Nato could do more on extremism, says British general

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Media captionNATO's General Sir Adrian Bradshaw talking to Sima Kotecha: 'There is a lot more that could be done to help nations that are running their own counter radicalisation programmes.'

Nato could do more to support countries that are running counter-radicalisation programmes, the UK's top representative in the alliance has told the BBC.

Gen Sir Adrian Bradshaw said Nato should promote successful strategies so other countries could follow them.

He explained how Jordan was training its imams to practice a tolerant traditional form of Islam.

The deputy supreme allied commander in Europe also spoke about Afghanistan, migration, and the role of Nato.

Gen Bradshaw told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the fight against Islamist extremism was multi-faceted.

He said part of Nato's approach should be based around drawing attention to de-radicalisation programmes that were working.

Gen Bradshaw added that it would be effective to promote the potential benefits of a strategy such as Jordan's.

'Potential benefits'

Gen Bradshaw said: "One of the ways in particular that we can help as Nato is by drawing attention to the problem and the need for complementary activities to take place.

"There is a lot more that can be done to support nations who are running their own counter-radicalisation programmes.

"In particular, for example, I've become aware of the programme sponsored by King Abdullah of Jordan and delivered by Prince Ghazi to train imams in the tolerant, traditional form of Islam, which incidentally was the traditional form that was found in the Balkans, and in so doing reduce the scope for radicalisation of populations there.

"We can help in drawing attention to the potential benefits of that sort of activity, although it's not military activity and it's not our primary responsibility.

"I think it is our responsibility to make sure that people understand what sort of complementary activity needs to go alongside the security activity that we're directly involved in."

In a wide ranging interview, he also defended Nato's involvement in Afghanistan even though casualty figures have been rising and parts of Helmand have been taken over by the Taliban again.

In relation to the EU's migration crisis, he said the alliance was monitoring the influx of migrants but that it was limited in what it could do because it was not a security operation.

Critics including Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump have accused Nato of being obsolete.

The general vehemently denied the suggestion, saying that its response to Russia's behaviour over the past couple of years proved that its role as a deterrent was alive and necessary.

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