could extend its influence throughout the region and into the southern Sahel.
The consul therefore, would be able to complement the activities of the U.S. Ambassador in Abuja and as- sist the MPRI contractors working at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Jaji. It could also sup- port the activities of the TSCTI team operating out of Timbuktu in neighbouring Mali. Indeed, the establish- ment of a permanent consular presence in the north would fill an increasingly significant gap in the U.S. capabilities in the region. It would make up for the declining influence of its close ally, Britain. Its official residence in Kaduna is a useful base but is not perma- nently manned by consular staff. It is gradually wind- ing down its Defence Advisory Team (BDAT), and is still debating whether or not to replace its Honorary Consul, who died in early 2009.
In addition to setting up a permanent mission in the north, there are other useful measures the U.S. Gov- ernment can take to assist the Qadiriyya and Tijaniyya. These include: providing both Brotherhoods with eco- nomic assistance to finance their education programs; providing them with up-to-date learning materials; encouraging U.S. schools and colleges to set up staff and student exchange programs; encouraging them to cooperate more frequently, and to a greater extent, with one another; and encouraging them to strength- en their ties with the Sultan and Emirs. Yet important questions still remain as to how this assistance can best be delivered. Why, for example, would the Nigerian government allow the United States to deal directly with the Brotherhoods? If it refuses to grant such ac- cess, how should the United States respond? Should it try to provide this help covertly? If so, how?
Of course, it is in everyone’s best interests for the