Afghanistan’s ghost money

April 29, 2013

It is no secret that the government of Afghanistan is controlled by organized crime cartels. Warlords and politicians control the civil government through their ties to the drug trade and armed militia groups. Afghanistan remains a security state whose rulers are focused on retaining their power and privilege at any cost through strong military and security forces.  

This is because Afghanistan, like much of the Muslim world, is dealing with a legacy that created a powerful culture of authoritarianism still entrenched in the modern Afghan government. Afghanistan’s authoritarian past is perpetuated today by rulers who inherited or seized power. Political authoritarianism, whether secular or religious, has been the norm in both the central government as well as in the outlying provinces. 

Pre. Hamid Karzai

Now the New York Times has reported on so-called “ghost money” which was meant to buy influence for the United State’s Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) but instead fueled corruption and empowered the drug trade and warlords, undermining the Obama Administration’s exit strategy from Afghanistan.

This article is a worthwhile read as it shows how problematic the United States built government is in Afghanistan. To build the current government, the U.S. had to bribe and coerce many of the warlords the C.I.A. had previously paid during and after the 2001 invasion.

You can read the article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/29/world/asia/cia-delivers-cash-to-afghan-leaders-office.html?_r=0

Tensions will continue to grow in Afghanistan’s government after the withdrawal of coalition forces from the country, and this could become a threat to Afghanistan’s neighbors in the region if that country starts to deteriorate.

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