Chief of Defense General Bolle,
Members of the Media,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank for you attending today’s ground-breaking ceremony where we celebrate the next step in our partnership with the G5 Sahel Defense College. With a project value of nearly $5M, this library will stand on the ground you see behind me. It will boast a 20-person English language lab, computers, and audio translation equipment. When it is finished in 2024, the library will provide dedicated space for regional military officers to advance their academic and English skills. Equally important, the library will be a physical symbol of two important roles of the college: as a provider of professional military education and as an exporter of regional security. Truly, the library reflects the long and enduring commitment of the United States to work with Mauritania to advance peace and security in the Sahel.
Quality military education is critical in the development of professional militaries, and the officers and noncommissioned officers (sous officiers) who lead them. Professional military education serves to enhance one’s strategic awareness and operational effectiveness. However, its purpose extends beyond those attributes. It also reinforces certain principles and practices, such as appropriate civilian-military relations and respect for the rule of law and human rights, and it prompts reflection on what it means to serve one’s country. The G5 Sahel Defense College ensures its students receive a comprehensive education that enables them to work with civilian ministries to solve strategic and operational challenges. With this new library, students will have the space they need to think critically about these challenges and acquire the skills necessary to work in a multinational environment.
Moreover, the G5 Sahel Defense College acts as a security exporter through an education tailored to help students comprehend and respond to regional security issues. Security exporters are vital because they possess the regional experience and cultural awareness necessary to thoroughly understand and solve the sources of insecurity and instability. Throughout the academic year, the college teaches military officers, who will become future senior leaders in their countries, how to analyze key security issues and apply resources and methods available to overcome them. The library will provide a venue for students from one country to interact with their military and civilian peers from another; this exposure will allow them to share ideas and best practices that can be used to address today and tomorrow’s transnational challenges.
General Vall, thank you for your leadership and vision which are critical to advancing the college’s mission. Minister Hanana and General Bolle, thank you for your willingness to partner with the United States of America and for Mauritania’s leadership as the host of the G5 Sahel Defense College. We are honored to support the college and look forward to celebrating the successful completion of the library.