Kenya's military intervention into neighboring Somalia follows a string of kidnappings on Kenyan soil by Somali pirates and terrorist threats by Al Shabab, an Islamist militant group linked to Al Qaeda.
The Obama administration has urged Kenya, a supposed island of democratic stability in East Africa, to meet its obligations on political reform. Any progress made could be undone by Wikileaks cables that reveal US disdain for Kenyan officials.
East Africa trade hub Kenya is on high alert after Somalia's Al Shabab Islamist group killed 76 in neighboring Uganda Sunday night. The Uganda bombings marked Al Shabab's first attack outside Somalia.
The Somali enclave of Eastleigh in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, is now a recruiting and financial center for hardline Islamists fighting in neighboring Somalia.