Corruption in sustainment and contracting

These storylines expose training audiences to issues affecting mission sustainment chains, combining issues related to corruption in the host nation and corruption in the mission forces. They should be viewed as building blocks: they can be used separately, together, or mixed with other storylines.

Sample storyline 1

Reports emerge suggesting that mission troops have contracted with companies (for food and/or fuel delivery) whose ultimate owners are individuals long implicated in public sector corruption, for example oligarchs known to bribe public officials or public officials known to have skimmed public resources. Simultaneously, discrepancies in billing and delivery emerge: mission forces are charged for more materiel than appears to have been delivered. It is unclear whether the discrepancies occur due to overcharging or materiel being diverted after being delivered to mission forces.

Later on, whistleblower information and other reports suggest that the owners of the companies are linked with the major groups opposing the mission, from terrorist organisations to political opponents. There are indications that they are funnelling resources to opposing groups.

Sample storyline 2

Discrepancies in fuel-related billing and delivery reports first draw attention to possible irregularities in fuel delivery. Later on, more serious reports indicate that units in exposed forward positions have been facing fuel shortage. Sufficient quantities of fuel have not been delivered to field units preparing for a major offensive and/or defending vulnerable positions.


Implications for mission

  • Operational implications of lack of materiel or deliveries of sub-standard quality: fuel and food shortages can make planned operations impossible to execute and necessitate immediate attention to corruption issues’
  • Resource flows strengthening opposing troops due to skimming and diversion;
  • Waste of resources due to materiel diversion and/or skimming from contracts;
  • Whistleblower protection: what obligations does the mission have?
  • Resource diversion by own troops creating necessity of investigations and potential sanctions
  • Reputational and legitimacy-related risks related to contracting with corrupt actors and being tarnished by association;
  • Support in troop contributing countries falling due to associations with corrupt actors as well as corruption among own troops.


Training objectives and audiences


Links with other storylines

Corruption in sustainment chains can most effectively be linked to three other storylines:

  • Kinetic operational plans: if not noted and counteracted, corruption will make supply of necessary materiel unreliable and planned operations impossible to execute;
  • Key Leader Engagement: potential involvement of key leaders in corruption schemes will illustrate political challenges of corruption and bring issues of legitimacy and effectiveness, of both local governments and mission forces, into sharp relief;
  • Countering opposing forces: corruption can redirect resources injected by the mission to opposing forces, weakening its position in the long term.


Scenario ‘hooks’

These can be contained in country books, Intelligence fusion reports, crisis updates, and reports in STARTEX packages.


Exercise injects

  • Materiel billing discrepancy reports
  • Intelligence analysis indicating ultimate ownership of contracting companies and potential links with opposing groups
  • Key Leader Engagement reports indicating refusal to investigate claims and insistence on continued cooperation with companies allegedly engaging in corruption
  • (Social) media and whistleblower allegations of corruption
  • CIMIC engagement (NGOs, local leaders, business leaders) yielding warnings of corruption
  • LOCON/HICON reports or questions on corruption issues.