The Telegraph in Britain is a major paper like the Washington Post. They just wrote an article on corruption in Afghanistan, which is at the link below.
The corruption they talk about is within the government of Afghanistan, and not about reconstruction corruption. However, the corruption in AFG affects the US because it harms the concept of "rule of law" by using bribes to get things done. As one Afghani said, he doesn’t have money for bribes, so he expects to lose a lawsuit.
If a country doesn’t have a rule of law, then the law is controlled by officials, which is the opposite of a democracy.
Thus, if the US or allies support the head of a corrupt government, they will never achieve credibility with the masses.
Additionally, the US is pouring billions of dollars of foreign aid and reconstruction funds into AFG, and based upon our prior postings on Iraq Corruption, we know how well that will go. Aren’t you proud of the way the US Government is ensuring US funds are not wasted on corruption?
"Corruption is the biggest problem for the Afghans and it is our tragedy," said Dr Ramzan Bashardost, a former planning minister who now plans to stand against President Hamid Karzai in next year’s presidential election on an anti-corruption platform.
Billions of dollars in donor aid pour into Afghanistan for new roads, hospitals, and schools, but Afghans complain bitterly about the poor results and the muddle is so great that there are no reliable figures on how much is stolen or is simply frittered away in waste.
"Corruption is so open now, even inside the government. In the courts the judges want dollars not Afghanis in an important case, and you hear about them holding up bills to the light in the courtroom to check that they are not forgeries. There is no sanction against corruption - nobody big has ever been jailed.
Hundreds of schools have been built since 2002, one of the successes trumpeted by Western politicians, but many stand empty with no teachers because nobody remembered to make a budget available. Others collapse during their first winter because snow builds up on their cheap flat rooves. (Note: This same problem happened in Iraq, where the US built a $40-million prison the Iraqis refused to use because the US did not ask if the Iraqis would use or fund staffing for the prison designed by US contractors. - vj)
Our families have been here for 70 years but we have no land title. We are going to court to try to prove that this land is ours. The problem is there is so much corruption now, so how can we succeed? "The government doesn’t care about people like us. Even in the Taliban times it was not as bad as this."
Source: Vance Jochim’s weblog