[Originally published by Royal Danish Defence College]

This project investigates how cultural perceptions develop between international instructors and African soldiers during military training missions. The case study is a training mission in Nigeria.

The project contributes to Military Anthropology, using literature from cultural anthropology to discuss the ambivalence of cultural hierarchization (Bhabha 2004) in the cultural perceptions produced between actors. ‘Culture’ is understood as the dynamic way in which actors create and produce beliefs, values and other means of social life (Fabian 1983).

The aim of the project is to give an empirical contribution to the study of cultural perceptions, asking whether the military incremental retreat from battle fields in Iraq and Afghanistan towards training and capacity building can be considered a turn to 'military development aid'? Military Assistance involves training and diplomacy, and as such, the project case in Nigeria is a relevant place to study how western countries focus on training soldiers abroad, in a shift towards ‘their war’.