The rise of violent extremism is a test of international law, and of the global world order that arose from the chaos and brutality of the Second World War: an order that the civilized world has built and defended for the past seventy years.
“Every single week brings new examples of how far the evil of these extremist groups reaches,” said Secretary of State John Kerry. Consider Terik-e Taliban’s attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, that resulted in the deaths of 141 people, including 132 children; Boko Haram’s attacks against civilians in Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon, which have cost tens of thousands of lives since 2011; and the brutality with which Daesh treats its captives, including crucifying children, selling them as slaves, forcing women into sexual slavery, and handpicking mentally challenged children to serve as suicide bombers.
“This is what we are up against,” said Secretary Kerry. “The world cannot and will not cower in the face of this extremism. And the United States and our European partners are helping to lead the fight to defeat it, wherever it exists.”
Today, the coalition fighting Daesh has over 60 active members. And it is succeeding in its stated goal to degrade and destroy Daesh. It has launched some 2,000 air strikes, retaken around 700 square kilometers of territory, deprived Daesh of the use of 200 oil and gas facilities that they were using to obtain revenue, and forced them to change their tactics.
But this is just the beginning, said Secretary Kerry. In the future, the international community must adopt laws that crack down on terrorist recruitment, address the lack of tolerance, inclusivity and economic opportunity in some societies, and create alternatives to violent extremism in countries where it is prevalent, said Secretary Kerry.
“The tests that we face today compel us to prepare and plan, to unite, and to insist that our collective future will be uncompromised by the primitive and paranoid ideas of terrorists and thugs, but instead will be built by the universal values of decency and civility and knowledge and reason and rule of law.That is what we stand for together, and I am confident about the future.”