Deradicalizing Islamist Extremists

In the face of an increasingly radicalized polity at home, there is something strangely ironic about the idea of the United States government thinking through the process of how to deradicalize extremists. And I have to confess that my latent libertarian (note the small “L”) is a bit discomfited with the idea of the US Government attempting to change the way anyone thinks.

But this RAND monograph by Angel Rabasa, Stacie Pettyjohn, Jeremy Ghez, and Christopher Boucek asks some pointed and challenging questions about the de-radicalization process, whether it is a valid approach, and what the fundamentals of a wise and effective effort might look like.

Among other things, the authors recognize that Islam is not a culture, and that radicals themselves are the products of their own home cultures. They argue that the de-radicalization process is going to differ from country to country and in some cases from individual to individual.

A fascinating read.

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