Africa Center for Strategic Studies completes its African Defense Attaché Seminar

By Africa Center for Strategic Studies
Updated: 02/08/2012


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– The Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) held its African Defense Attaché Seminar at the National Defense University on Feb. 6-10, 2012.

“The motives behind U.S. policy in Africa are very straightforward,” ACSS Director Ambassador William M. Bellamy (ret.) said to 17 African defense attachés and embassy personnel with security portfolios newly appointed to posts in the U.S. “What is harder to understand is how the policy is implemented, and that is what you will be learning this week.”

The weeklong seminar showed African government personnel how the U.S. Government shapes and executes foreign policy related to Africa. First held in 2005, the African Defense Attaché Seminar has evolved from a program attended primarily by military officials to a program where civilians now attend in equal numbers. “This reflects a realization that interagency cooperation is needed—in Africa just as in the U.S.—to address contemporary security challenges,” said Bellamy.

This year’s participants attended presentations by subject-matter experts and toured the Pentagon, the Department of State, and the U.S. Congress. They also had working lunches with several senior-ranking U.S. Government officials who discussed the U.S. Africa Command and the role of the Joint Staff.  

ACSS is the pre-eminent institution for strategic security studies, research, and outreach in Africa. The Africa Center engages African partner states and institutions through rigorous academic and outreach programs that build strategic capacity and foster long-term, collaborative relationships. Over the past 13 years, more than 4,500 African and international leaders have participated in ACSS programs.