The question that keeps repeating itself on the collective Kenyan mind is how the upcoming Kisimayu assault will be delivered. It is universally accepted, at least by the brass, that the fall of Kisimayu will be, to Shabaab, what Waterloo was to Napoleon.
A friend recently suggested, with all the enthusiasm of an amateur, that we make use of the 20th Para battalion. This was a good suggestion in as far as the unit to be used. However he wanted a world war two-type massed Para assault and it took me awhile to explain that doesn’t work anymore. If any troops will be inserted by air it will probably be 20th/D company members or the new boys on the block, the Rangers. They will probably go in HALO near the target area for Intel gathering purposes. The Intel that Col. Nyaga will want most will be enemy troop movements, enemy deployment, strong points, and enemy counterstrike capability among other things.
I digress. It is, again universally accepted, that the Kisimayu showdown might deteriorate to the old knock down and drag out fights that characterize most assaults on high population density areas. These kinds of Operations require a high degree of planning, both military and otherwise. The Kenyan force in Somalia is obviously dependent on mechanized mobility. In urban warfare there is nothing as silly as putting APCs and MBTs on the streets. The reasons why not are numerous. Just ask the Russians about their foray into Chechnya in the nineties. An experienced guerrilla fighter will form highly mobile tank-hunter teams comprising of RPG gunners, machine gunners to suppress infantry and rifle men to carry extra ammo for the RPG tubes.
Despite claims by the KDF that Shabaab’s command structure is in tatters, Kenyan High Command seems to tread with great caution. This is probably a good idea. The intel that Kenyans have been receiving seems to be accurate so far and it is this blogger’s opinion that there is something about Kisimayu that is being censured. Thus, the creeping pace of Operation Linda Nchi.