Why Kenya Will Rout Al Shabaab Through Its Operation Linda Nchi.

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Why Kenya Will Rout Al Shabaab Through Its Operation Linda Nchi.

By Marcel Masaga.

I have been inadvertently drawn into this huge and seemingly raging debate in western liberal media and blogs that is predicting that Kenya's Army  is not up to the task of removing or neutralizing the Al Shaabab threat from Somalia. I wish to put the record straight in light of the facts at hand and to dispel this erroneous notion once and for all. 

God Bless Kenya.

First and foremost they liken Kenya's Operation Linda Nchi to the doomed American Invasion Operation Gothic Serpent  of the early 90's that resulted in the shooting down of Two Black Hawk helicopters and the killing of some 19 odd American Army Rangers as proof that Kenya, having a vastly less endowed Army will not fare any better.

 I want to dispel this wrong comparison once and for all, America at that time had a handful of soldiers numbering 160 combatants  intent on securing a city with more than 1 million "hostile inhabitants" intent on removing a popular warlord Farah Aideed and his Habr Gidr Clansmen from combat operations in the first battle of Mogadishu. In practical terms this was tantamount to a suicide mission, the Americans were outnumbered by a ratio of 1: 10,000, and they were fighting man-to-man in an urban setting of Mogadishu a city they were grossly unfamiliar with,  the odds were heavily stacked against them and their mission was doomed right from the word go.

Second America's intervention lacked one critical ingredient that Operation Linda Nchi has, namely the relative distances between Kenya and Somalia measured in hundreds of Kilometers vis the distance from the USA to Somalia measured in the thousands of kilometers. Therefore Kenya has immense flexibility in deciding the number of forces to deploy to the war front, it can deploy, in theory anywhere from a company to 75,000 soldiers (our entire armed forces) to the theater of combat by road, air and sea in under 72 hours anywhere in Southern Somalia. 

Therefore to compare these two outcomes the failed American adventurism Operation Gothic Serpent in  early 1993 and Operation Linda Nchi an evolving conflict and to base the former as a benchmark for the latter is not only illogical but is scientifically unsound to say anything but the least.It is similar to comparing the number of ants in Antarctica and the number of goats in Garissa and trying to draw a one-to-one co-relation between the two without any more information supplied to the model, which is a useless exercise.

History Is Not Good At Predicting Outliers.

Similar arguments are used with reference to Ethiopia's similarly failed mission in the mid 2000's to argue that Kenya will fail, the same argument as above suffices. Two Kenya is bearing the brunt of Al Shabaab as it has trained its nefarious eye on hapless Kenyan youth who it has recruited in its jihadist ministry. Therefore Kenya is at zero option but to engage these criminals wherever they are to safeguard its sovereignty, Kenya"s entry into this war is the Black Swan nobody had predicted but one which will have a very marked effect in the future direction of Somalia as a country . 

Three the Daadab Refugee Camp is unofficially Kenya's fourth largest city with 600, 000 inhabitants largely displaced from unstable Somalia. They are here largely due to the misadventures of outfits like Al Shabaab who have pushed them into our territory, therefore it follows logically that if we remove the factor, Al Shabaab, which is impeding the safe return of these somali peasants back to their farms not only will we dismantle Kenya's city number four but we will have rescued the livelihoods of our fellow human beings as good neighborliness dictates.

 Four, the quality of our intelligence on Al Shabaab operations and locations  within and without Somalia so far has been spot on which greatly enhances our tactical effectiveness in the war. And finally we have a written commitment and broad support from the Somali government and the "liberated" people of Somalia which significantly tips the odds in favor of Kenya's Operation Linda Nchi, we have won the heart and minds of the international community with IGAD pledging unconditional support, AMISOM pledging to increase its troop numbers in Somalia, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Africa supporting Kenya  in its drive to stabilize and pacify Somalia Pax Eterna.

Al Shabaab Have Woken Up A Sleeping Giant.

Heading To The War Front.

  Another argument being banded about which has become necessary to rebuff,  is the term that is being used with much abandon, inexperienced, when talking about the Kenya Army. This argument also needs to be shot out of the  water, it is a fact that our Armed Forces are among the top five  best trained professional forces in Africa. Our Armed Forces have won many accolades and have historically provided the bulk of troops in UN Peace Keeping missions from Yugoslavia to Sierra Leone.The fact that we have been to such missions has exposed our forces to sufficient experience in combat and pacifying a subdued populace. And for the record I have never heard of a National Defense College that exclusively teaches Peace Keeping in its curriculum, Armies are trained to wage war. Our troops are well trained in combat and superbly operational, this is evidenced by the speed with which we marched into enemy territory.

A Remarkable Parallel To Pearl Harbor

Therefore to try and rely exclusively in the past to predict the future is fraught with dangers and tends to oversimplify the situation at hand. And for you good students of history you will recall that before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7 1941 without any  provocation, thus drawing the reluctant American's into World War 2, America had not fought any major war so there was no precedent against which one could measure the effect of America on the outcome of the war, suffice to say this small bombardment marked the beginning of the end of World War Two, as America's entry into this war turned the odds against the axis forces of Germany, Japan and Italy. It is said that the Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto the Japanese Naval Marshall and C-I-C of the combined Japanese Fleet in World War Two remarked after the bombing of Pearl Harbor the culmination of Operation AI, that they, the Japanese "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." And regret they did, Hiroshima and Nagasaki was enough testimony of this error, the same can be said of Al Shabaab picking a fight with Kenya.

To parapharase our Right Honorable Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga we have the reason , means, capability and determination to see this Operation Linda Nchi through, (even if need be on our own), with resounding success  . God Bless the Republic and The Proud  People of Kenya.

Marcel Masaga :The Writer Is A Polymath and Freelance Writer Writing About Most Topics Under The Sun.