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Thread: Kenya (catch all)

  1. #81
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    Totally unrelated.

    But has it occurred to anyone that "Bin Ladenism" & its manifestations - is essentially a religious movement?

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    JMA:

    You know Africa. I only know a little. But my question and observation were made because this is a classic thing done when fighting a small war, you get the civilians on your side and into the fight in an active way. The best way to my mind is if they are somehow connected to the gov. The way the Thais did it, by putting national policemen in a village and having the civilian effort coalesce around him, is a good way. But I imagine the best way will depend upon the circumstances and place. That the Nigerian army is doing this kind of thing is to be expected but the way they are going to go about it seems to be important which is why I asked.

    You know the area well. Do you think the army or gov in Nigeria can do it in such a way that they can keep some kind of control?
    Carl, I don't know Nigeria at all.

    But... in general African terms 'decentralisation' is not the norm.

    Their hand might have been forced through their inability to protect the population to allow local militias/vigilanties/whatever to operate... and let the future look after itself.

  3. #83
    Council Member Sargent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    1. Some small demented group of crazied (aum whatever or suchlike) gets it into their head to do something spectacular. They kill many people, they get killed, their associates and known members get tracked down and killed or imprisoned, billions or trillions get wasted on new "Mall security" or some such, but its not really a repeatable and constant threat.
    Repeatability over the long term would likely reduce the efficacy of such attacks. But even without achieving that, constancy of threat is entirely different. That is about perceptions and expectations, fear and concern. And we're not talking about how you or anyone here will appreciate such events - rather, it's about how Joe and Jane Schumackatelli deal with it - which in the short run is not good, and in the long run actually improves. But in that first window of chaos you could see a state or society flail badly, to quite harmful effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    2. Some group with a real agenda, a real organization, a real ideology, attacks a developed city because their grievance with country X has reached criticality. The most likely suspect for such an act in the years to come is the jihadis. But even they cannot do this again and again. After the first attack or the third, their goose will be cooked. A sustained campaign needs a base, needs an organization, needs a pipeline of volunteers and trainers and financiers. How long before Pakistan is forced to stop any and all connection with ANY such business (or to die trying to cut them off)? I dont see how it can become a sustained and "normal" threat in advanced countries.
    Its a different story for corrupt and incompetent regional powers. THEY should worry.
    Does one need to maintain a regular tempo for such attacks to be effective? I think you could manage one or two a year and cause real damage - again, too much frequency allows people to adapt and realize they can prevail. Anyway, I don't think we can apply all of the same rules of warfare as are required in high intensity conventional conflict. There may be more and longer temporal gaps - as the enemy copes with the issues you cite.

    And even as they are identified, how much did OEF really do to eliminate AQ's threat? Or the Taliban's? So, even as we might be able to identify who is supporting such groups and where, that does not guarantee that they will be dealt with effectively.

    Jill

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    " how much did OEF really do to eliminate AQ's threat? Or the Taliban's? So, even as we might be able to identify who is supporting such groups and where, that does not guarantee that they will be dealt with effectively."

    Well, one could say that OEF was misdirected. Still, there has not been another attack, not just because one group of attackers was disrupted and scattered, and because huge investments were made in security, but also because those states capable of hosting and organizing a really serious group of attackers are now scared of the consequences. Deterrence may have been possible at much less cost, but that is a separate issue. Some deterrence was undoubtedly created by that response..and organized groups with serious and capable backers are still (at least somewhat) scared. Otherwise, they would have tried something by now. Or at least, taken very few steps to prevent an operation being carried out by crazier, smaller, less-sane groups.

  5. #85
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    Default An African Khmer Rouge

    Two pieces by Aidan Hartley, a white Kenyan reporter, in The Spectator. The first is an account of two white Kenyan survivors, which is grim reading.

    From the penultimate paragraph an optimistic note:
    Both Simon and Amanda stress to me repeatedly that they are proud to be Kenyans. Their origins are British, but Simon’s family arrived here in 1908. ‘Everybody has been so good to us. We are Kenyans, whether we’re Hindus, Christians or Muslims. And we are not blaming Muslims.’
    Link:http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/...te-mall-siege/

    Alongside in the printed edition is a shorter piece, with the title 'An African Khmer Rouge' and the online version is called 'Al-Qa'eda targeted Kenya not because it's a banana republic, but because it's a symbol of African success'.

    Link:http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/...t-its-founder/

    Note the similarity between this and Steve Metz's recent WPR comment, posted elsewhere and the link is:http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/a...ly-exaggerated
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-03-2013 at 10:23 PM.
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    Default Man down, idea lives on

    The cleric interviewed by Peter Taylor (see Post 21) was murdered last night outside Mombasa, in a mystery shooting; the second such shooting of a radical Kenyan cleric:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24398548

    VOA reports rioting in Mombasa:http://www.voanews.com/content/riots...n/1762881.html
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-05-2013 at 01:52 PM. Reason: This was in a separate thread now merged here
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    Default pay back times have started

    This certainly does not settle the scores but it sent a clear message:

    Militant base 'attacked from sea' in Somalia

    A spokesman for the al-Shabab Islamist group told Reuters news agency that a fighter had been killed in the raid.

    Reports speak of residents in the militant-controlled town being woken by heavy gunfire before dawn prayers.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-afri...97#TWEET911207

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    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...s-8860808.html

    The Islamist militia group al-Shabaab has said that a military strike on one of its strongholds in southern Somalia was carried out by British and Turkish special forces.
    break

    Somali security officials told the Reuters news agency that the target of the attack had been a Chechen leader of the Islamist group, which has formal ties to Al-Qa'ida.

    But official accounts differ over who carried out the operation.

    "We understand that French troops injured Abu Diyad, also known as Abu Ciyad, an al-Shabaab leader from Chechnya. They killed his main guard who was also a foreigner. The main target was the Shabaab leader from Chechnya," said an intelligence officer based in Mogadishu, who gave his name as Mohamed, speaking to Reuters.
    First reports are generally inaccurate, but if you believe Al-Shabaab this particular raid didn't go so well. In the real world (as differentiated from the world the media projects) not all operations go well, and high risk still means high risk.

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    Default Turks?

    I think the allegation that Turkish SF were involved is interesting. Turkey has of late been pushing its influence and activity in Mogadishu, with airlinks, NGO activity and the like - with a reported favourable local reaction. IIRC Turkey has eschewed any military role and awhile ago Al-Shabaab launched an attack on one outpost.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    First reports are generally inaccurate, but if you believe Al-Shabaab this particular raid didn't go so well. In the real world (as differentiated from the world the media projects) not all operations go well, and high risk still means high risk.
    This, I submit, is part of the problem.

    We need to question how a 'mickey mouse' organisation can control - and thereby manipulate - the information flow... unless there was no attack after all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
    This certainly does not settle the scores but it sent a clear message:
    Exactly what message is that?

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    Default More smoke?

    Now the NYT reports, after a "leak" that:
    A Navy SEAL team seized a senior leader of the Shabab militant group from his seaside villa in the Somali town of Baraawe on Saturday, American officials said
    Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/wo...ml?smid=tw-bna
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    Now saying "believed to have been killed" instead of captured. Sounds like the raid may have failed.

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    Reports are still mixed on the Somali operation against Al-Shabaab, which isn't unusual.

    More significant is the apparent successful operation in Libya to capture al-Liby who is a very significant AQ operative. I have no idea if he was tied to the recent attack in Kenya, but he is tied to the attack on the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, so he obviously had a network in the region at one time.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/05/world/...ader-captured/

    A key al Qaeda operative wanted for his role in the bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998 has been captured in a U.S. special operations forces raid in Tripoli, Libya, U.S. officials tell CNN.

    Abu Anas al Libi was grabbed from the Libyan capital in what one of the officials described as a "capture" operation from the Libyan capital. The U.S. operation was conducted with the knowledge of the Libyan government, a U.S. official said.
    Reportedly the FBI participated in this capture with a U.S. Special Operations team. This makes sense, there is a long history of doing this, at least back to 1983. For our younger viewers, we were conducting counterterrorism operations long before 9/11.

    http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/wanted_ter...s/anas-al-liby

    Anas Al-Liby was indicted in the Southern District of New York, for his alleged involvement in the bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, on August 7, 1998
    http://www.nctc.gov/site/profiles/al_liby.html

    Wanted Anas al-Liby has been indicted for his alleged role in the 7 August 1998 bombings of the US Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. The embassy bombings killed 224 civilians and wounded over 5,000 others. The following charges were filed: Conspiracy to kill US nationals, to murder, to destroy buildings and property of the United States, and to destroy national defense utilities of the United States.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Now the NYT reports, after a "leak" that:

    Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/wo...ml?smid=tw-bna
    The the post action 'leak' which as we know (from recent British experience) could well be paid for information from a military insider to the press.

    More alarmingly in the report it says the “The attack was carried out by the American forces, and the Somali government was pre-informed about the attack.”

    Is this an untrue sop to Somali sovereignty... or could the US have really learned nothing about OPSEC after all this time.

    I put it to you that the last people who should know about any such operation is the Somali government.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    JMA:

    You know Africa. I only know a little. But my question and observation were made because this is a classic thing done when fighting a small war, you get the civilians on your side and into the fight in an active way. The best way to my mind is if they are somehow connected to the gov. The way the Thais did it, by putting national policemen in a village and having the civilian effort coalesce around him, is a good way. But I imagine the best way will depend upon the circumstances and place. That the Nigerian army is doing this kind of thing is to be expected but the way they are going to go about it seems to be important which is why I asked.

    You know the area well. Do you think the army or gov in Nigeria can do it in such a way that they can keep some kind of control?
    To further elaborate Carl, IMHO the key to long term success as opposed short term gains is to consider - in terms of the grand strategy - what the long term outcome would be as a result of arming village militias.

    In the African context the thought of arming village militias makes the hair on my neck stand up. It is IMHO a racing certainty that there will be significant abuses - old scores settled (personal, tribal, religious) - not to mention the roaring trade in weapons and ammunition which will be created (much of which will most likely end up in the hands of the terrorists or other criminals).

    Then one wonders if anyone has given any thought on how the weapons and ammunition could ever be recovered at some future date?

    The problem that emerges is that the Nigerian military has significant limitations in terms of skills - much like we have seen of the Kenyan army - whereby their previous deployment methods are more of a display of what can be termed "brute force and ignorance" rather than any degree of subtlety or situation refined skills. Brute force and ignorance worked for the Nigerian military in Sierra Leone and Liberia but will not work internally - inside Nigeria - where a shoot first approach would not be readily accepted where the collateral damage would be Nigerian civilians (and not expendable others).
    Last edited by JMA; 10-06-2013 at 07:48 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Exactly what message is that?
    Let me expand on this...

    It is claimed that the reported attack (of sorts) on a Shabab target in Baraawe has sent a signal to "them" that they won't forget.

    Even (that opportunist) John Kerry has used the term (in a slightly different context).

    Firstly (like after 9/11) the victims side are happy (at a most basic human level) that 'they' (the perps) are receiving payback. Understandable.

    It was this primitive instinct that drove the post 9/11 rush to action (however misguided). A pity.

    So often these emotionally driven knee jerk reactions do not have desired outcome. Nuff said.

    Then often what the US and others carrying out the counter strike fail to factor in is what actual message is sent to the perpetrators - as opposed to the "that will teach them" after action feel good feeling among those who carried out the raid/response/etc.

    Not to beat around the bush... I wonder if there are more than a handful (less than a dozen) in the US military that understand what action will send the right message to the African mind?

    This almost certainly is not what non-Africans would consider 'the right message'.

    In the case of Somalia IMHO the wrong messages have been consistently sent.

    From the impotent response to Somali piracy to the use of inept proxy military forces (Kenya and Uganda) the message that has been sent has been a 'weak' one.

    Don't take my word for it... speak to an African. Not an Uncle Tom who will tell you what he thinks you want to hear. Caution: you might not like what you hear.

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    Did anyone else think "exceptionally attention-seeking urban guerrilla" when he read about the mall attack?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    To further elaborate Carl, IMHO the key to long term success as opposed short term gains is to consider - in terms of the grand strategy - what the long term outcome would be as a result of arming village militias.

    In the African context the thought of arming village militias makes the hair on my neck stand up. It is IMHO a racing certainty that there will be significant abuses - old scores settled (personal, tribal, religious) - not to mention the roaring trade in weapons and ammunition which will be created (much of which will most likely end up in the hands of the terrorists or other criminals).

    Then one wonders if anyone has given any thought on how the weapons and ammunition could ever be recovered at some future date?

    The problem that emerges is that the Nigerian military has significant limitations in terms of skills - much like we have seen of the Kenyan army - whereby their previous deployment methods are more of a display of what can be termed "brute force and ignorance" rather than any degree of subtlety or situation refined skills. Brute force and ignorance worked for the Nigerian military in Sierra Leone and Liberia but will not work internally - inside Nigeria - where a shoot first approach would not be readily accepted where the collateral damage would be Nigerian civilians (and not expendable others).
    Thank you JMA. That is what I was looking for.

    King JaJa, you are in Nigeria, what is your take?
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    In the case of Somalia IMHO the wrong messages have been consistently sent.

    From the impotent response to Somali piracy to the use of inept proxy military forces (Kenya and Uganda) the message that has been sent has been a 'weak' one.
    All human evil doers are held in check by violence, either the actual application of it or they are scared into submission by the prospect of the actual application. You gotta kill them or scare them into being good. We in the west mostly have enough layers between us and the point of contact that we forget that.

    One of the things I learned from my brief time in Congo, the good old DRC, is that there are far fewer layers between the average guy and the above mentioned reality of life. The average guy is much less likely to pretend that the world works otherwise.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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