As the United States continues to fight on multiple fronts to disrupt the efforts of al-Qaeda and its affiliates, the U.S. government has slowly come to realize that military force alone cannot defeat radical Islamist extremism. Today, there is a growing consensus that countering the ideology that drives this extremism is a critical element in the overall effort to prevent extremist acts of violence. Despite this greater realization, developing a precise strategy to counter extremism effectively and empower mainstream alternatives has proved challenging. The issue posed a difficult challenge to the Bush administration and remains a daunting and urgent task for the Obama administration. . . .