Actions should be directed at making religious extremism noneffective. The question is: What actions will make religious extremism less effective rather than more effective?
FWIW, HERE are some recommendations from Scott Atran:
Recommendations for a change in course in dealing with foreign forms of political and religious extremism that take violent aim at our society should be geared to a policy of “less is more,” that is, less costly and more effective:
• CUT short-term and long-term costs of U.S. military and foreign aid.
• LIMIT U.S. military and ideological involvement to a minimum, consistent with support for—rather than management or direction of—local, national, and regional democratic aspirations and initiatives.
• SHIFT from top-heavy government-to-government planning and programs to establishing relationships with local actors and groups, including relationships involving America’s most influential, efficient, and productive nongovernmental national resources: U.S. universities, entertainment media, small-business groups, and faith-based organizations.
• INCREASE America’s moral standing, influence, and leadership.
That sounds reasonable. Although the political/military/industrial complex won’t go for the 1st two points. And the last point seems rather vague.