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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) kicked off its African Defense Attaché Seminar at the National Defense University on Monday, Feb. 6, 2012.
“The motives behind U.S. policy in Africa are very straightforward,” said ACSS Director Ambassador William M. Bellamy (ret.) during his opening remarks 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 week-long seminar shows 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 will attend presentations by subject-matter experts and tour the Pentagon, the Department of State, and the U.S. Congress. They will also have working lunches with several senior-ranking U.S. Government officials who will discuss 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.