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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter looks at how the Kenya Defence Force (KDF) has been shaped by successive governments. The analysis underscores a reality of continuity amidst change; namely of a dual logic of the prioritization of loyalty to the regime in power, and an emphasis on the need to ensure regime stability and order. This engenders a mirror image of military culture that constraints the institution’s ability to address nation–state crises and other challenges in its operational environment. Assured of regime security, the ruling elite seek to consolidate control over the political economy instead of a broad strategic culture necessary for developing a viable inclusive state. The implication is that while the military can potentially help to foster security, democracy, and accountable governance, its potential for state-building remains unexploited. This is explored through the KDF’s domestic policing initiatives as well as through their involvement in the war with Somalia.

Keywords: military, police, KDF, security, loyalty, war, Somalia, military culture

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