tv State Departments Counterterrorism Strategy CSPAN May 31, 2018 6:08am-7:00am EDT
that is the point of lord of the flies. and lord of the flies have these kids are the pinnacle of western civilization, these kids from a boarding school and the second you put them back into the natural environment, they go tribal and become superstitious, they attack each other. that is humanity. >> watch after words, senate night at 9:00 eastern on c-span's tv. salesassador nathan discusses the agency's strategy to counter violent extremism. after his remarks ambassador sales to questions about military and civilian efforts to fight extremist groups. this event was organized by the hudson institute.
>> welcome, everyone. i am eric brown. i want to welcome all of you. as well as our c-span viewers for our discussion with ambassador nathan sales who is the state department's coordinator for counterterrorism for countering violent extremism. there is, i think, a basic consensus that the struggle with the violent extremism is inherently political and ideological, and we need robust and well supported civilian agencies to compete in that space. the concept and practice of countering violent extremism, or
cve, has come to mean different things to different people. cve has had important successes and high-profile failures. it has thoughtful defenders and critics, and a vigorous and healthy policy debate in and out of government over the nature of the threat, what more needs to be done, the effectiveness of our capabilities, and what success looks like. the ambassador is here to speak about the administration's policies on cve and related matters. he is a noted lawyer, scholar, and public servant. he was a professor at syracuse university where he taught administrative law, constitutional law, national security law, and counterterrorism law. before syracuse he had extensive governmental experience as well including department of homeland security and in the office of legal policy at the u.s. department of justice. he is with us for just under one hour. after he speaks, we will have
limited time for questions and discussions. if you have a question, please jot down on an index card your question, available in the back. concision is key. we will do our best to have your questions addressed in the time we have remaining. please join me in welcoming ambassador sales. [applause] >> thank you for the invitation to be here with you at the hudson institution. i am a recovering academic so it is a real pleasure for me to be here in the think tank world, to dip my toes back in these waters. i'm here to talk about countering violent extremism, a critical counterterrorism tool. we had a vital moment, a turning point in our fight against
terrorism. we make extraordinary progress against isis in the past year. nearly all the territory they held in syria and iraq has been liberated. our partners fought mile by , and block by block sometimes house by house. the fight was not easy, but we persisted. while our victories on the battlefield are significant, they are not a permanent solution. at the state department, we are focused on aligning our civilian responses with military responses, the only way to ensure an enduring defeat of our enemies. civilian efforts include law enforcement tools, prosecuting terrorists for the crimes they've committed, collecting battlefield evidence, and updating laws to combat threats.
tougher border screening and more robust information screening -- information sharing between governments and within them. cutting off the flow of money. another key civilian tool is countering violent extremism, cve. i think we need to be more ambitious than the name suggests. in addition to countering the violence, we have to counter the underlying ideas that animate it. isis, al qaeda, and other terrorist organizations continue to radicalize and recruit. over the last 20 years, this call for violence has resonated in the middle east, asia, africa, europe, and in the united states. despite our military successes, young men and women across the globe are still being convinced to join isis or al qaeda, or commit acts of barbarism in their name. the united states and their partners must engage them otherwise.
i would like to talk about american values and the threat posed to them by terrorist ideology, then some of our natural allies in this contest, and what we in the counterterrorism bureau and state department generally are doing to promote american values and interests. the contest of ideas is not unique to our fight against terrorism. american conflicts have often had ideological dimensions. during the cold war, our objective was to contain and rollback the soviet empire. but we had to go beyond that. we have to show the ideology on which the soviet system was based was false and its teachings ran counter to the
basic human desires of freedom and dignity. so we engaged in a vigorous debate through voice of america, radio free europe, and other platforms. we were out to persuade the world that the soviet worldview was wrong, both morally and as a system of governance. and we succeeded. ideas matter, and where we find ideologies that espouse violence, deny freedom, and reject human dignity, we must stand with our partners against these threats to our fundamental values. winston churchill put it best. arms are not sufficient, we must add the power of ideas. people say we ought not allow ourselves to be brought into theoretical antagonism between nazis and democracy, but the antagonism is here now. -- gives the free countries a great part of their strength. so, what are the competing ideologies in today's contest of ideas? america is committed to
individual rights and we recognize the inherent worth and dignity of every human being. we are all, in the words of the declaration of independence, we are all endowed with certain inalienable rights. from this, we derive a number of specific values. religious liberty, our first freedom. it is not just, as some call it, a freedom to worship. the free exercise of worship. conduct, in addition to beliefs and expression. we are dedicated to the notion of equality before the law. we fought a civil war for this principle and implanted it in the constitution in the form of the 14th amendment. we are committed to a pluralism. we acknowledge our fellow citizens will often disagree on issues of morality, religion, and politics. we are ok with that and expect our government to be ok with it. we deny individuals the authority to mandate a
uniformity of thought. if there is any fixed star, it is that there is no official, high or petty, who will decide what is orthodox or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. these rights and liberties are the entitlement of every american no matter their background and creed. let me tell you about the supreme court case from 2015 that i think nicely captures the american commitment to liberty, equality, and pluralism. gregory holt was an inmate in arkansas and he wanted to grow a half inch beard, which he believed he was required to do as an observant muslim. prison guards prohibited him from doing so, citing the state's penal regulations. the u.s. government took his side. the supreme court's decision in the case was unanimous. it held that he was entitled to
an exemption from the band. -- from the ban on facial hair. arkansas's prison system had to yield. adversaries reject all of this. isis and al qaeda denied the worth and dignity of an individual. here is how osama bin laden once put it. "we love death, the americans love life." that is the big difference between us. today we still the toll this bloody ideology has exacted upon the world. it is responsible for the death of iraqis, syrians, afghans, and on 9/11, close to 3000 innocent people from countries around the -- from 90 countries around the world. it's followers have enslaved women and girls, beheaded some on television, burned people alive, thrown them from the tops of buildings and drowned them. our enemies are not shy.
they reject religious liberty and all liberty as they seek to rule by constant bloodshed. they reject equality and seek to empower themselves at the expense of those they regard as their inferiors, and they reject rejectsm because they any other religion or tradition within islam itself a crime that carries a death sentence. so, as we confront terrorists on the battlefield, in courts of law, and in other theaters, we must confront their twisted -- as they refute the violence, to premisism. ande intolerance of our enemies. just as importantly, we need to
work with community leaders, religious figures, and others who have the standing to credibly counter terrorist ideas. luckily, it is easy to find people like this. i met many since i took office a year ago. starting in indonesia, southeast asia is sadly no stranger to terrorism. we saw isis sees the city in the philippines, and this month, terrorists carried out an attack in indonesia. i recently met with indonesians working hard to counteract terrorist the elegy in the region. it stands as a potent antidote to extremism. a large muslim population with a long and proud history of religious tolerance and pluralism. last year, a group of and an asian students declared -- the best of their country's traditions. three priority areas. increasing religious understanding and mutual
respect, emphasizing the humane and spiritual dimensions of their faith. they want to promote critical thinking skills to resist the siren song of radicalism, and empower society to deter extremism. it is voices like these that must be amplified. they share the values that america holds dear and are critical partners. like indonesia, jordan is also a center of pluralism. top jordanian officials have supported dialogues of peace and tolerance within the islamic community and with other religious groups. they are tackling the inconsistencies between religious texts highlighted by isis and -- in islam, to expose the illegitimacy of terrorist claims within their own
tradition. one jordanian scholar said the following. a tiny minority of muslims have fundamentally misunderstood islam and are grossly misrepresenting it. true piety necessarily involves virtue and kindness toward all others because it is the fruit and result of love. we were created to be kind to our neighbors no matter who they are. morocco is a number -- is another natural partner with a strong commitment to pluralism. in 2015, the king established the mohammed the sixth institute for the training of imams, with male and female religious guides. its mission is to promote religious scholarship and a message of tolerance, particularly in africa. this school attracts students from across continents and from europe as well. a student body of over 12,000 people per year hail as far as morocco, guinea, mali, senegal, --
and it sits like these are forming a cadre of authentic that will ultimately drown out the extremism preached by isis and al qaeda. what is the u.s. role? candidly, i think we need to approach that question with modesty. the federal government is not a religious authority. i certainly am not. there are limits to what we can do to disprove our adversaries' theological claims. what we can do is partner with leaders and authorities who share our values and interests. let me tell you what the counterterrorism bureau in particular, and the state department in general, has been doing to support our friends in this contest of ideas. promoting authentic voices committed to pluralism and human rights, that can speak credibly to those at risk of buying into terrorist ideologies. one example is the sawab center.
it means "on the right path." they disseminate content that challenges isis narratives. they launched an internet campaign on the importance of giving to verify charities. it was viewed over one million times. we also support community leaders to -- to create tailored audiences -- tailored messages for specific audiences. alternatives to terrorism and the ideology behind it. students learned to operate video cameras, write a storyboard and script, and edit their work. even more importantly, the event helped -- held video screenings and discussions that reached thousands of others with a positive message. we supported a documentary by mothers whose sons went to syria to fight for isis. this film showed the devastation that families experience when their sons and daughters abandoned them for a life of bloodshed.
it forced would-be recruits to think twice about their support for terrorism and confront the false idea that encouraged them in the first place. the second thing we are doing is engaging in communities most affected by terrorist messaging. civic leaders often of the first -- they can function as an early warning system and an early intervention mechanism. when young people are on a path to terrorism, it is important to connect them and their families to religious figures and mentors and other stakeholders in their community. they need to hear strong, authentic voices with messages of nonviolence and tolerance. the strong cities network -- 100 cities in every corner of the world. -- cities in the united states with counterparts abroad, encouraging them to share information and good practices on how best to counterterrorism
and its underlying ideology. these exchanges are producing results. we paired belgium with ohio -- at the time, the city in belgium had one of the highest per capita numbers of foreign terrorist fighters traveling to syria and iraq. their delegation included the mayor and chief of police. in ohio, they met with a number of local figures, including officials from the hilliard city school district. it has become one of the most diverse districts in the country, in large part due to an influx of somali immigrants. they have worked hard to build
their resistance to harmful outside influences. when he returned to belgium, he initiated -- brazilian strategies. a few months later, the city noticed a precipitous drop in fighters leaving, dropping to zero. the mayor now speaks regularly with mayors around the world about its efforts and successes. third, we are working at the state department to be radicalize those who seem susceptible to terrorist ideologies. one group we are focusing on his -- is prisoners. we know the origin of al qaeda, radicalization in egyptian prisons. we have seen former prisoners go on to commit attacks in denmark and belgium and a number of other places. as we prosecute foreign terrorist fighters taken off the battlefield and sentenced to jail for the crimes they committed, we need to prevent them from radicalizing their fellow inmates. at the same time, prisons can offer the radicalization opportunities, as inmates can be cut off from their previous
networks and contacts. helping prison officials managed and rehabilitate terrorist fighters who return home. we are helping them develop standard operating procedures, instructing officers how to monitor communications and other activities. we cannot limit our activities to prisoners. we have to reach people before they commit crimes. that is why the state department helped create an international training center-based in abu dhabi. one of its most important products -- projects is its narrative library. many who left isis and other groups became disillusioned by their brutality, particularly toward other muslims. they have powerful stories to tell that might serve as antidotes to others who might be seduced by the terrorists' siren songs. crafting messages to dissuade would-be terrorists.
whatever terrorist ideology begins to take hold, it is possible for us to take people from its clutches. isis is down, but not out. in southeast asia, east africa, europe and -- very real and growing. our military victories by us time to win a more fundamental contest between competing ideologies. this will help us -- this will require determination and patience, but i'm confident that with the will and commitment of our partners, our ideas will prevail as they have in the past. thank you for hosting me, thank you for listening, and i look forward to our conversation. [applause]
>> thank you. >> thank you. we have a bunch of questions from the audience, but i wanted to begin by asking some of you about the rule of law. what role do you see the promotion of the rule of law playing in helping to build resilience and societies that are affected by violent extremism? how does the state department coordinate with other government agencies to promote that? >> i think it is a great question, and an incredibly ofortant part of the suite tools that we used to confront terrorists. rule of law can have tactical benefits and strategic once. when you catch a terrorist who has committed a crime, a country needs to have the capability to
investigate them, to prosecute them, and for these inmates upon conviction -- conviction to be incarcerated properly. on a tactical level, building rule of law institutions that are capable of doing that is an incredibly important priority. those efforts also have a broader strategic benefits as well, because we are not just talking about courts adjudicating cases. we are talking about a fundamental system of values, that this is the way that you deal with disorder, and violence in society. not to arbitrary dictates ordered by authoritarian governments, but by the rule of law. governments that are characterized by high degrees of rule of law commitments display higher levels of resilience to terrorism and terrorist ideology than other forms of government.
i think the reason why is fairly intuitive. based uponsystems the rule of law. to the terrorist false claims that it resort to violence is necessary to achieve your political objectives. it is never necessary or appropriate to use violence. and a system that gives citizens multiple outlets for the expression of concerns and opportunities to seek change, it is even less appropriate. >> i am so glad that you mentioned the declaration on humanitarian and a lot of the other projects that you singled out. some of the work done and morocco, the work being done in jordan and the uae. you mention that the u.s. government has a role in amplifying some of those messages, perhaps providing resources and support.
could you elaborate a little bit on that? about ther point modesty that the u.s. government has to have in doing this work. government, what can civil society, american civil society do? >> i think the government would ask civil society to perform and behave as civil society does, which is to say not at the direction of the government. said, private institutions, whether they are academic, or religious, or otherwise, and united states and elsewhere -- in the united states and elsewhere, that share our national commitments, including a quality, liberty, tolerance, respect. organizations around the world that share those commitments, these are important voices that
that share those commitments, do not keep your candle under a bushel. these are important voices that can add to the conversation. they demonstrate the value of our system of government. underlying that are a set of social norms and values. e illegitimacy, falsity, inferiority, a system of ideas based on compulsion of violence onto -- on some premises of. >> we had a question from the audience about the global engagement center. how much of the global engagement center's work focuses on terrorist recruitment via propaganda from countries like russia and china? >> the global engagement center is a very important partner of ours in the ct bureau. it was originally conceived as a government body that can engage in the development of content and the propagation of content.
-- of content to address terrorist narratives. it has an even broader mandate now. it focuses on other trends through the u.s. state-based threats. disinformation campaigns peer hours or other state affiliated entities. c. is adjusting the full range of national security and foreign policy that we face. we find the cbe and the counterterrorism issue we are talking about. >> we also had another question about the fight in cyberspace and on social media. there has been a lot of criticism of some american companies, social media companies about how they have served as a platform for spreading radical ideas and organization. sometimes under criticism, some critics claim they have been slow to take down or dismantle
their networks. can you give us a sense of how important you see the and the responsible a beer of businesses encountering -- responsible behavior of businesses session ing countering terrorism? >> radicalism and the process of radicalizing take place through a number of different channels. sometimes it is face-to-face. sometimes it is online. we have to be mindful of the different vectors through which radicalizing content is disseminated to vulnerable populations, to target audiences . the online space is obviously a huge part of that. i think silicon valley understands the online space is a huge part of it. i think they have an interest in their platforms as not being seen as synonymous with al qaeda. nobody wants to be the platform of choice for a terrorist
organization. in recent years, we have seen them take within a number of steps within the industry to sort of rally the industry behind a shared sense of obligation to do more. they founded an organization. i am going to forget the exact name of it. it is the global internet form um to counterterrorism. there, i did. -- i did it. fairly well developed their intentions -- their for fairly well developed capabilities to share information and to share techniques with some of the new entrance and how to spot terrorism. we are encouraged by the steps that silicon valley is taking. we are going to continue to encourage them to do more. we are trying to deny physical safe havens for al qaeda and isis. -- in places like afghanistan and syria. not 11 to -- allow
them to have virtual safe havens too. >> we had another 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. >> there is another dimension to that question. we are in a long struggle. when you think about how the u.s. government operates and various nongovernmental what newoperate, capabilities desired government need -- does our government need to compete in this long-term struggle? where else do we need to make investments in and out of government to effectively work with our partners around the world? >> let me actually answer the first question first. it is the sort of thing that i used to get from my students all the time. i enjoy answering its.
is no one path towards a career of working on these issues. you do not have to go work for the state department. there are plenty of opportunities to engage on these issues in the private sector and academia and think tanks. -- like the hudson institute. i think it is simply a matter of remaining current in the literature, coming to events like these, and being mindful of unexpected opportunities that will present themselves. as an illustration of that, i can offer my own background as an example. i started working on these issues by accident. i was a young lawyer in washington, d.c. with a federal judge when i got hired to work on administrative law issues with the justice department which was in august of 2001. three weeks later, administrative law suddenly seemed less important. we had to get very smart on national security and counterterrorism issues very
quick. it was that happenstance of being there at that moment of time that i began to develop an interest and focus on these issues. of course, we pray there is never a comparably cataclysmic career shift for anyone who is in this room. me of your -- remind second question. >> the long-term capabilities, there has been quite a bit of innovation in our government. a lot of the innovation has been driven on the military side. we have an anonymous amount of talent and expertise in our civilian agencies. i am not always sure they have been properly led with the right policies. beyond that, where will the innovation need to come from in civilian agencies?
what new civilian capabilities of do need to more effectively counter violent extremism? >> we need to use a wider angled lens to answer that question. one of the sets of tools we need is border security. particularly, information about airline passengers traveling to the u.s. or to and from allied nations. you cannot spot terrorists and interdict them at the border. -- at the border unless you know who is coming and going. one of the things that is important is collecting information about inbound and outbound airline travel and using that data to match it against watch lists of suspected terrorists. -- known and suspected terrorists. other countries need to do a better job of developing those lists of known and suspected terrorists. we have been doing it since
early or post 9/11 era. other partners are following our lead. we think that such a useful tool to spot terrorist travel the other countries need to step up to the plate as well. biometrics are a third issue. terrorists will try to masquerade and assume new identities. it is a lot harder to fake your fingerprints. using biometric identifiers. -- identifiers at ports of entry. it is a viable way to identify that the person identifying themselves as joe smith is joe smith. that is one suite of tools the u.s. has been a leader on and that we are going to be looking otherher partners and tontries around the world work on.
designation and financial tools. we do not just want to stop the bomber. we want to stop the money meant who buys the bomb. working with banks and international institutions. we need to be imposing sanctions on those individuals and entities funneling money to al qaeda and isis and other entities. >> excellent. we are skipping around here. back to the ideological dimensions of the struggle. we have a question about isil whichanda these days, attempts to justify its actions based on appeals to law, legality, and other things. do you think that leaders and members of the islamic state genuinely believe in the principles of accountability and fairness? or is this rhetoric simply designed to appeal to people for dignity and justice? >> i think you can judge them by
their deeds. when you set a man on fire in a cage, you are not concerned about fundamental values like that. when you behead people and host it, your values are fundamentally inconsistent with those of the civilized world. i would judge them by the deeds and not their words. >> we have another question. how does c.v.e. fit in with the state department's broader diplomatic mission with parts of the world like the middle east that is experiencing an unprecedented historical and political, and ideological convulsion. we have the largest displacement of humanity since world war ii in west asia. part of this is connected to the fact that there is a robust political and strategic competition in the region between saudi arabia and iran in
particular. beyond that the convulsion we , have seen reveals that a lot of countries are fragile. that forn has known some time. in the tumult we have seen, a lot of that fragility. has become clear it is being exploited. i guess my question is, how does c.v.e. and your efforts work with other agencies to help build greater resilience in these societies? >> i think you are exactly right. we are living through a very interesting time in that part of the world. the world is watching. the crown prince's ambitious
reform agenda. make no mistake, he has articulated and is pursuing a quite ambitious agenda. not just to reform his country 's economy and position it to compete on the global stage for decades to come, but more importantly for our purposes today, to also address the ideological components that are important to a struggle against terrorism, and also for ensuring the long-term viability of the saudi system. we are encouraged by some of the steps the crown prince is taking. as you know, he has announced that women will be allowed to drive for the first time. the united states applauds these reforms. we look forward to seeing the progress that will be made. >> we have another question from
the audience, which is dear to a lot of us here at the hudson institute. what does the u.s. do when nondemocratic governments try to secure u.s. help or approval of suppression of extremists who are in fact nothing more than peaceful critics? -- or religious or ethnic minorities? >> when governments try to enlist us to help them, they do not get it. let me take a step back and sort of lay out the big picture before answering the details of that question. since 9/11, the u.s. has worked hard with other countries to establish a rough global consensus that terrorism is always and everywhere illegitimate. the boundaries of that norm are a bit fuzzy. i do not think there is any question that norm exists. that creates great opportunities
for the united states and for like-minded countries who share our interests to build alliances and coalitions around that principle of countering terrorism. it also creates opportunities for adversaries to use -- pretextuall justifications. to say this is really terrorism when in fact it is a matter of a domestic group seeking to exercise rights and liberties that we in the united states experience everyday and are grateful for. we are always aware of the potential for counterterrorism as an important priority to be hijacked by other governments ulterior motives, and we do not participate in that. more granular level, there are countries -- there are provisions in federal law that prohibit us from providing assistance to
countries who have a poor track record when it comes to respecting human rights or have a history of committing abuses. -- including against domestic dissidents. the lakey law requires us to ofroughly vet the recipients u.s. dollars to make sure the american taxpayer is not subsidizing brutality. >> we had a question about the role of c.v.e. in war-torn places like syria and iraq. particularly, in the context of the counter isis coalition. what role does it play in places failed, theance has war on terrorism has come to those areas. what role is your office in those areas? >> it certainly is one of the
important objectives. the most immediate objective, the most tactical need is to roll back the false caliphate. of physical occupation cities, of countrysides, of oil -- oilcome up entire fields, entire swathes of land that isis once held and is largely deliberated. after the military gains have been achieved, does not mean the fight is over. it simply means that the fight is shifting to a new phase. in order to achieve an enduring defeat of isis, we need to use in addition to the military that have achieved so much, we also need to use civilian tools to make these gains durable. about like what we talked rule of law, 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 prosecute a terrorism case. c.v.e. is part of this. when ftf's return home, we need to stop them from radicalizing others in their community. it is an opportunity to de-radicalize them. there is also the first do no harm principle. even if that is not feasible, to de-radicalize a particular inmate, let's look at the ways we can prevent their ideas from contaminating their fellow inmates. it becomes increasingly important now that the fight against isis is moving into this new phase. >> what is that new phase?
>> the new phase is an all of government approach, in which we will continue to apply military pressure where needed to ensure an enduring defeat on the battlefield. also looking at ways to sustain those battlefield victories over the long haul. through civilian tools like law enforcement, like financial designations. beyond the greater levant, are there areas of the world you are focusing to prevent the spread of isis? >> essentially, everywhere you see isis affiliates or isis inspired violence. it is important for us to use the full suite of national tools there. law enforcement will be appropriate in places like the philippines. importantools will be in places like the philippines.
be an tools will important part of that conversation as well. >> we have an interesting question about iraq. the house passed -- sanctioning two iraqi officials. it won 14 seats in parliament earlier this month. do you see this enduring u.s. -iraqi cooperation? >> that is a fresh issue involving pending legislation on which the administration may or may not have taken a position. i am going to have to punt on that one. >> fair enough. we had another question about continuity and disagreement between the obama administration and the trump administration's policy. how is what you are doing new? >> you see a lot of continuity between not just the trump administration and the obama
administration, but between the trump administration and the bush administration on certain hard power tools like military force, like drones. when it comes to c.v.e. in particular, it is a matter of emphasis. at the risk of painting with too broad of a brush, we are seeing, prior c.v.e. efforts emphasize the development aspects. if you build a schoolhouse in a war-torn country, that creates educational opportunities, which creates better prospects for advancement, which means advancement, which means people will not be as easily seduced by radicalism. so it is a counterterrorism program. chain of causation is rather elaborate. under the trump administration, the focus is more on ideology.
the ideas. let's falsify. let's work with partners to just -- to disprove and falsify. -- to falsify the ideology that terrorists use to recruit. it is more immediate and more direct. that is one of the major differences that you see now. >> there is an argument that some of our western efforts to falsify, claims made by violent ofremists, and that the sort context free reasoning that we use does not work very well in some contexts. certainly does not work very waiting --t dissuading people who have been radicalized in pursuing their agendas. do you agree with that analysis? what other ways might we go about neutralizing problematic ideas which animate violent
extremism? >> i think human beings are irrational -- are rational creatures. they are capable of giving reasons for their behavior. they are capable of listening to reasons for why they should not do what they are doing. in order to develop that faculty, people are receptive to thatsuch that -- such as -- such that people are receptive to arguments that would dissuade them from pursuing a path of violence. it is important to cultivate the critical thinking skills. i mentioned in my remarks about educational institutions and critical thinking skills. let me elaborate on that a little bit. what we found is that students in middle school or high school , itvalents around the world is important for them to develop their ability to think critically through any sort of claim. but especially a claim made by a terrorist.
that you know, you should leave your family, abandon your mother and go to syria and strap on a vest and end your life. does not sound like a particularly appealing course of action to me, anybody in this room, or anybody watching on television. one of the ways you can develop people's natural instinct is by equipping them with critical thinking skills so that they can spot logical fallacies. so they can spot leaps in logic. so they can spot other false flags. that is one of the important things that we are doing in the educational context. >> i agree that education is the only long-term, well it is the best long-term strategy. it is something that is woefully underinvested in. with that we are actually , running out of time. i know you have to get to another appointment. are there any final things you would like to say? >> i would like to thank you again, eric.
thank you for inviting me to be here. i would like to thank the audience here in the room and on television for spending an hour with us. it is a measure of how important these issues are. confronting our terrorist adversaries and the ideas that animate them. i am grateful to everybody for their excellent questions. >> thank you all for coming. [applause] >> thank you for your leadership. >> thank you very much. >> live thursday on the c-span networks, at noon eastern on c-span, a conversation on social media and how it influences political debate and democracy in the u.s., hosted by the cato institute. a.m., former 9:00 secretary of state madeleine albright sits down with
washington post columnist to talk about the trump administration's foreign policy, including the current talks with north korea about a possible summits. then at 10:00, a forum on how to use intelligent to assess cyber threats to organizations and companies. that is also on c-span2. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service america's cable television companies. and today we continue 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 provider. announcer: coming up on washington journal, the european ambassador to the u.s. david o'sullivan discusses