‘Cyclic Corruption’ Top Strategic Threat to Legitimacy of Afghan Government: US Watchdog

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction’s latest report sheds light on a rampant problem in the country-‘cyclical corruption’.
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According to the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, “corruption persists within Afghan security forces”, which the organisation attributed to a ‘cyclic corruption challenge’ to Afghan government officials. Thus, as per CSTC-A, the government officials are enabling the stronghold of corrupt practices and inhibition of judicial remedies.

As per the US Department of Defense too, “corruption remains the top strategic threat to legitimacy and success of the Afghan government”.

Within corruptive practices, the most common ones identified are with respect to fuel, food, “ghost” soldiers, extortion, narcotics, illicit mining, bribery, and misuse , theft, and illegal sale of Afghan government property.

The Major Crimes Task Force, an MoI unit that investigates corruption by senior officials and criminal networks, was subject to tough scrutiny by SIGAR. It was noted in the report that the MCTF “did not appear to be the lead Afghan government investigative agency as intended, and instead appears to be focusing on low-level cases”. It was also added that the body itself was “plagued by corruption”.

The most worrying finding was with respect to the Anti-Corruption Justice Center. US Department of Justice found that the ACJC was attempting to “placate donors by pursuing low-level corruption cases, rather that high-level..”, the report notes. There was an “apparent lack of productivity” observed by officials.

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