Ethiopia’s and Kenya’s Use of Military Force as an Instrument of Foreign Policy in Post-1991 Somalia

Tadie Degie Yigzaw, Kidane Mengisteab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the history of politics, states have viewed military intervention as one of their tools of foreign policy. However, many scholars have not agreed on the effectiveness of military means in achieving the foreign policy objectives of states. Like other states, Ethiopia and Kenya have used the military as a means of foreign policy and tested their tools in Somalia practically. However, the effectiveness of their foreign policy tool has not been studied. That is why this article’s main objective is to analyse the effectiveness of Ethiopian and Kenyan foreign policies that used military interventions to achieve their foreign policy goals in terms of outcomes. In doing so, the article used a comparative case study methodology. Besides, the ‘good enough’ approach is the proper theoretical lens that is used in this article to comprehend Ethiopia’s and Kenya’s operational outcomes. The analysis comes to the conclusion that both Kenya’s and Ethiopia’s military deployments in Somalia generally failed to accomplish their foreign policy goals. Accordingly, the findings reveal that using hard power as a tool of foreign policy without combining soft power is largely unsuccessful, as indicated by Ethiopia’s and Kenya’s military engagement in Somalia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-148
Number of pages16
JournalIndia Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Political Science and International Relations

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