Founded in Ottawa, Ontario, 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.