Week 6: Terrorism

Ashley Stratton

Banana Theory of Terrorism

     The beginning of this article focused on the kidnapping of German tourists, and the events surrounding this event. The author promised to explain the truths of these terrorist events, and the lies which had been created to overshadow other events. The abstract of the paper was interesting, however I was unable to thoroughly engage with the paper.

Kenya, the United States and Counterterrorism

      This article describes the relationship between Kenyan terrorism and American aid. The paper discusses US involvement in Kenya; specifically the restrictions attached to American aid being donated to the country. With this they are attempting to reduce or eliminate terrorist attacks occurring within the country. The promise of funding has allotted the US access to important documentation and  invitations to meetings with relevant leaders within Kenya. The article critiques this connection

     The first section of the article discusses the long standing separation between Muslims in Kenya and the rest of the population. This disconnect has created tension between the groups leading to racialized violence. Historically there has been a disconnect between people born in Kenya and those who immigrate. This creates separation between locals and others.

      Following terrorist attacks in 2002, Kenya was forced to meet American demands in defining and capturing terrorists. With this the terrorist attacks in Kenya were attributed to the Muslim population. Specifically, that residing in a coastal community. The US-Kenya relationship on counterterrorism later expanded to include surrounding countries. Kenya security services have grown under the support of the US to be able to assist surrounding countries experiencing difficulty with terrorism. It was interesting though that Kenya did not blindly follow the US demands, Kenya did not pass the terrorism bill but were still granted continued funding. This demonstrated Kenya’s ability to make its own decisions within the restraints of the American funding.

This article spoke to my ignorance on important African issues. I knew that there was a growing Muslim population in African countries but I did not know to what extent this had affected the population. I understood that there were civil wars, and wars between African countries but I was unaware of the terrorist attacks occurring in the continent. In my mind “The War on Terror” was entirely located in the Middle East with the US focusing their efforts entirely in those countries. The reach of terrorist organizations extending to other continents and being a prominent issue is not something I had been aware of. I found the relationship which blossomed between the US and Kenya to be fascinating. They seem to have achieved many successes within the Kenyan borders and into surrounding countries. The ability of the Kenyan security services to assist surrounding countries in their counterterrorism efforts I think speaks to the success Kenya has had an an independent entity and with the financial support of the US.

 Discussion Questions

  1. Does the US have the right to use the offer of funding  to make demands in other countries, specifically Kenya?
  2. Has the US-Kenya relationship been mutually beneficial, or has one side benefitted more than the other?
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