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NSA Chair Delivers Keynote Address on Countering Violent Extremism

By Catherine L. Grant
October 7, 2016

The daily litany of violence perpetrated by violent extremist groups like the Islamic State, Boko Haram, and al-Qaeda underscores the need to understand the drivers of radicalization around the globe, and formulate effective responses to countering violent extremism (CVE). On 29 September 2016, Prof. Mohammed M. Hafez, Chair of the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, delivered a keynote address on CVE to the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, DC. His speech, “Of Barrel Bombs and Beheadings: The Roots of Intergenerational Extremism,” addressed the endurance of extremism in the Arab world, despite several wars against radical networks, countless counterterrorism initiatives, and billions of dollars spent to bolster the security sectors of local regimes. Prof. Hafez argued that to “bend the arc of Islamism toward moderation and peaceful integration,” the international community must address the enduring crisis of legitimacy that confronts states in the Muslim world. Regimes suffering from a legitimacy deficit due to poor governance, weak institutions, and little respect for the rule of law contribute to the perpetuation of the problem.


The remarks were delivered to the 2016 RESOLVE Network, which is a global consortium of scholars and research organizations addressing the causes of radicalization around the globe and identifying effective responses to violent extremism. Prof. Hafez’s keynote address can be viewed here.