By Jackton Ambuka

When former president Kibaki ordered our troops to invade Somalia in pursuit of Alshabab militant group, he received tremendous support from the public. It seemed to be a popular war. Even Raila Odinga’s ODM party supported that decision. But some of you may recall that I was among a few Kenyans who opposed that war. I believed that Somalia invasion was and still is a war that shouldn’t have been waged or fought because:-

1. Somalia and Alshabab is not a threat to our homeland security. The biggest threats to our homeland security are fourfold, namely; corruption, tribalized security institutions, unemployment and ineffective ministry of immigration.

2. Our country doesn’t have supplementary budget and resources that can sustain an open ended war which lack a fighting schedule and exit strategy. Moreover, we cannot spend our meager resources to fund a war in Somalia in the face of staggering poverty among Kenyans.

3. Our security institutions seem ill-equipped, ill-trained and ill-prepared to take on such gigantic war whose retaliatory ramifications were predictably far reaching.

4. Professionalism of our security agencies is questionable. Water stealing incident in the aftermath of Westgate terror is still fresh. Allegations of rape and smuggling of charcoal in Somalia are rife. Corrupt police service is disconcerting. Additionally, our security teams seem not to have sufficient intelligent methods of gathering crucial information that can preempt most potential attacks against the people of Kenya. War against terrorism is done through smart methods of gathering intelligent information not through bombs, guns, jets and tanks.

5. War against terror cannot be won by individualistic approach. It requires a united approach. Kenya alone cannot and will not end regional terrorism. Regional terrorism requires regional approach.

Now it seems the mood of the public is changing and many Kenyans want troops to return home. I believe it is a good idea. It will not be a cowardly withdrawal. It is a strategic exit. Once our troops return home, our central mission will be to accomplish the aforementioned 5 point approach to protecting our homeland security. What are your thoughts? Should our troops return or continue fighting?