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It's been 11 years since 9/11. And the US still has no idea how to undercut the appeal of islamic extremism.   http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/10/cve/
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The US does have an idea, but the bigger issue lies in our implementation of it. Countering extremism has nothing to do with the number of weapons or ordnance we stockpile (admittedly, I am a personal fan of deterrence) but in this case the need for psychological tools outweighs our physical presence in the Middle East.

Jihadist forums now reach and exploit any vulnerable demographic they choose; consequently, we need to provide a counter to these outlets. People have the same basic needs to belong and seek personal fulfillment--and terrorist groups know the concept well. The good news is that you can fight al-Qaeda's (and others) aggressive guerilla tactics by de-legitimizing their objectives/politics, providing alternate incentives to members/would-be followers, and eroding alliances within the base of a group (if you take a look at the history of terrorist groups over time, many break off into splinter groups or weaken when there are power struggles, policy changes, etc.)

As a sidenote: I find it interesting some of the experts are so fixated on prevention. Humera Khan says that 'The idea is to increase the barriers to entry, so that he never goes down that radical path', but I find this idea horribly naive. Where there is a will there is a way, and these groups will find a way to reach out to whomever they please. Thus the goal should not be to blockade their message, but to equip the individual with the proper tools and resources to make their decision.

Thoughts?
 
a weapon is useless unless it is used to prevent an attack. showing you are armed but being unwilling to defend yourself can be a fatal mistake. there is always someone who will see how far you can be pushed before you defend yourself.
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