CNAS Launches New “Countering Domestic Extremism” Project

F.P. Report

WASHINGTON: The participation in the January 6, 2021 Capitol attack participants by individuals with ties to the U.S. military or law enforcement highlights growing concerns about domestic violent extremism within the institutions charged with protecting Americans.  While policy reviews are underway at individual departments and agencies, no substantial efforts to date examine the issue of domestic extremism among a broad array of security institutions, and assess its effects on public policy holistically.

As part of its expanding portfolio of work on domestic extremism and homeland security, the Center for a New American Security is assembling a bipartisan task force charged with developing a new approach to countering domestic violent extremism across the military, veteran, and law enforcement communities.

Led by CNAS Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow Carrie Cordero and Military, Veterans, and Society Program Director Katherine Kuzminski, the “Countering Domestic Extremism” project will harness the Center’s cross-disciplinary expertise. The task force will consist of a diverse group of scholars, policy experts and practitioners from the military and law enforcement departments and agencies, relevant workforce unions and associations, and civil rights experts.

 “There are domestic extremist organizations that target the military and law enforcement communities for recruitment,” stated Carrie Codero. “This project will seek to identify the most effective methods to disrupt the path towards extremism amongst current or former members of the military and law enforcement communities, while recognizing the critical value that the overwhelming majority of members of these communities provide to the American people.”

“CNAS is uniquely poised to address this issue of growing national concern,” said Katherine Kuzminski. “The resident expertise regarding military and law enforcement workforce dynamics and the convening power CNAS maintains among the community of military, veteran, and law enforcement practitioners positions CNAS to provide informed research and practical recommendations to policymakers, legislators, and leaders within the military, veteran community, and law enforcement communities.

The taskforce will convene over the course of this year, focusing on current policies and processes intended to screen for and prevent radicalization over the course of a military or law enforcement career. Findings and recommendations from the discussions will be distilled into a public report to be published this fall.