It appears al-Shabaab’s assault on innocent Kenyans and Kenya’s political economy is taking its toll. Al-Shabaab seems prepared to fight a long war, perhaps for many years or decades. As a group motivated by religious beliefs, they have won sympathizers at home and abroad. Kenya went into Somalia under an operation dubbed Operation Linda Nchi looking for a quick-fix solution to a complex asymmetric conflict. Confounding the expectations of experts and observers, that operation is now sailing into its fifth year, which begs the question—are Kenyans prepared to fight in Somalia for decades, as al-Shabaab is?

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