13 United States military flag level officers and two American government senior executives have been visiting Nigeria as part of a two-week tour that also took them to Angola, Algeria, Djibouti, and Germany.
The delegation led by senior fellow US Marine Corps Gen. John Paxton, Jr. (retd.), visited the Nigerian Defence Headquarters on Tuesday to meet with their Nigerian military counterparts and to express their appreciation for the enriching visit to Nigeria.
The group is one of three cohorts from the US Capstone programme.
A statement by the US Embassy in Abuja on Wednesday explained that the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 rendered the Capstone programme mandatory.
It pointed out that success on the battlefield required knowledge of military doctrine, the ability to operate in coordination with allied forces, and a global perspective on the part of senior government and military leaders to execute their strategic plans.
To achieve these goals, it said the US government’s strategy for Africa focused on three core objectives which include advancing trade and commercial ties with key African states; protecting the United States from cross-border health and security threats and supporting key African states’ progress toward stability, citizen-responsive governance, and self-reliance.
The statement said, “In pursuit of these objectives, the United States continues its commitment to help African governments, including Nigeria, to defend themselves against terrorism.
“This strategy helps build the capacity of local security forces and institutions to improve their ability to counter terrorism, transnational crime, and illegal trade in narcotics, human trafficking, and natural resources.”
It explained that the US Capstone participants visit approximately 50 countries during 12 field studies annually.
It noted that the Capstone experience enabled participants to gain firsthand observations of how American and foreign officials integrated elements of national power to address national and regional threats and opportunities.
The statement further noted that cultural events helped the fellows gain a greater understanding of the countries visited.