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Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a pleasure for me to join you today for this high level seminar on national
security strategy. This is an activity that I have been contemplating, and wish
to thank abinet !ecretary "aychelle #mamo for bringing the idea into to
$e are here to begin a critical conversation on the identi%cation, articulation
and pursuit of &enya's national security interests.
There is no higher calling or responsibility that e(ists for us as the top public
servants than to lead e)orts to secure our people's lives, property, the
country's territorial integrity, and the defence of our constitution against all
enemies, foreign and domestic, on which is premised every other economic,
social and political aspirations we have as &enyans.
*s provided for in our constitution, our people can participate in governance
and help with security.
+ut, Ladies and Gentlemen make no mistake, it is in the %nal analysis, our
responsibility, as government, to clarify the security conte(t within which we
operate, cohere our national aspirations and plans, identify the elements of
power and resources- and cohere to bring forth for the optimal outputs and
impact to our nation.
This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is what will rea.rm the identity, place and value
of what is &enya and secure the future of this nation for its people, as well as
its position among the community of nations.
The depth and honesty of our discussion today is critical if we are to arrive at
the envisaged collective clarity. To this end, I want to provoke our thinking by
posing some fundamental challenges.
*t %rst glance, national security interests appear to be easily identi%able, but
allow me to probe deeper as we get underway with this workshop.
+efore we can list the threats, as is so often the case, we must begin by
fundamentally understanding our role as a government in securing the
republic. /rom this will 0ow the ability to direct all the elements of national
power and the state in an e)ective, deliberate and focused manner. *t the core
of national security is the identi%cation of threats and then the decisions and
actions to pre1empt them, manage them or survive them, if necessary, without
negatively impacting the state and nation of &enya.

The very e(istence of &enya today is testament to how threat was perceived
and dealt with, by our forefathers before we became a colony.
In the late 2334s in what was to be &enya, there e(isted diverse communities
under di)erent forms of government. !ome, but certainly not all, had
encountered the +ritish commercial interests then allowed to e(ploit the entity
known as the 5ast *frica 6rotectorate which had been carved up like a cake at
a 5uropean conference in +erlin in 2337.
/ormal coloni8ation followed in 29:4, less than a century ago. These
communities all had di)erent means to defend themselves through armed
force- they all had territories that they defended either violently or through
other forms of engagement with their neighbours.
$hat did they perceive to be the threat then that they would one day come
under the violent and racist rule of a &ing thousands miles away; <ow did their
systems of governance respond to what we know today was a looming threat
to their independence;
I ask these fundamental =uestions because while their responses were varied,
with some immediately taking to the battle%eld, and others seeking di)erent
accommodation with the coloni8ing forces, they all eventually became part of
colonial &enya.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
$e must take this evocation of threat and bring it to the present day. !ome of
you are members of my cabinet while others serve under me as their
ommander in hief.
#ur forefathers may not have written down most of their constitutions, but like
us they had constitutional order. Like them, we have a constitution to defend, a
people to protect, and a world of threats that we must identify, prioritise and
act on. Like them, there are those who wish to e(ploit, dominate and destroy
us, whether for commercial or ideological bene%t.
/or a large part of our independent era, we drove our development agenda
from an economic growth model.
$e have faithfully drawn great economic development plans > that have been
adapted with great success by some other countries. These plans and
strategies have been largely informed by economic and development
imperatives and they have served us well.
<owever, it is true to state that &enya is, today, de%ned by much more than
an economic development model. In fact, economic development is one of the
strands that should be part of a national grand strategy.
!uch a strategy today would have to be informed by the real and present
reality of pervasive security threats that are framed by a constellation of
$e must deal with threats that emanate from our geography- demography-
economic conditions- politicisation of national security, or to be more e(act,
lack of elite consensus on national security- the pursuits of powerful global
state and non1state actors- and the ine)ectiveness or weakness in functions
and capabilities of the state.
Let me outline them brie0y, and hopefully you can all give them a fuller
interrogation in the course of the day.
$hen I speak to Geography, as a country &enya is located in a troubled and
fragile region in which inter1state war has been common- where the use of
pro(y forces is a de%ning phenomena- which is home to multiple militant and
terrorist organisations like the *l1!habaab- and that is prone to vagaries of
nature visiting enormous human and physical damages to our people and
#ur bordering !omalia, a warring !outh !udan and our close pro(imity to other
countries whose political systems are brittle means that the pursuit of regional
stability has evolved to become a fundamental component of our national
+y demography, I refer to the ?youth bulge' that is the reality of our time. #n
the one hand, large numbers of young people furnished with economic
opportunity, and that buy into the &enyan dream present immeasurable
potential for growth.
#n the other hand, if not well managed, a large number of idle, frustrated
youth pose signi%cant risk for the survival of the state. They can be drawn to
ideologies that undermine the legitimacy of the state and can be used to
destroy our democratic dispensation.
#ur economic conditions are characterised by widespread poverty and marked
ine=uality, made worse by limited livelihood opportunities and une=ual global
trading regimes.
$e are working to %( all these challenges but it will be some years before we
complete this work.
In the meantime, it will mean that the politics of ?sharing the cake' by utilising
ethnic mobilisation will continue and may lead to local con0icts with many
fractures, that if unattended, will threaten us particularly during elections. I
also referred to the politicisation of national security or to be more e(act, the
lack of elite consensus on national security.
@uite simply, you will have observed that even on clear national security issues
such as %ghting terrorism or our *AI!#A deployment in !omalia, there are
politicians willing to undermine these e)orts for the sake of short1term
*mong us in this room as well, there is often lack of consensus on how to tackle
clear and present dangers to the state and the country. It is no e(aggeration
that there may even be dire threats that some of us regard as mere irritants. #r
threats that some of us think do not concern our dockets.
In fact, in many cases, each docket has worked as a silo without due regard to
what the ne(t is doing or the impact of its actions on the other. /or some,
security is a matter for the security sector alone, prudent utilisation of
resources is for the Treasury, provision of infrastructure for transport and so
forth. Bothing could be more defeating. *nd this is the reason of the attempt
in Banyuki to begin to infuse an all1government approach to programming.
The $estgate attack, the ?choices have conse=uences' threats of :42C, our
maritime disputes, poaching and drug tra.cking, our fractured political
contestation, all represent the pursuits of powerful global state and non1state
These include state and non1state %nanciers of terrorist networks and
radicalisation, criminal organisations, large corporate interests and global
powers that seek to assert their will for any number of reasons.
This clearly means that internal security and foreign policy are ine(tricably
&enya is too large and strategically important to hide, hoping no one will
notice us. $e need ask ourselves what analytical capabilities we are bringing
to bear, how our missions are connected to our internal security e)orts, what
the limits of our strength are and how to compensate for this, in order to drive
our agenda, nationally and internationally.
/inally, I referred to the ine)ectiveness or weakness in functions and
capabilities of the state. This will lead me to the capabilities we are working to
develop and deploy. Ladies and Gentlemen, let us foremost acknowledge that
there are forms of corruption that are a direct threat to national security. /rom
immigration to how our police and military forces are e=uipped, and provided
for, the loyalty of our diplomats, to mention just a few, corruption =uite
literally kills by opening up the country to its internal and e(ternal foes.
*dded to this are departments unable to perform their duties, either owing to
weak poor leadership, strategic guidance or lack of ade=uate resources.
$eakness in the state is the leading cause of insecurity of all forms, and this
brings us to how our daily work must begin to consciously focus on its value1
addition to national security.
The sources and drivers of threat I have just outlined can only be sighted and
tackled by a state that is able to perform a set of inter1related functions that
impact on the way threats are identi%ed and dealt with. These functions are
performed by each and every one of you whether you consciously perceive
your ministry or institution as doing so or not.
*t their most fundamental, they combine to allow the state to have ten bottom1
line capabilities, a legitimate monopoly on the means of violence- e)ective
administrative control- management of public %nances- investment in human
capital- delineation of citi8enship rights and duties- provision of infrastructure-
formation of the market-
The capabilities also includes the management of the state's assets Dincluding
the environment, natural resources, and cultural assetsE- international relations
Dincluding entering into international contracts and public borrowingE- and the
means to enforce the rule of law.
In other words, the state's functional capability is domain free. !tates e(ist in
every form of ideology that drives the politics and ruling regimes of countries,
be they democratic, autocratic, dictatorial, or even theocracies.
Their strength in regard to national security is a function of their ability to
correctly identify threats > whether to a single ruler or a democratic multitude
> and most importantly, how they then marshal their %nancial and human
resources to act against the threats, in a disciplined and consistent manner.
#ur day job, e(pressed in the simplest way, is to build a strong state whose
actions will be guided and constrained by the spirit and letter of our democratic
This strong state, in being able to e)ectively carry out the ten functions I have
outlined, can bring to bear all elements of state and national power to bear
against threats to our security, protect our sovereignty, and drive our
development agenda. I urge you to assess the e(tent to which we are able to
carry out these functions in this meeting. That analysis will speak directly to
our national security.
/irst, is the legitimate monopoly on the means of violence, our police and
military forces must become the only actors with the legitimacy to wield
violence. They must be ready, willing and able to secure the persons and
property of all citi8ens. This is a key dimension of national security. The
monopoly of violence also includes the analytical ability to perceive threats,
and e)ective communication to shape perceptions of the state's deployment of
#ur pastoralist con0icts for one, as well as the numerous militia formations in
parts of the country are indicative that that we are still not where we should be
in this regard.
!econd. 5)ective *dministrative control, is about the reach of government
authority over the territory of &enya. It calls for rules that allocate
responsibility, a responsive 0ow of resources and a national administration
that runs from the national level to the grassroots that can act on commands
from above, take initiative where necessary, and feed important information to
Third. Aanagement of public %nances, In the %nal analysis, no state can be
sovereign while it relies on an e(ternal source to fund its operations.
/ortunately, &enya is not in this position but a large section of the most vocal
civil society is hopelessly dependent on foreign funding, particularly from
governments with interests that may con0ict with our national security. <ow
can the state's pursuit of national security be protected from actors that may
be drivers for other agenda;
*dd to this the corruption that undermines security in direct fashion, shouldn't
there be areas of corrupt behaviour that are completely o) limits on this basis;
/ourth. Investment in human capital, /ailure to invest in our young people to
enable them have a livelihood, they will be a direct security threat. In addition,
their inability to participate in the economy limits the state's income in the
long1term and therefore its ability to deliver security.
/ifth. Delineation of citi8enship rights and duties, $ithout a widespread
perception, rooted in reality, of e=uality of opportunity obtaining, we will never
e(it ethnic politics and division.
$e need national unity to have citi8ens who embrace their rights and duties in
a way that does not produce permanent social or political ruptures. * concrete
e(ample is the need for all &enyans who voted for the opposition to be served
e=ually as those who supported Fubilee into power.
The issue of citi8enship and nationhood is particularly critical now that we are
implementing devolution.
In spite of the freedoms and guarantees written into our constitution, we have
witnessed a huge appetite for the creation of ethnic e(clusive 8ones. This can
lead to fracture, violence and con0icts.
!i(th. 6rovision of infrastructure services, Transportation, energy and water are
fundamental to the government's ability to provide security, administrative
control, and formation of the market, to all citi8ens. *ny gaps in any of these
could allow malign actors, like terrorist organisations or their sympathisers,
room to operate in &enya through the provision of basic services > leading to
GcapturingH our people.
!eventh. /ormation of the market, This means the protection of property rights,
enforceable contracts and transparent and enforced laws on corporate
governance and conduct, land, and environmental management.
The large si8e of the informal market signals a refusal or inability to enter the
legal realm the state oversees. This denies ta( collection and by e(tension
undermines state capability.
5ighth. Aanagement of the state's assets. This includes the environment,
natural resources, and mitigating the negative e)ects of climate change. It is
imperative to increase our forest cover, and increase our innovations to grow
the green economy. /ailure to regulate e)ectively leads to violent local and
even inter1state con0ict.
This invites us all to think carefully about the management of new resources
such as the newly discovered fossil fuels and minerals.
Binth. International relations, our diplomats are the %rst line of defence abroad.
They identify threats, utilise the instruments of bilateral and multilateral
diplomacy to pre1empt or manage them. They advise on the e(ternal
implications of treaties, and coordinate closely with other national security
Tenth, and %nally, the "ule of law, lacking it is like rot that over time eats away
at the legitimacy and capability of states. The state is constituted by rules and
laws- living by them, particularly in a democracy like &enya, is a key signal to
citi8ens and the world. $ithout a broadly observed rule of law, criminality and
insecurity become rife.
The combination of these elements of state e)ectiveness is informed by the
work of every institution gathered here and all add up to a strong state, able to
deliver national security.
I urge you to respond robustly to these thoughts especially on threat
identi%cation, and the capabilities we need to strengthen or develop a new
secure the republic.
In doing this, I urge that we always remember that there is no situation where
we shall have all the resources we need to address the challenges. The
fundamental issue therefore is how to calibrate available resources and
elements of power, against clearly de%ned priorities to optimally attain the
desired end.
These ten dimensions of state e)ectiveness speak to our highest strategic
priorities. They should form the basis for our own evaluation of success.
Going forward, I shall assess the performance of each ministry within a
strategic framework of each one of these indicators of state e)ectiveness.
The ultimate aim of this workshop is to allow us to pursue our national security
interests in a strategic across1government manner.
Let me say very clearly, we will defend this country at all costs- there is simply
no more important priority for us in government and as &enyans.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In conclusion, I regard this meeting as a critical starting point for our thinking
and acting together. It will form a %rm foundation for further engagement and
dialogue on the essence of this country.
In the light of this, I shall in due course, assembly us all in a retreat during
which I shall lay out my strategic thinking to locate my administration and the
development agenda as encapsulated in the Fubilee manifesto.
Aay I now declare this high level seminar on national security strategy o.cially
*santeni sana.