…Because if we pour millions of dollars into “providing more economic opportunities for marginalized youth,” we’ll win the War on Terror, or something.
Kerry’s comments came during a meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) last Friday, CNSNews reports. Kerry and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu unveiled a $200 million initiative “designed to leverage public and private funding in support of what the GCTF calls ‘countering violent extremism’ (CVE) efforts.”
The facts, however, suggest Kerry is (surprise!) barking up the wrong tree:
Researchers have noted that some of the most prominent jihadist terrorists over the past decade or more, far from being driven by desperation and a lack of economic opportunity, are educated members of their societies.
Osama bin Laden was the son of a billionaire businessman, Ayman al-Zawahiri is a physician and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has an engineering degree.
A similar pattern was evident in south-east Asia, where key members of the al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah (JI) terror network were well-educated men. [...]
According to a Rand Corporation report on counterterrorism, prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2009, “Terrorists are not particularly impoverished, uneducated, or afflicted by mental disease. Demographically, their most important characteristic is normalcy (within their environment). Terrorist leaders actually tend to come from relatively privileged backgrounds.”