By Derek S. Reveron, National Security Affairs department
April 1, 2013
ABUJA, Nigeria -- U.S. Naval War College (NWC) National Security Affairs professors Larry McCabe and Derek Reveron recently visited Nigeria's National Defence College (NDC) in Abuja to deliver lectures at the request of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).
Mike Bowerbank, AFRICOM J-9 engagement specialist for West Africa, appreciated the NWC visit as key to promoting bilateral relationships among African and U.S. professional military educational (PME) institutions. He noted that PME institutions like NWC, "offer a unique capability to translate academic knowledge to military leaders in Africa."
Officers from all services, many civilian agencies, and 12 countries attend the 11-month program at Nigeria’s highest military educational institution, which was founded in 1992. Rear Adm. T.J. Lokoson of the Nigerian Navy complimented the faculty engagement with both students and the directing staff.
"Any engagement at the National Defence College is like an engagement with all of Africa," said Lokoson, noting the multinational character of the college. Officers came from Benin Republic, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
U.S. National War College graduate and NDC deputy commandant Major Gen. Muhammad Idris noted the NWC visit was the first one by a U.S. PME institution and follows previous visits by senior leaders of AFRICOM.
When he was at the National Defence College in 2011, Ambassador J. Anthony Holmes
, U.S. Africa Command's deputy to the commander for civil-military activities, said, "The one thing I would like you to keep in your mind as you leave and think about in your next assignment is 'How can the U.S. military help us.' And then, let us know. We're interested. … We'd like to have a mature dialogue that talks about our mutual interests, your needs, and what our strengths and availabilities are. And I think we can get a lot more out of this relationship -- at very little cost or trade off and I think it is in both our nation's interests to do that."
With support from the Office of Security Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Idris "sees the (NWC) visit as the beginning of greater things to come." For the future, the general asked NWC faculty to return soon to offer classes and collaborate with the NDC faculty.
Engagements such as this are directly tied to NWC's missions of strengthening global maritime partnerships and educating and developing leaders.
Edited by Cmdr. Carla M. McCarthy