As world leaders strategize about how best to combat international terrorism and groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, they should give serious consideration to a long-term plan that supports nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that promote education, human rights, health care and economic development.

Military action alone will not rid the world of terrorism nor prevent the conversion of young men and women into terrorists.

International terrorism and violence is not confined to ISIL fighters in Syria and Iraq. There have been major incidents in North Africa (Libya), in the Horn of Africa (Somalia), in East Africa (Kenya) and in West Africa (Nigeria), as well as in Europe, Canada and Australia.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told last week’s White House summit on violent extremism that “bullets are not the silver bullets. Missiles may kill terrorists, but good governance kills terrorism.”

NGOs like St. Paul-based Books For Africa and other charities already are working to advance education and human rights across Africa. Shipping more than 32 million books to schoolchildren and law students across 49 African countries leads to a more educated and stable society, which in turn leads to the development of democracy and the rule of law. And a more educated society leads to stronger economic development, less poverty and more opportunity — all ingredients that counter radical violence.