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Notwithstanding decades-long strains and stresses in their relations, Nigeria is one of the foremost African partners of the United States and a major recipient of
American aid in Africa. Both countries have traditionally maintained very robust bilateral relations since the former’s political independence in 1960, especially given their economic ties. Until recently, their economic ties have been very robust, thanks to Nigeria’s sweet crude that the United States largely needed for
decades. However, this study examines how the generally cordial bilateral relations between the two countries have not necessarily translated to effective security and anti-terrorism cooperation. Nigeria has consistently focused on the United States for anti-terrorism support, albeit with limited responses from the latter. In this regard, the study utilised both primary and secondary sources to investigate the puzzling inconsistencies in the anti-terrorism cooperation between these supposed allies. Thus, the study revealed that since both countries have a common interest in combating terrorism, a conventional realist approach can help us put in the proper perspective some understandable strategic reasons for their somewhat difficult anti-terrorism cooperation. The study concludes that as much as Nigeria desires American support, the dynamics of their anti-terrorism cooperation will not likely change for as long as the United States does not consider combating terrorism in Nigeria to be strategic to its Homeland Security.
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