call terrorists or extremists who are nothing more than peaceful critics or ethnic minorities? the example being in china. >> when governments try to enlist us to help them, they don't get it. so let me take a step back and sort of layout the big picture before answering the details of that question. since 9/11, the united states has worked hard with other partners to establish a rough geo -- a rough global consensus
that terrorism is always every where illegitima. the boundaries a bit fuzzy but there is no question that exists. that creates opportunities for united states and like minded countries that share our interests to cooperate together to build alliances and coalitions around that principle of countering tersm. it also creates opportunities for adds ver sarry-- adversarie this is terrorism, when it's groups rights and liberties that we in the united states experience every day and are grateful for. so we are always aware of the potential for counter terrorism as an important priority to be highjacked by other governments that have ulterior motives and we don't participate in that.
and slightly more granular level, there are countries, there are provisions in federal law that prohibit us from providing assistance to countries that have pro track record from respecting human rights, have history of abuses, including against dissidents. the leahy law has us thoroughly veto makeure s the american taxpayer is not subsidizing brutality. >> right. thank you. we had a question as well about the role of cve in war torn places like syria and iraq particularly in the context of the counter isis coalition. what role does cve play in places where governances fail, war on terrorism has come to
those areas? what role is your office playing in those areas? >> well, it's certainly, you know, certainly one of the importantbjectives. the most immediate oective, th most tactical need is to roll back the false caliphate. the physical occupation of cities, of countrysides, of oil fields, of entire swaths of land that isis once held and we are grateful has been largely liberated. but after the military gains have been achieved, it doesn't mean the fight is over, it's just shifting into a new phase. and in order to achieve an enduring defeat of isis, we need to use, in addition to the military assets that have achieved so much, we also need to use civilian tools to make
these military gains durable and sustainable. so things like, we talked about rule of law. so building the capacity of governments not just in the region, but countries that sent isis fighters into syria and iraq enabling them, teaching them how to actually prosecute terrorism related case. cve is part of this as well. when ftfs return home, we need to stop them from recruiting and radicalizing others in the community. if they go to a jail for a crime they committed, that's an opportunity to deprogram or deradicalize them. there is there is also the first do no harm, if that's not practical, let's look at ways we can prevent them from in their ideas from contaminating their fellow inmates. so i think cve nests into a larger civilian counter terrorism architecture that
becomes increasingly important now that the fight against isis is moving into this new phase. >> and what is that new phase? of government approach in which we will continue to apply military pressure where needed to ensure the enduring defeat on the battlefield. but also looking at ways to sustain those battlefield victories over the long haul through civilian tools like law enforcement, through financial designations like cve. >> beyond the greater levant, are there their yeahs of the world where you are pursuing focused efforts cve as part of preventive effort to prevent the spread of isis? >> essentially everywhere you see isis affiliates or isis inspired violence, it's important for us to use the whole sweet of national tools there. law enforcement will be appropriate in places like the
philippines. military tools will be important in places like the philippines as we saw with the liberation of mendenhall in the past year but communications is important as well. >> interesting question about iraq. the house ndaa passed last week sanctioning two iraqi malicious, one wassal har, which won 14 seats in parliament earlier this week. do you see this hindering if it becomes law? >> that's such a fresh issue involving pending legislation on which the administration may or may not have taken a position that i'm going to punt on that one. >> okay. fair enough. and we had another question about continuity in disagreement between the obama administration policy and the trump
administration cv epollcy. how is what you are doing new and different? or how does it double down and deepen what began under presiden obama? >> i think you see l continuity not just the trump administration and obama administration but between trump and bush administration between certain hard power ct tools like military force, like drones. i think it's a matter, when it comes to cve in particular, it's a matter of emphasis. and at the risk of painting with too broad a brush here, i think one of the differences we are seeing is prior cv efforts often emphasize the development aspects of cve. if you build a school house in ha war torn country that creates educational opportunities that creates better prospects for economic advancement which means people will not be as easily seduced by radicalism.
so it's a counter terrorism program. chain of causation is rr elaborat under the trump administration i think the focus is more he ideology, the ideas, let's falsify, let's work with partners to disprove and falsify the ideology that terrorists use to radical iize and recruit. it's more median i think that's one of the major differences you are seeing now. >> there is an argument that some of our western efforts to falsify claims made by various violent extremists wrestle rational fallacy. and the context free resoning ate use based on empirical analysis and facts doesn't work very well in some contexts. certainly doesn't work very well in dissuading people who have already been radicalized from pursuing their agendas.
do you agree with that analysis? what other ways might we go about neutralizing problematic s that animate violent extremism? >> i think human beings are rational creatures, capable of giving reasons for their behavior and they are capable of listening to reasons for why they shouldn't do what they are doing. now,n deto fully develop that rational faculty such that people are receptive to arguments that would dissuade them from pursuing a path of violence, it's important that they cultivate the necessary critical thinkings skls. so o of the tngs we are doing, i mentioned a little bit in my remarks about our work with educational institutions. and in critical thinking skills in particular. let me elaborate on that a litt bit. what we found is that students in middle school, high school, equivalents around the world,