Report: Corruption Severely Limited US Effectiveness in Afghanistan

Widespread corruption across Afghanistan has limited the impact of US operations in that country since the war began, blocking progress in security and economic growth, a new Defense Department report claims. The report, released Wednesday by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, states that without the US effectively addressing institutionalized corruption, “US reconstruction programs, at best, will continue to be subverted by systemic corruption and, at worst, will fail.” Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker says in the report that the US was not most limited by failing to effectively battle insurgency, it was not understanding the weight of “endemic corruption.” SIGAR provides an extensive list of recommendations going forward, including creating anticorruption officials, analyze links between government officials and criminality at the onset of contingency operations, and Congress should create legislation to make it clear “anticorruption is a national security priority in a contingency operation.” (Read the report. Large PDF warning)