National security is intimately tied to the integrity of a nation and the realization of the collective aspirations of its citizenry. National security ensures the survival of the republic and the delivery of critical services.It is quite commendable that the Government of Kenya (GoK) has utilized the following four legitimate vectors to maintain national security: stabilization of political power, sagacious power projection, prudent diplomacy and sensible utilization of the national economic power.
At the moment, the GoK has robustly deployed police all over the nation to protect strategic assets such as malls, shopping centers, churches, transport terminals, ferries, open air gatherings and critical assets such as power stations, refineries and government buildings; and this coupled with surveillance will protect the Kenyan citizens from impeding terrorist attacks. Such a proactive measure depict a government concerned about the security of its citizens.
Kenya’s strategic security environment is currently relatively stable but there exists points of vulnerabilities such as tribal warfare, crime, transnational terrorism, sectarian conflicts and detrimental external interferences through local political and economic proxies. Terrorism stands out as a potent threat to national security due to its amorphous nature, destructive capabilities, potential to create internal armed conflicts and its use of asymmetric warfare to create panic and manipulate the government. This has necessitated the use of counter-terrorism measures to neutralize terrorist organizations, networks and cells thereby rendering them incapable of achieving their malevolent goals.
In the counter-terror domain, the GoK has utilized its diplomatic prowess to rally neighboring nations, allies and international organizations behind Kenya’s counter-terrorism efforts; and this has enabled the nation to isolate threats. GoK has also been able to marshal its national economic power to facilitate mutual regional (and sometimes even international) cooperation and if necessary compel such cooperation; and this has ensured the absolute resilience and relative redundancy of the national critical infrastructure even during periods of highly volatile political, economic and security challenges. Implementation of practical emergency preparedness and prudent civil defense measures adds a layer of protection against both natural and human-created uncertainties.
The maintenance of an effective national defense force and intelligence agencies; and the mutual cooperation among these security institutions has enabled the nation avert grave security breaches by external aggressors and their local allies while concurrently offering a multifaceted deterrent against potential attacks. Enactment of anti-terror legislation does create a conducive environment for pre-emption, neutralization and response to terror attacks. Strategic deployment of police and paramilitary officers augmented by civil cooperation has averted lots of occurrence of crime and terrorism.
The shrewd utilization of intelligence services (both NIS and Military Intelligence) to detect, identify, locate and neutralize or avert threats has protected the strategic interests of the nation. The intelligence services have also been able to unmask espionage activities though effective counter-espionage. The NIS has also fulfilled its task of protecting highly classified information, though there have been instances of criminal elements revealing classified information to unauthorized parties. Internally, the nation has employed effective counterintelligence services to protect the entire nation from ever-evolving internal threats.