NESA-AFRICOM U.S.-North Africa Colonels’ Workshop: 11-19 September

In partnership with AFRICOM, the NESA Center conducted the first-ever “US-North Africa Colonels Workshop” 11-19 September 2019 for 12 officers from 4 North African countries (Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt), along with 9 U.S. officers from West Point, AFRICOM, SOCAFRICA, the NESA Center, and OSD/African Policy.

The Utah National Guard additionally participated as the State Partner for Morocco through the National Guard State Partnership (which links state-level National Guard units with partner countries for the purposes of fostering mutual interests and establishing long term relationships).

The two-week Colonel’s Program was divided into two components, with week one activities held in Washington, D.C., and week two activities held at the United State Military Academy in West Point, New York, and New York City, New York. The Washington, D.C. component provided a “scene setter” for the crisis response table top exercise to follow at West Point. In D.C., participants heard from subject matter experts including Dr. Anita Chandra of RAND ; Dr. Nora Bensahel of Johns Hopkins University, who lectured on military adaptability ; and Professor Celina Realuyo of the William J. Perry Center, who spoke on transnational threat networks.  The D.C. program concluded with a Military panel from OSD, AFRICOM, SOCAFRICA, and the Utah National Guard on security cooperation and building partner capacity.

While at West Point, the group was joined by several faculty, members of the West Point Counter Terrorism Center, and cadets from Egypt and Tunisia, with two full days devoted to participants focusing on a table top open discussion demanding responses to a series of national security challenges discussed by speakers in the previous D.C. portion of the program. The workshop concluded in New York City, with a presentation at the NY Police Department’s Counterterrorism Center by Detective Robert Sirignano. The Workshop was led by Professor Anne Moisan.

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