Combatting Extremism’s Contagion: Creating a Counter Strategy and Stemming the Tide of Foreign Fighters

The fourth biannual PeaceGame

On June 2, 2015, the U.S Institute of Peace and the FP Group, publisher of Foreign Policy magazine and, hosted the fourth installment of PeaceGame. This  PeaceGame will tackled one of the most challenging of issues confronted by the U.S. government and stakeholders worldwide: the global rise of radical groups and violent extremism. 

Read the event coverage, PeaceGame Tests Complexities of Reducing Extremist Violence.

Building on a successful first session in December exploring the political and economic roots of extremism and violence, our June event will focus on the human element: why do today’s extremist movements attract recruits worldwide, and how can the international community more effectively both counter this appeal and manage the reintegration of radicalized individuals.  

Employing PeaceGame’s innovative, scenario-based, multi-media model, our diverse group of participants will together work through the range of complex challenges around both the recruitment and the return of foreign fighters – from strategies to counter recruitment efforts to the risks and potential rehabilitation of fighters returning from conflict. 

Join the conversation on Twitter with #PeaceGame and take a look at the agenda.

Event Photos


7:30-8:30 a.m. Registration and Breakfast

8:30-8:45 a.m. Welcome and Introduction
David Rothkopf, CEO and Editor, The FP Group
Nancy Lindborg, President, United States Institute of Peace

8:45-9:45 a.m. Framing Discussion: “The Search for an Effective Counter Strategy”

9:45-10:00 a.m. Break and Refreshments

>10:00-12:15 p.m. Scenario I: “What if They Gave a War and Nobody Came?: Commanding the Virtual High Ground and Other Strategies for Preventing and Defeating Information Age Insurgencies


12:15-1:00 p.m. Lunch Break

1:00-2:00 p.m. Framing Discussion: “Offering Alternatives to Today’s Insurgents: Myths and Realities About What Works”

2:00-4:15 p.m. Scenario II: “Combatting Contagion: What’s Next for the Defeated or Homeward Bound Extremist?”

4:15-4:30 p.m. Break and Refreshments

4:30-5:15 p.m. Concluding Session: “Formulating Recommendations: Shaping Strategies and Setting Priorities”

5:15 p.m. Event Concludes

PeaceGame 2015 Participants

H.E. Rouda Al Otaiba, UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Muath Al Wari, Washington, D.C.-based Middle East Analyst

Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Nada Bakos, Former CIA analyst

BG Shlomo Brom, Center for American Progress

Katherine Brown, King’s College of London

Dan Brumberg, U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP)

Mary Casey-Baker, The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington

Jocelyne Cesari, Georgetown University Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs

Leanne Erdberg, U.S. Department of State

Masood Farivar, Voice of America

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Viola Gienger, U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP)

Amb. Gordon Gray, Former U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia; now Deputy Commandant, National War College

Stephen J. Hadley, Chairman of the Board, U.S. Institute of Peace

Michael Wahid Hanna, The Century Foundation

Simon Henderson, The Washington Institute

Nicholas Heras, Center for a New American Security

Georgia Holmer, U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP)

Nkechi “Payton” Iheme, White House, Office of Science and Technology Policy

Jorgen Ilum, Danish National Police

James Jeffrey, Former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey

Brian Michael Jenkins, RAND Corporation

Emad Kiyaei, Princeton/American Iranian Council

Nancy Lindborg, President, U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP)

Sascha Meinrath, X-Labs

Jonathon Morgan, CrisisNET

Douglas Ollivant, New America Foundation

Manal Omar, U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP)

Farah Pandith, Former Special Representative to Muslim Communities, U.S. Department of State

Tom Parker, United Nations Counterterrorism Implementation Task Force

Thomas Pierret, University of Edinburgh

Taufiq Rahim, Globesight

Susan Reichle, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Sarnata Reynolds, Refugees International

David Rothkopf, CEO and Editor, Foreign Policy

Tom Sanderson, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

Edit Schlaffer, Women Without Borders

Barbara Slavin, The Atlantic Council

Phillip Smyth, University of Maryland

Thomas Staal, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Lara Talverdian, The Atlantic Council

Tomicah Tillemann, New America

Rabih Torbay, International Medical Corps

Gregory Treverton, Chairman, National Intelligence Council

Lorenzo Vidino, has held positions at CSS, RAND, Belfer Center