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Good Reads: Pakistan summons outspoken envoy Haqqani, Kenya's Somali operation

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And unfortunately, the downside of speaking too frankly to reporters is that sometimes you make your bosses upset. This may or may not have happened with Mr. Haqqani, who was summoned home to Islamabad just hours after speaking at the Monitor breakfast. Pakistani officials insist this is just a routine visit.

With the US seemingly unable to clear out antigovernment militants in Afghanistan – and Pakistan apparently unwilling to do so in Pakistan – one wonders why a government like Kenya would want to send its troops into Somalia to carry out a very similar mission. On Oct. 16, Kenya’s military moved into neighboring Somalia after a continuing string of pirate attacks and kidnappings began to take a toll on Kenya’s foreign trade and tourism business.

Many foreign observers have questioned the timing of the attack and whether Kenya had launched the operation with clear goals and with an exit strategy. But Daniel Branch writes in Foreign Affairs magazine that Kenya’s military operation may be the result of the ambitions of some of its own senior politicians as well as the growing confidence of Kenya’s military leaders in their military’s capabilities.

Nairobi's incursion into Somalia was spurred less by the threat of al Shabaab and more by domestic military and political dynamics. Kenya will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of its independence in 2013, and so far the country has never once gone to war with another state. But recently, as Washington has funnelled counterterrorism funds into East Africa and underwritten a stronger Kenyan military, the country's military has grown more confident and combative.

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