The United States(US) and its Coalition partners took a sincere and important step in the fight against the ISIL yesterday when they added an Information Coalition to complement the military and financial components of the war on the terrorist group. Meeting in Kuwait, as reported by Reuters, Western and Arab countries unveiled the information initiative as a means to combat efforts by the ISIL to recruit online through its propaganda messages meant to lure young disgruntled youth to take up arms for a fallible cause disguised as a Jihad.
The Coalition partners including the US, Britain, France, other European Union(EU) nations, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Emirates(UE) and others agreed to "enhancing exchanges, training and other cooperative programs for government leaders and spokes persons actively opposing the recruitment of foreign fighters and encouraging important religious and social leaders and the millions of young people who oppose violent extremism to raise their voices through traditional social media," a consensus statement read following the meeting.
Retired US General John Allen, Special Envoy for building the coalition against the ISIL, encouraged Coalition members at the Kuwait meeting to "set forth tangible work plans that will directly and rapidly counter ISIL's propaganda in cyberspace and the press." While this new Information Coalition along with military and financial actions designed to ultimately win the battle against the ISIL are all timely, fitting and necessary, the war against radicalization and extremism cannot be won until earnest concerted efforts are applied to alleviating social hardships and injustices.
Whether or not perceived or experienced, social hardships and injustices are two major reasons cited on the path to radicalization and extremism. And while political leaders and spokes people acquire the knowledge to tacitly communicate with all sectors of their societies, what of local police forces in Paris, Birmingham, Berlin and Ferguson? What advancements could be forwarded to alleviate poverty in Damascus, Cairo , Baghdad and elsewhere? What additions could be made to allow young artists in Istanbul, Michigan, Brixton and Hamburg to realize their ambitions? Given history's lessons, we are reminded of that want-to-be artist denied his desire and the wrought of crimes he later perpetuated upon humanity. Thus engagement of our youth into the affairs of their communities as social hardships and injustices are alleviated are more components to be employed to end radicalization and extremism.