Military Diplomacy and Trends in Acquisition of Military Equipment between Kenya and Britain, 1963 - 2017
Ibrahim, Hamud Osman
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This study examined Kenya-Britain military diplomacy and trends in acquisition of military equipment. The study sought to: first, explore the key areas of military diplomacy, cooperation and assistance between Kenya and Britain. Secondly, to analyze trends of trade in military equipment between the two countries and thirdly, to evaluate the factors that have influenced military diplomacy and trade in military hardware and software between Kenya and Britain from 1963 to 2017. The study was based on two theories. Interdependence liberalism theory which emphasizes on the concept of reliance where the interests of states are tied together and realism which purports that the World order is a forum where nation-states selfishly seek what they consider of their national interests. The study used the historical research design to trace the nature of cooperation and trends influencing the acquisition of military equipment between the two states. The study also made use of comparative case study to provide new empirical evidence on nature, trends and factors influencing trade diplomacy among the two states. The study utilized a sample size of 70 respondents. Purposive sampling was used in identifying key informants of the study, while snowballing was used when key informants made reference to other personalities with key information on the topic. Field data was collected through questionnaires, oral interviews and Focused Group Discussions. Secondary data was sourced from conference papers, books and journals. Collected data was grouped, corroborated, and presented using simple descriptive statistics and verbatim transcription. The data was analyzed using quantitative and qualitative research techniques. The conclusion that emerges from this study is that general volumes of trade imports in military equipment from Britain to Kenya and military diplomacy between the two countries had declined over time. This trend has been influenced mostly by economic and political sanctions levelled on Kenya in the advent of multi-party democracy in the early 1990s as well as the Look-East policy adopted by Kenya to cushion it from the stringent measures on limited funding from the West. The key areas of military engagement between Kenya and her long standing ally is in the area of intelligence gathering as part of fighting terrorism especially Al-Shabaab as the key terror threat in the region, BATUK training ground for British troops, and regional security through support in arms. The study also notes that globalization has opened the platform where Kenya has been able to advance military diplomacy with other new states from Middle and Far East including Jordan and China based on her national interests. The recommendations point that Kenya should strengthen its military diplomacy with Britain as part of enhancing its national security and access to military capacity. Further research needs to be done on emerging military capacity especially in the area of intelligence gathering and sharing.