Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware; Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina; Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon; Marco Rubio, R-Florida; and Todd Young, R-Indiana, recently introduced legislation to improve the coordination of U.S. government efforts to reduce violent extremism and address global fragility.
The legislation also establishes a global Partnership Development Fund to leverage public and private resources from partners around the world to tackle this national security threat.
Fragile states can become threats to the security of the U.S. because their governments are seen as ineffective or illegitimate by their citizens, heightening the risk of terrorism, violent conflict, criminal activity and corruption. Violent conflict also drives global displacement, with nearly 70 million people forcibly displaced around the world. The Global Fragility Act, responds to these challenges by requiring the secretary of state, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development and the secretary of defense to collaborate on a 10-year initiative to reduce fragility in at least five priority countries.
“The U.S. is a leader in responding to global humanitarian crises, yet lacks a long-term, cohesive strategy for addressing the root causes of extremism and instability that turn fragile states into failed states,” said Coons. “The U.S. has spent nearly $5.9 trillion in the 18 years since 9/11 in combating extremism and terrorism around the world. This legislation is a genuinely bipartisan approach to prevent terrorism from taking hold in the first place. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Appropriations Committees, I am pleased to be working with this bipartisan group of my colleagues to enact a framework that will promote the stabilization of fragile environments where terrorists thrive, build peace and maximize the impact of U.S. foreign assistance.”
The bill text is available at bit.ly/2tWO9s1.