Small Wars Journal

US-Backed Effort to Fight Afghan Corruption Is a Near-Total Failure, Audit Finds

US-Backed Effort to Fight Afghan Corruption Is a Near-Total Failure, Audit Finds by Rod Nordland and Jawad Sukhanyar, New York Times

An effort to fight corruption by monitoring the financial assets of top Afghan officials, underwritten by the United States, has been a near-total failure, according to American auditors.

Out of 83 senior officials in the past two Afghan governments, only one — the current president, Ashraf Ghani — fully complied with financial disclosure laws, according to a report issued by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction last week.

The United States and its allies have long seen fighting corruption as crucial to long-term success in Afghanistan. Public anger over rampant graft in the country is a major reason many Afghans are dissatisfied with the Western-supported government and have turned toward the Taliban insurgents.

The auditors’ report focused on the High Office of Oversight, or HOO, an Afghan agency that examines the assets of Afghan officials when they take office and after they leave. The officials are required by the Constitution to disclose their assets at those times…

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