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How did Afghanistan become so corrupt?

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MateenK View Drop Down
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Joined: 31-Dec-2010
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    Posted: 10-Jun-2017 at 7:29pm
To help the tax payers of the world we need to help our Governments find the cause of this corruption.
With a few polls we can pinpoint the cause of this  issue. We have lost hundreds of thousands of innocent lives around the world and over a trillion dollar spend but the problem persists.

The Asia Foundation stated in 2012 that the widespread corruption in Afghanistan is not culturally ingrained in the Afghan people, noting that the average Afghan consider current levels of corruption as much greater than in decades past, and believe that corruption was worse under Hamid Karzai, who was acting president and then president between 2001 and 2010, than under the five previous regimes.[1] One reason why some Afghans liked, and still like, the Taliban, despite its violence and brutality, was that it promised a relief from the graft and injustice practiced by mujahideen warlords.[4] The Asia Foundation added that the perceived root of corruption in the nation had changed during the previous five years. Earlier, most Afghans believed that corruption was due to low salaries of civil servants, whereas currently it is attributed to a lack of sanctions and a lack of competent law enforcement.[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_in_Afghanistan

Corruption Limits Security In Afghanistan, Ex-State Department Officer Says


U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited Afghanistan today, just days after a Taliban attack on an army base. It was the deadliest such attack since 2001. Taliban fighters dressed in military uniforms raided a base near Mazar-e-Sharif - that's in the northern part of the country. More than a hundred people were killed.

For years, critics of the Afghan government have pointed to endemic corruption as a big reason that the Taliban remains so strong and support for the government is so weak. We're going to look now at the political side of the security equation in Afghanistan with Kael Weston. He was a State Department officer who served as a political adviser to U.S. Marine units in Afghanistan. He joins us on the line via Skype.

Hi, Kael.

KAEL WESTON: Good morning, Rachel.

MARTIN: So I want to start in Helmand province, actually, because last month an Afghan general there, who was in charge of cleaning up corruption in the province, was arrested on charges of corruption. So you know, this is just one case. Corruption has been a huge problem in Afghanistan long before the U.S. war there. Can you just describe how the corruption issue exacerbates the security problems in Afghanistan?

WESTON: Sure. I think there are a couple of levels. One is the notion of ghost soldiers. So you have a real division between the troops on the ground who are dodging the bombs and fighting the Taliban day to day. And then you have, like you mentioned, the generals who are, it seems, not yet very effective at reducing the amount of money they're trying to put in their back pocket. And I think, at the other level, it's just an overall lack of confidence between the average Afghan, the average juma gul (ph) and the perception as to whether or not their government offers something better. And those, I think, are the two big challenges that we still face 15-and-a-half years in.

MARTIN: So let's talk about the distrust of the central government. I mean, the government of Hamid Karzai was kind of notorious for - maybe not turning a blind eye but definitely not doing enough to crack down on corruption. The new government led by Ashraf Ghani - very America-friendly - was supposed to prioritize corruption. How are they doing?

WESTON: I think they're doing better. I don't think it's anywhere close to being satisfactory for anyone, whether that's the American taxpayer or for, more importantly, the average Afghan who's just trying to get on with their life. But I do think there's been progress. And we're fortunate that our new national security adviser's main job, when he was in Kabul, was looking at corruption. So now he's sitting, you know, in a very important chair in the Situation Room in the White House...

MARTIN: Yeah, you're talking about H.R. McMaster.

WESTON: That's right. So you know, he knows the corruption issue from the inside out. So it's better. But I think, you know, from the Afghan point of view - what they used to tell me when I lived in hosts in the eastern part of the country or in the southern part of the country - is that, you know, Afghanistan has been at war for three decades. And corruption feeds into that. But there are also a number of other issues that are, I think, just as important as the corruption. And that's, you know, in effect, a civil war and some terrorist issues that cross borders with Pakistan and throughout the region.

MARTIN: So when you think about trying to get out of this cycle - because it is a cycle, right? Like, you can't have a secure country unless you get a grip on corruption. But corruption breeds insecurity. Insecurity breeds corruption. It's a never-ending cycle - what is the U.S. role in breaking that?

WESTON: I think the signal that we need to send and that we're trying to send is one of an enduring partnership, which shows that we care about what happens in that country and in that part of the world. It is our longest war in American history. So I don't think Afghans are expecting us to walk in and solve corruption in a year or in two years. But I do think they're looking for commitment.

MARTIN: Let me just ask you in closing, Kael - President Trump's budget director, Mick Mulvaney, explained that the White House budget proposal is about hard power not soft power. And soft power is Washington-talk for things like foreign aid or development assistance. Do you think the U.S. should reconsider aid that's earmarked for building Afghan institutions, given the level of corruption?

WESTON: We should be asking a lot of hard questions. But if you look at the world only in terms of hard power, there will be more war and more costs over the long term. And I think that's something that none of us want.

MARTIN: Kael Weston is a former State Department official who served in Afghanistan. He's the author of "The Mirror Test: America At War In Iraq And Afghanistan."

Thanks so much for talking with us.

WESTON: Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity.

NATO Officials Label Corruption As Big Challenge In MoI 

Afghan and foreign officials at a ceremony on Saturday reviewed the annual report on the implementation of strategic plan of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) where NATO’s Resolute Support officials labeled corruption, failures in procurement and management as the issues which “have affected the activities of the interior ministry”.

Lieutenant General Jürgen Weigt, Chief of Staff of the Resolute Support mission, said the Afghan people and the international community expect the Interior Ministry to ensure security and obtain people’s trust.

He said more than 40 contracts of the ministry have remained pending. 

Meanwhile, the Interior Minister Taj Mohammad Jahid said he believes that corruption is more dangerous than insurgency. He called on the Resolute Support mission to boost its assistance to the Afghan security forces.

He admitted to the existence of corruption in the ministry and said “weak management, inefficiency and negligence are main reasons behind high casualties of police force members”.

“It is quite difficult to eliminate corruption in one and a half years because it is the heritage of the past 15 years. However, we will continue to boost our efforts in this respect. It is a shame when people calls us corrupt every day,” he said.

At the same event, Major Gen. Richar G. Kaiser, commander of Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan (CSTC-A), and deputy chief of staff of the Resolute Support, said the Afghan officials should overcome challenges inside the ministry at the first stage.

“You should not always look for answers outside. More money, more equipment, more construction will not fix all the problems. Now I invite all you leaders to visit Wardak, go visit your national logistics center, go see how many supplies are available and ask why are they not being distributed,” he said.

He pointed out to the truck bombing in Zanbaq Square in Kabul and said they praise the soldiers who stopped the tanker.

“Everyone at the table should remind themselves that it is our job collectively to make sure that the young men and women, that are the police officers of this country, have what they need to do their job. You have asked them to protect your families. Give them what they need. This is very important, ask yourself every day. Are the actions I am taking, are they helping the young men and women or they hurting them?,” he asked.

Meanwhile, the UK ambassador to Kabul, Dominic Jermey, called for improvement in leadership of the interior ministry.

“There is the need for change, change amongst the leadership and the personnel within the police that you have talked about today,” he said.

According to figures by the Ministry of Interior, so far at least 700 police officers including 12 generals have appeared at the court on corruption charges. 

http://www.tolonews.com/afghanistan/nato-officials-label-corruption-big-challenge-moi



Edited by MateenK - 11-Jun-2017 at 1:40am
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