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Foreign Policy Foreign Policy

Expand our global efforts to combat extremism and terror

Last updated: 01:16pm 4 November 2019

We will expand our global efforts to combat extremism, terror, and the perpetration of violence against people because of their faith, gender or sexuality.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.38

Our verdict

There are differing views on definitions of extremism and terrorism. The UK’s Counter Extremism Strategy defines extremism as “the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values”. The Terrorism Act 2000 says terrorism is an action or threat designed to influence government or intimidate the public, with the aim of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause. This policy promises to expand global efforts to combat both extremism and terror.

The government’s methods for tackling global extremism were outlined in the 2015 Counter-Extremism Strategy. Its Counter Terrorism Strategy, most recently updated in 2018, is known as CONTEST. Both these strategies have seen developments under this government.

In 2018, the government established the Commission for Countering Extremism. That body recently published a report into Challenging Hateful Extremism which makes various recommendations for government action. The government has agreed to consider those recommendations when drafting its updated Counter Extremism Strategy, due to be published in 2020.

The updated CONTEST strategy outlines developments in various global efforts to tackle terrorism, including:

  • increased security and intelligence spending
  • spending on aviation security has doubled
  • a major cyber campaign against Daesh
  • increased investment in the Counter-Terrorism Programme Fund

It’s hard to gauge whether efforts have “expanded” under this government because the policy has so many overlapping and interrelated parts (see “Related Policies” below). We can say, however, that the broad government efforts to combat extremism and terrorism are ongoing. We’ll consult with experts in the field to reach a final judgement on whether the promise to “expand global efforts” has been kept, but for now we’re marking this as ‘in progress’. Follow this policy for updates.

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There's always room for debate

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