Corruption and Graft in Post-Conflict Afghanistan
Afghanistan suffers from corruption and graft at all levels, all the way from truck drivers giving baksheesh to police officers to pass a security checkpoint to people using nepotistic connections to well-connected individuals in order to become judges without a law degree to bureaucrats extorting aid from international donors. As a consequence, the country’s endemic corruption has only reinforced its security quagmire while severely diminishing its economic growth potential.
Due to the causes of corruption in the war-torn country primarily stemming from post-conflict state weakness and a lack of accountability mechanisms, a three-part solution is required: rebuilding legitimacy within the Afghan judiciary, ANP and bureaucracy through strengthening monitoring capabilities, improving overall agent quality and bettering incentive structures; focusing aid programs towards capacity building and anti-corruption efforts while simultaneously increasing monitoring efforts; and coopting the Afghan people and civil society institutions in an anti-corruption partnership. Any sort of action, however, requires decisive action from President Ghani and assistance from the international community.
Reducing corruption levels would pave the way for stronger democratic institutions and free markets in Afghanistan. If successful, anti-corruption efforts employed in Afghanistan would prove useful in targeting corruption in other conflict-ridden, developing nations like Somalia and Sudan. Regardless, action now will promote economic development and stability within a country that, after decades of war and poverty, is desperately seeking it.
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