Expectations Low For U.S. Extremism Summit

When you can’t even accurately identify the adversary; and, your allies don’t trust you — and, your enemies don’t fear you — why would anyone go to something like this. Perhaps the Admin’s Climate Change POC can oversee the conference. If Americans handn’t bought so many SUV’s and private jets — maybe the Islamic State wouldn’t have arisen………..NOT This is embarrassing, and shows just how disengaged and clueless this White House is. The FBI Director and the current, former heads of the Defense Intelligence Agency seem to be the exceptions, and part of the few adult leaders in the room. V/R,RCP

financial times

February 16, 2015 11:34 pm

Expectations Low For U.S. Extremism Summit

Megan Murphy and Geoff Dyer in Washington

Flowers and candles left following shootings in the Danish capital, outside the Krudttonden cafe, the venue of a free speech event that was titled ‘Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression’, in Copenhagen, Denmark, 16 February 2015. Danish police have arrested two men on suspicion of aiding the gunman who carried out shooting attacks in Copenhagen, investigators said. EPA/SOEREN BIDSTRUP DENMARK OUT©EPA

The White House is facing mounting scepticism that its high-profile summit on violent extremism this week will help to counter a rising tide of radicalism, as world leaders search for a response to another wave of attacks in Denmark and Libya.

The summit, to be held in Washington, will draw high-level officials from more than 60 countries and will focus on how to stave off the kind of political and socio-economic exclusion that drives marginalized groups into the hands of terror groups, senior administration officials said on Monday.

Plans for the three-day summit, which have been in the works for months, took on greater urgency after Islamist extremists killed 17 people in Paris last month, starting with an assault on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine.

Over the weekend, a gunman in Copenhagen opened fire at a free speech event at a cultural centre and synagogue, killing two people, while on Sunday fighters affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or Isis, claimed they had killed up to 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians they were holding in the central Libyan city of Sirte.
White House officials sidestepped questions on a call with reporters on Monday over whether a multi-day meeting among ministers could be an effective tool in the fight against violent extremism.

The administration, which last week asked Congress for a new war powers resolution to authorize its military campaign against Isis, emphasized that the meeting was one prong of its broader national security strategy.
One central focus of the summit will be social media and how to deal with groups such as Isis that have grown adept at radicalizing followers by using online forums to showcase vicious and depraved attacks.

Officials also emphasized that the summit would not focus exclusively on the threats posed by one group, but would look at how communities can tackle extremism more broadly by fostering closer ties with immigrants, youth and other disaffected groups. It will draw on experience with pilot programs in three US cities — Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis.

While the White House declined to release the summit’s full agenda on Monday, officials confirmed that President Barack Obama would host sessions on Wednesday and Thursday. Theresa May, the UK Home Secretary, is scheduled to attend the event along with senior officials from Germany, Jordan and dozens of other countries.
Denmark wakes up to home-grown extremism

As a picture began to emerge on Monday of the perpetrator of the Copenhagen terror attacks at the weekend, Danes were facing up to the likelihood that the long-expected threat of violence in the Nordic nation was unlikely to recede.
“We hope to get to a place where we have greater resilience and greater action across communities,” said one administration official.

The fact that the US was holding the meeting was welcomed by several experts interested in the subject who “have long complained that the US and its allies only focus on the problem of terrorism in its last stages”, said Daniel Byman, a Middle East expert at the Brookings Institution.

But he said the difficult reality was that it is hard to pin down the root causes of extremism.
“Once you get beyond the immediate problem of terrorism and terrorists and start to look at the problem of radicalisation, it becomes a muddy area. It is hard to know what works and what does not,” he said.

The White House said on Monday evening that Mr Obama had spoken to Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt to offer condolences for the recent attacks, and welcomed Denmark’s participation in this week’s summit.

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