Founded in Ottawa, Ontario by Kagusthan Ariaratnam as an independent non-profit organization in September 2015, Project O Five raises awareness of counter-radicalization and counter-terrorism using “soft power.” Although counter-terrorism operations most often involve “hard power” — intelligence, law, policing, and military might — counter-radicalization methods also require “soft power” tools, such as social and cultural involvement, broader policy initiatives on the environment, development, critical infrastructure, migration, humanitarian intervention, and the widespread participation of civil society. Hard power — represented by military strength — is indeed essential to our security; still, modeling such values as good governance, public diplomacy, broadcasting, exchange programs, development assistance, disaster relief, educational and employment opportunities — all soft power measures — are equally important in the long run.
American political scientist Joseph Nye (2004) coined the term “soft power” to remind us that a viable civil society would help mitigate violence. As such, the main objective of Project O Five is to create and implement civil society–led counter-narratives as a response to violence. As Nye concluded, a nation’s interests in national and international politics can be better achieved by “smart power”, a fusion of both soft and hard power. To counter radicalization and terrorism smartly in today’s global information age, nations must infuse conventional hard power tactics with more flexible and strategic cultural soft power approaches.
Mission:Our mission is to bring about international peace by helping to create and maintain a “State of Global Terrorist Deterrence”.
Vision:The Project O Five envisions a borderless world where citizens are fully engaged, empowered and recognized as a united force for the betterment of all.
Why borderless world:Much of the Global South, which include the poor countries of the world that are largely located in Asia, South America, and Africa. This part of the world is home to roughly five billion people, who are living under extreme poverty, and as such, relationships around the world are not balanced (Shah, 2009). Income inequality and poverty involves powerlessness and invisibility, including a lack of money, basic nutrition, health care, education, freedom, personal autonomy. In fact, 80% of global resources are consumed by only one billion who live in Global North that includes the wealthy industrialized countries of Western Europe, Canada, the United States, Australia, and Japan (World Bank Group, 2010). While most of the industrialized countries are located in the North, there are exceptions; for example, both Australia and New Zealand are wealthy countries located in the South. As a rule, states in the Global North are democratic and technologically advanced, have a high standard of living, and experience very low population growth (Ravelli & Webber, 2015). Is it fair or justifiable that developing countries must try to survive on only 20% of the world’s resources? Terrorism that is rooted in inequality of a grieved man can best be combated politically, diplomatically, economically, socially, culturally, religiously, and educationally rather than militarily alone, by uniting the whole global community as one system.