To build peace, the U.S. needs to lead with responses that prevent,
reduce, transform and help people recover from violence in all forms. Since 2001, FCNL has worked to move U.S. foreign policy in this direction. We have made progress: the U.S. now has some
infrastructure in place to prevent violence and build peace. The
rhetoric of peacebuilding is starting to penetrate.
In 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama released a statement underscoring a commitment to prevent crimes against humanity. Soon after, he established the ambitiously named Atrocity Prevention Board, a group of U.S. officials ... [which] meets monthly to assess the risks of atrocities and to strategize on how to mitigate them.
Since 9/11, the U.S. has dramatically expanded its so-called security assistance programs, which provide training, support and weapons to armies and police forces around the world. Our country now provides military and police aid to more than 130 nations in an effort to combat violent extremism.
From the outside, an outbreak of violence can seem spontaneous. But even when a community seems relatively peaceful, the seeds of violence can be growing. Where there is poverty, oppression, corruption, or scarcity of resources, the potential for violence is there as well.
President Obama is set to visit his father's homeland, which no doubt will be meaningful for Mr. Obama and for Kenyans who share a special connection to this US president with ancestral roots in Kenya.
We believe the counterterrorism aid that the U.S. provides does more harm than good. But the underlying goal, to make the U.S. and the world more secure, is worth pursuing. What alternatives can we offer to advance this goal?