February 14, 2017

Kaine Slams Trump Administration Proposal To Rename Programs That Counter Violent Extremism

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In letters to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and acting U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Wade Warren, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, expressed his strong opposition to the Trump Administration’s reported plan to rename U.S. Government countering violent extremism programs (CVE) to “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism.” Kaine argued that such a change would undermine long-term national security goals and be counter-productive to dispelling the false narrative that Western Civilization is at war with Islam.

“While I understand there is a desire by some in the Administration to reference “Radical Islamic Extremism,” Kaine wrote, “I believe this approach is counter-productive and undermines our long-term security interests. … Knowing the narratives our enemies wish to perpetuate, I hope you will thoroughly contemplate the changes being proposed and whether they truly meet any national security interests.”

A full copy of Kaine’s letter can be found here.

As U.S. Senator, Kaine has actively supported CVE programs.  Kaine championed a provision in the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to counter violent extremism by authorizing the Department of Defense to share resources with civilian agencies for CVE programs. Kaine has also advocated for additional Department of Homeland Security and State Department funding to empower local communities to counter extremist threats at home and abroad.