Kenya, the United States, and Counter-terrorism
|Kenya, the United States, and Counter-terrorism|
This essay examines U.S. security aid to Kenya, the experiences of those affected by counter-terrorism initiatives, and the ways in which Kenya’s internal sociopolitical dynamics shape America’s counter-terrorism agenda. U.S. counter-terrorism strategy on the African continent entails the coordination of diplomatic pressures and aid-related incentives. In response to multiple terrorist attacks and American stimulus,Kenyan authorities have expanded their efforts to apprehend violent extremists, yet these efforts have led to a variety of human rights abuses while exacerbating historical frictions between the Kenyan government and minority Muslim communities. Evidence from Kenya suggests that unless U.S. policymakers and their African allies address the social tensions upon which counter-terrorism is being grafted, security aid may produce few results beyond the alienation of Muslim communities and the empowerment of domestic security forces with greater martial resources.