Week 6 discussion
In Alice Hills article, she expresses how America is helping African nations, specifically Kenya, on monitoring and eliminating terrorist groups. America has funded north to $100 million to their East Africa Counter Terrorism Initiative, which is to help strengthen boarder petrol, improve security and shutdown any terrorist financing. She talks about how the USAID pours a lot of time and money to facilitate a police force. The USAID strategic way of reducing and eliminating terrorism is by funding and training the African forces. Hills even mentions that some of the African forces are corrupt, where they need more training and proper governance. She believes that the USAID and Washington sees that developmental assistance is a way for the US to enhance their security, instead of helping out African nations in reducing poverty or advocates freedom ( Hills, pg641). I concur with Hills that the US is only focusing on strengthening security and neglecting human development. I also believe that it’s imperative in advertising a hybrid democracy or in foreign direct investments in nations to decrease corruption. She even notes that funding for aid, infrastructure and human development has been redirected in the contest for terrorism and organized crime. I think focusing on human development, aid and foreign investments is the best means to grow a nation like Kenya.
Jeremy Prestholdt article mentions how America has been implementing and funding their anti-terror program all around the world, even in Africa. He further notes that America looks at weak states around the world and tries to identify the emergence and origins of terrorist sites. America tries to advertise that they are in these countries to help the locals, however many of these locals are skeptical in the intentions of the American military. Prestholdt points out that in Kenya many of the minority Muslims are being categorized as a terrorist, causing more hatred for America. With the help of the Americans implementing their counterterrorism, the Kenya government believes this can help create a fulfilling economy and society, even though they are discriminating on Muslims living in Kenya.
Lastly, Keenan’s article unravels the truth and lies about the Saharan war on terror with the US, Kenya and Algeria. Keenan shares how America justifies the war to protect people from terrorism. He notes on that after the 2002 attacks Kenya’s counterterrorism grew, where majority of their aid came from America in pressure to arrest terrorist groups ( Keenan, pg 9). Keenan also brings up the issue on how there was a false belief that coastal Muslim communities supported violent fundamentalism after the bombing in 1998 of the US embassy in Kenya. Kenyan Police believed Arab Muslims who supported the IPK political group was part of the bombings. During this time, Kenya got the FBI involved having to investigate and detain many Muslims. I personally found this article to be very interesting since it showed a different perspective on the truth. Keenan also brings up how the US thought that terrorist groups from Afghanistan entered Africa, this enabled America to have a reason to penetrate into Africa to fight the war on terror. In reality America entered Africa to abstract the natural resources.
- Do you think that America’s counter-terrorism is really helping in the reducing crime in African nations?
- Do you believe that there is an ever growing concern and fear of terrorism due to the implementations and funding of programs such as the counter-terrorism, or EACTI?