Kenyan Forces Mass for Invasion of Kismayo Port

No Exit Strategy, Invasion Forces Already Bogged Down

Its only been a hair over two weeks since Kenya launched its invasion of southern Somalia, but the situation already has all of the hallmarks of a quagmire, with the invasion force having no apparent exit strategy and officials promising to continue the war however long it takes.

But this lack of planning isn’t stopping Kenya from getting itself deeper into the conflict, with troops reportedly massing around the outskirts of the key port city of Kismayo for an attempted conquest and what will likely be an enormous battle.

Though Kismayo is a major source of revenue for the al-Shabaab fighters in the area, the occupation of a city of nearly 200,000 people would present even more problems for the Kenyan invasion force, particularly with anger over the civilian death toll in a recent air strike against a nearby refugee camp.

Some see Kenya’s invasion as an attempt to carve out a “buffer zone” along their frontier to cope with the famine refugee problem, but in practice the invasion has made delivering aid to refugees even harder, and the prospect of an open-ended occupation by Christian Kenya against the Muslim territories in southern Somalia seems an extremely effective recruiting tool for al-Shabaab

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of