Katherine Zimmerman | October 2020
- The US can no longer afford to prioritize counterterrorism at the cost of competing with global powers such as China and Russia.
- Instead, the US must transform its approach to countering al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and other like-minded groups by focusing on the environment that enables both Salafi-jihadis and adversaries such as China and Russia to expand their influence.
- Transforming the approach requires the US to improve how it operates in complex and fragile environments. The Global Fragility Act (GFA) is an opportunity to drive the necessary change throughout the interagency to succeed in these spaces. But its implementation has fallen short.
- Senior administration officials should use the GFA to develop and implement a strategic-level approach that underscores conflict prevention, stabilization, and peace building. This means using foreign assistance effectively to advance American interests and contest territory that will otherwise fall to Salafi-jihadis or to Beijing or Moscow.