NGO's Key to Advancing U.S. Interests Around the World

As world leaders strategize about how best to combat international terrorism and groups like ISIS, they should give serious consideration to a long-term plan that supports Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) which promote education, human rights, health care and economic development. Military action alone will not rid the world of terrorism or prevent the conversion of young men and women into terrorists.

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

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon recently told the White House summit on violent extremism that "bullets are not the silver bullets. Missiles may kill terrorists, but good governance kills terrorism." NGOs like Books For Africa and other charities are already working to advance education and human rights across Africa. Shipping more than 32 million books to school children 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.