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Interventions toolkit case study: Afghanistan

Corruption and the making of warlords

The ultimate point of failure for our forces…wasn’t an insurgency. It was the weight of endemic corruption.

US Ambassador Ryan Crockett, 2014, quoted in SIGAR, Corruption and Conflict

Summary

Widespread corruption has been widely blamed for the failure of OEF and ISAF missions in Afghanistan to secure peace and support the development of a legitimate, effective Afghan state. While countering corruption is not a chiefly military task, in this case the armed forces did play a role in creating opportunities for corruption, be that through injecting resources or strengthening long-term spoilers. In fragile and conflict environments with high vulnerability to corruption, where many peacekeeping and stabilisation operations take place, it is crucial for military and civilian actors to understand the significance of corrupt practices and their own role in limiting or furthering them.

The missions

Mission size: At its peak, NATO had over 130, 000 troops from 51 NATO member states and partner countries stationed in Afghanistan. [1]

Mission duration: Operation Enduring Freedom, International Security Assistance Force and Resolute Support Mission have been deployed to Afghanistan from 2001 to the present day.[2] Their focus different from counter-terrorism (OEF) to providing security and stability (ISAF) to training and capacity building (RSM).

Missions and anti-corruption: Neither the U.S. coalition mandate[3], nor the NATO mandate (International Security Assistance Force and Resolute Support)[4], nor the multiple UN mandates[5] specify mitigating corruption risks or countering corruption as a particular task for the mission. Corruption is first identified as an issue in the annual UN mandate in 2008 following the outcome of the Moscow Conference that took place in June 2006.[6] Subsequently it is identified as an ‘interconnected challenge’[7]and or calls on international donors and organizations to combat corruption.[8]

Until 2007, corruption was not an issue that ISAF saw as part of its task. By 2012, however, it did become part of the NATO Operational Plan (OPLAN), with the OPLAN tasking the ISAF Commander to ‘neutralize corruption and organized crime.’ That same year, a subordinate command in Brunssum included support for counter- and anti-corruption in its own planning.[9]

Key corruption pathways and consequences to the mission

  • Relations with host nation stakeholders and state capture: from local contracts to displays of support such as warm public interactions, cooperation with international forces can suggest that local actors had full backing of international forces. That backing was a scarce and crucial resource that could tilt the local balance of power, enabling favoured allies to build economic and political empires, which in turn enabled corruption to flourish.
  • Mission sustainment: local contracts, be they for building materials for base construction, provision of base perimeter security, or transport services, funnelled resources and power to host nation powerbrokers. In addition, some transportation contracts authorised individuals to bear arms due to the necessity to ensure security against insurgent attacks. This in effect turned them into private militias or security companies that utilised a spectrum of activities from bribery to extortion to secure not only safe-passage, but also an environment sufficiently dangerous to support higher fees.
  • Intelligence dependence on host nation stakeholders: OEF and ISAF relied on partner forces for intelligence and support functions due to the deliberate ‘light footprint,’ i.e. limited presence on the ground combined with reliance on host country partner forces. Frequently, those individuals and fighting bodies that delivered information also received sustainment-related contracts. This created a drive for continued delivery of ‘actionable intelligence’ even when there was no basis for action, resulting in a nexus of money and information that fed corrupt networks.
  • Support for private militia: use of private militia and security forces to provide security of international bases and convoys can be a licence for impunity and questionable behaviour: without accountability throughout the sustainment chain, private militia have been found to have abused civilians and used their position to secure private gains. They have also become part of corrupt networks, fuelling their ability to extract resources and strengthen the adversaries of the international mission in the long run.
  • Partnering with host nation security and defence forces – Corruption in ANDSF: plagued by recruitment based on a vertically integrated system of bribes, a weak salary system enabling senior officers to skim remuneration and the creation of ‘ghost soldiers,’ the Afghan security forces did not have a chance to become effective. Corruption not only resulted in inaccurate assessments of the forces’ strength and operational capability, but also in their continued abuses of the civilian population, affecting their ability to respond to insecurity and stoking grievances which further strengthened the insurgency.
  • Corruption in mission forces: US and British investigations and court records indicate that the problem of American forces abusing their position for personal gain was not an isolated occurrence. Distribution of fuel was a particular risk; as a valuable commodity, fuel was diverted and sold on the black market through numerous schemes involving both US soldiers and Afghan officials, reinforcing corrupt behaviours.

Efforts to mitigate corruption

  • Investing in monitoring and oversight: The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction had the mandate to oversee the expenditure of US funds in Afghanistan. It conducted preventive audits and investigated allegations of corruption;
  • Dedicated anti-corruption task forces: dedicated anti-corruption task forces, such as Shafafyiat, attempted to identify corruption risks and tie them to operational design. They mentored and monitored Afghan institutions, conducted investigations, and coordinated activities among international stakeholders;
  • Comprehensive approach: Coordinating international and inter-agency initiatives: effective civilian-military cooperation enabled the creation and early successes of the Anti-Corruption Justice Centre in Kabul, responsible for investigating and prosecuting grand corruption cases.
  • Applying conditionality – tying international funding to improvements in governance – was used in the latter stages of the intervention to push for government reforms;
  • Countering corruption in personnel systems: electronic payroll systems were used to try to mitigate corruption in pay systems;
  • Modernising resource management systems: Introduction of databases to track the flow of weapons made it easier to prevent arms being diverted;
  • Cooperation with civil society: transparency of mission contracts was introduced to enable civil society oversight of sustainment and reconstruction contracts.
  • Host nation training and partnering: international mentors and advisers embedded within Afghan units had a positive effect, at least in the short term, as they discouraged corrupt practices;
  • Mitigating corruption in sustainment: the work of Task Force 2010, while mostly focused on force protection, could be adapted to analyse and monitor corrupt networks and their impact.

Introduction

It is widely acknowledged that rampant corruption rather than insurgency was the key reason why the OEF and ISAF missions failed to foster a stable, secure Afghanistan with a modicum of inclusive and effective governance.[10] From criminal patronage networks busy smuggling drugs, to military and police officers buying and selling commissions, corruption undermined every aspect of the functioning of the Afghan state and tarnished international forces’ reputation by association. Vertically integrated corruption systems assisted the functioning and recruitment of the insurgency, and facilitated the outflow of public resources away from Afghanistan and into international tax havens.

As NATO’s Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre (JALLC) notes, the actions of the international community have inadvertently contributed to increasing the reach of corrupt practices. In particular, the injection of massive amounts of resources into a fragile, post-conflict environment exceeded Afghanistan’s absorptive capacity.[11] In 2002-2018, the US alone appropriated $132 billion for assistance to Afghanistan, an average of $7,76 billion per year (excluding the cost of US operations in the region). 63% of that sum was spent on security issues, 28% on development, and the remainder on humanitarian aid and civilian operations.[12] During that time, Afghanistan’s annual GDP grew from $4.29 billion in 2002 to just under $20 billion as of 2016,[13] meaning that US aid was at times equal to its annual income, and at other times constituted a significant part of it. Emerging from three decades of warfare and classified, since 1971, as a Least Developed Country,[14] Afghanistan had neither the institutional capacity nor human capital to absorb the money flowing into it.

The combination of the influx of resources and low absorptive capacity, including low oversight and audit capabilities, enabled individuals and networks to divert public resources for private gain. From theft of public money to repurposing of the institutions of state to benefit corrupt networks, the resources provided by OEF and ISAF missions exacerbated (often inadvertently) corrupt practices, enabled the growth of criminal patronage networks, and allowed leakage of resources to the insurgency.

OEF and ISAF were slow to note the increasingly severed manifestations of corruption and the empowerment of corrupt networks. Preoccupied with counter-terrorism and immediate security concerns, the international community did not appreciate the second- and third-order effects of their actions, especially cooperation with malicious actors and the uncontrolled injection of resources. Corruption, which had only become a formal consideration in the mission plans in 2012, had never become a primary focus and had, after 2014, been progressively dropped from the agenda.[15]

This first part of this paper tracks some of the pathways through which the actions of the international community, in combination with actions of host nation spoilers, entrenched corrupt practices. It is not an exhaustive analysis of corruption in Afghanistan and its impact on ISAF and OEF; rather, it is a selection of pathways likely to be a preoccupation for future interventions. These pathways vary from the more straightforward – acceptance and solicitation of bribery, for example – to the more complex and long-term, from political support to spoilers to lack of supervision over subcontractors in local sustainment. Together, the pathways illustrate the threats that corruption poses to operations in fragile and conflict-affected environments, and offer a handrail to planners thinking about mitigating corruption risks in future operations.

The second part of the paper analyses some of the mitigations introduced by international forces once the significance and magnitude of the corruption problem had been noted. Without significant political commitment to mitigating the impact of corruption, exacerbated by limited expertise and challenges to continuity of effort, the effectiveness of these measures was limited. Nonetheless, they offer instructive suggestions for future mission planners wishing to mitigate corruption risks that could affect other deployments.

International community in Afghanistan

The international military presence in Afghanistan, mounted initially as a response to the Taliban regime’s hosting of Al-Qaeda training camps prior to the 9/11 attacks in the United States, included three key missions.

Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), mounted by the United States in late 2001 and mostly including US and British troops, was presented a self-defence mission and focused on “disrupting the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations, and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime”.[16]

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), first deployed in 2002 on the basis of a UN Security Council mandate, was authorised to assist with the maintenance of security in Kabul and surrounding areas. Initially commanded by individual nations on a rotational basis, it was taken over by NATO in August 2003 and gradually expanded its presence throughout Afghanistan.[17] At its height, it had over 130, 000 troops from 51 NATO members and partner nations.[18] Most US troops under OEF were rolled into the ISAF operation, leaving OEF with special forces activity focused on terrorist networks.

Resolute Support (RS) superseded ISAF on 1 January 2015 and is ongoing. RS focuses on training and supporting the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces.

Relations with host nation stakeholders and state capture: OEF and warlords

International interventions do not operate in a vacuum. When deployed, they need to work and liaise with host nation stakeholders, whose cooperation and commitment is usually indispensable to achieving mission goals. But mission cooperation with local stakeholders also carries risks. Political support for host nation actors, combined with an injection of material resources through local sustainment or reconstruction and aid contracts can be misused, becoming spoils for corrupt actors and networks, undermining governance, and helping intimidate the population. In addition, the international forces’ dependence on national actors for intelligence and information can entangle them in host nation politics, with their support being used by some parties against others.

The US declaration of a ‘war on terror’ following the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent removal of the Taliban regime was, by design, a ‘light footprint’ operation, relying on US Special Forces, air power, and local allies. But that very reliance on local allies meant that OEF quickly became an opportunity for them to utilise international backing – secured in exchange for supporting the operation – to further their own ends.

While in the northern part of the country the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, still in control of some territory, was an obvious partner for the US military, the situation was much less clear in the south. The southern province of Kandahar – the spiritual home of the Taliban, a training base for Al-Qaeda, and a traditional seat of power in Afghanistan – had both strategic and symbolic value, and was seen as the ultimate prize.[19] With a light footprint operation and limited amount of intelligence available on the south, securing cooperation from a potential partner was key to the American military’s advance into Kandahar.

Their chosen candidate was Gul Agha Sherzai, son of an anti-Soviet commander and a former Kandahar governor, exiled to Pakistan after the Taliban takeover. While Sherzai did not have the political leverage of, for example, Hamid Karzai, he could use his association with the tribal Achakzai militia to mobilise a fighting force and offer local knowledge. Along with Hamid Karzai, he was selected to be one of the few Taliban opposition commanders to receive CIA funds and support – in exchange for ousting the Taliban from Kandahar province.[20] The plan was for them to perform a pincer movement on Kandahar, with Karzai approaching from the north and Sherzai from the south, with US air support.[21] For Sherzai himself, the US drive toward Kandahar was an opportunity to regain a lost position and push for his vision of Afghanistan’s future – which excluded the Northern Alliance and any elements of the Taliban movement.[22]

Sherzai had raised a militia of approximately 1,500 men, which were then armed and funded by the U.S.[23] The U.S. also provided air power, giving Sherzai’s unit a considerable advantage over the crumbling Taliban regime. As a result, Kandahar city fell to Sherzai, Karzai and their allies on December 7, 2001.[24] Media reports indicate that the Taliban handed over control of the city to Hamid Karzai and Mullah Naquibullah, a respected local leader. Sherzai, however, was able to leverage his association with the US to pressure Naquibullah to back down and hand the city over to him.[25]

Once in Kandahar, Sherzai exploited his material and political association with the US to build up support networks. Initial support provided by the US was an auspicious beginning. As a commander in Sherzai’s militia claimed, ‘We brought a car of cash with us…It was a Land Cruiser full of money.’[26] That money provided not only the resources to pay his militia, but also to start laying the foundations for a new patronage network.

During the march on Kandahar, Gul Agha’s wallet was a Toyota.

INew York Times, ‘Gul Agha Gets His Province Back’, 2002 [27]

The initial support given to Sherzai by the US proved instrumental in his long-term dominance. It created the conditions for him to secure the governorship of Kandahar, and with it a base for the creation of an extensive patronage network and a subsequent perversion of governance structures.

While U.S. support later waned somewhat, its backing in the first 6 months of 2002 was decisive in giving Gul Agha Sherzai the opportunity to consolidate his hold of Kandahar.

Stability Operations Information Centre, 2010 [28]

Mission sustainment and reconstruction: warlords and mission resources

Sherzai’s presence at the capture of Kandahar airfield during the early days of the campaign was crucial to the establishment of his business and contracting network. His ability to gain service contracts, underpinned by his relationship with US troops, enabled his political survival, as resources gained through contracting could be redistributed through his patronage network and diverted for his own benefit.[29] This reinforced his position, as well as his control over access to state resources, and excluded others. Through his early involvement with the U.S. Sherzai was able to gain a virtual monopoly over international contracts.[30]

Gul Agha’s claim to provincial and regional leadership was based … in the endorsement of powerful national and international players and the availability of resources to feed his patronage network.

Gisutozzi and Ullah, The Inverted Cycle, 2007 [31]

Following the seizure of Kandahar air base in 2001, U.S. forces embarked on a process of base construction to house troops and support elements. [32] Kandahar airfield, the key US base constructed in 2001-2 and initially supporting 8,000 people, would grow to house and support 32,000 by 2010.[33]

Less than a week after landing at the airfield, the first contracts were being placed by U.S. Marines: for two Honda water pumps bought for $325 each from an anti-Taliban commander named Gulalay, who also hoped to supply US troops with food and drink. The same Gulalay, a key Sherzai ally, would later become head of Kandahar’s intelligence forces.[34] Sherzai himself, as a key supplier of construction material and workers to US troops, reaped major benefits. His status as the sole supplier enabled Sherzai to charge exorbitant prices for material and labour. When delivering gravel used to rebuild the runway at the Kandahar Airfield, for example, Sherzai charged $100 a truckload even as the actual cost hovered around $8 a truckload.[35] With the money that he made from these contracts, Governor Sherzai was able to monopolise other goods and services, including distributing water and petrol, real estate, taxi services, mining, and eventually opium smuggling.[36] He was able to impose taxes on local businessmen and used his monopolies to promote business partnerships with various interlocutors, which at the same time also helped him strengthen his political position.[37] Enabled by his position as governor, he sold a large plot of land to the east of Kandahar city to a consortium of five buyers, three of whom were from the Karzai family.[38] The ANA later disputed the ownership of this land, claiming that they owned it and Sherzai had sold it illegally.[39]

OEF support and financial resources provided to Sherzai facilitated not only his ascent to the post of governor; they also helped him become one of the most powerful men in Kandahar province.[40] With almost exclusive access to U.S. contracts, he was able to monopolize industries and control those that worked in them. This allowed him to consolidate his patronage networks by distributing contracts and funds, whilst taking a considerable slice for himself.

In a few swift strokes, he made the desert bloom with American installations — and turned an extravagant profit in the process. He swiped land and rented it to U.S. forces to the tune of millions of dollars… He furnished American troops with fuel for their trucks and workers for their projects, raking in commissions while functioning as an informal temp agency for his tribesmen.

Gopal, No Good Men Among the Living, 2014[41]

Once reconstruction and development funds came to Kandahar, they became another source of income and power. With a strong emphasis on spending the money and little time and resources invested in the follow up, reconstruction projects became easy targets.[42] By 2012, the cost of corruption in the Afghan government – much of it underpinned by diversion of donor-provided funds – reached US$3.6 billion, far surpassing the value of opium production, estimated at US$700 million.[43]

With his access to the U.S., it was easy for Sherzai to gain control over a large number of the state-building and reconstruction contracts. The flow of funds into Afghanistan after 2001 created a form of ‘legal’ corruption, whereby warlords were able to take advantage of donor and military procurement systems, and to ‘game the state’[44].

Intelligence dependence: reliance on warlords

With time, the cars of cash and military support provided to Gul Agha Sherzai by OEF forces started diminishing. Careful to protect his position, Sherzai knew that he needed to remain useful to the US, especially as his influence in Kandahar was based on a powerful international alliance rather than local support or acquiescence of the province’s elders, and had been challenged by Ahmed Wali Karzai, the President’s half-brother.

In return for privileged access to American dollars, Sherzai delivered what the US forces needed most: intelligence.[45] He was seen as so effective in providing actionable intelligence to US forces that, when Sarah Chayes – an erstwhile coordinator of a soap-making commune in Kandahar City and subsequently an adviser to ISAF commanders on corruption issues – asked Special Forces officers where intelligence on Kandahari networks came from, she heard that ‘[I]t’s almost all from Shirzai [sic]. He’s great. He’s got sources everywhere.’[46]

[Sherzai] really dictates to President Karzai. In fact if Karzai doesn’t win the election next year, the U.S. military won’t be that sorry. A lot of us would be happy to have Sherzai as president instead.

Chayes, The Punishment of Virtue, 2006[47]

However, the most sought-after targets of intelligence work – Al Qaeda and the Taliban – had all but dissipated in Kandahar by mid-2002, with their leaders in exile in Pakistan.[48] Legitimate intelligence targets were therefore few and far between, and the wide-ranging sweep for enemies caught those who were, at worst, at the wrong place at the wrong time.

There are numerous examples of Afghans being detained despite shaky evidence of their association with the Taliban or with Al-Qaeda. In a 2002 news report following a raid west of Kandahar carried out on the basis of intelligence delivered by Sherzai, a U.S. spokesman stated: ‘We don’t know who we have, but we hope we’ve got some senior Taliban or at least some Taliban folks there.’[49] Accusing individuals of sympathising with the Taliban was also a way of collecting revenue. One unfortunate baker in Kandahar was repeatedly arrested and interrogated by OEF before being passed on to Sherzai’s intelligence team. He had been accused of conspiring to attack the Americans, but in reality, the intelligence team was systematically extorting his family for release payments.[50]

As a result of their close relationship with Sherzai, OEF lost sight of the overall situation in Kandahar province, especially as seen through the eyes of those left outside Sherzai’s patronage networks. With his and his tribe’s rise in the province came a fall for others, less able to access international contracts and support, more susceptible to resentment, and exposed to the more powerful tribes acting with impunity, extorting resources and intimidating civilians.[51] Sherzai’s position as the mission’s closest confidante, intelligence source, and contractor, also closed off other sources of information and points of view, and meant that US forces often went after the wrong people. Their relationship with Sherzai actually served to isolate them from the population rather than allow them to better understand the local dynamics.

With Sherzai’s eyes and ears hemming them in, the U.S. troops were unapproachable.

Chayes, The Punishment of Virtue, 2006 [52]

What happened to Gul Agha Sherzai?

Although Sherzai’s reign over Kandahar eventually came to an end, he is a still a prominent feature of Afghanistan’s political system. Perceived as a threat to then President Hamid Karzai‘s power base in Kandahar, he was transferred to govern Nangahar province in 2005. Despite lacking close ties with ISAF, local legitimacy and tribal influence in his new province, Sherzai soon created the image of a ‘strong government’ by implementing poppy eradication programmes, building schools, and improving security, and won ISAF contracts again. He held this post until he became the Minister of Border and Tribal Affairs on the 4th December 2017.

Sherzai’s record is a mixed one, with his role in Nagarhar suggesting that he did introduce some measure of stability and development to the province. It is, however, unclear how sustainable either of those are. In Kandahar, meanwhile, Sherzai’s activity led to an exploitative pattern of governance being established, with powerful individuals vying for control of political and economic resources.

Support for private militia

Providing intelligence to US troop earned Kandahari governor Sherzai a chance to put his allies in sensitive positions in the nascent Afghan national and provincial administrations, and to ensure a free rein for their actions. Sherzai’s childhood friend and the leader of his militia, Haji Gulalay, was named as head of the provincial department of the National Directorate of Security (NDS).[53] In that position, he enjoyed almost complete freedom of action. According to a US special forces operative, ‘He’d give us intel…and then we would let him do whatever he wanted.’[54] The Gulalay deal, another operative explained, allowed him to get to places and extract payments unrelated to his detachment’s mission.[55] This informal arrangement gave Sherzai’s intelligence forces and militia free reign throughout Kandahar and enabled them to pursue personal vendettas, often with the support of U.S. forces, in raids on suspected Taliban strongholds.

[There are] daily reports of abuses committed by gunmen against the population—armed gangs who establish illegal checkpoints, tax farmers, intimidate, rob, rape, and do so—all too often—while wielding the formal title of military commander, police, or security chief.

UN Special Representative to Afghanistan, 2003[56]

This impunity afforded to Sherzai and his network also allowed him to expand his patronage networks to areas beyond Kandahar City, his first stronghold. The border post of Spin Boldak, on the key route from southern Afghanistan to Pakistan, is a good example of this. Spin Boldak saw significant cross-border traffic. As a result of his control of the post, in a couple of years Sherzai was reportedly able to divert most of Kandahar’s customs revenue, holding onto an estimated $8 million a month which should have gone to the central government in Kabul.[57]

The Sherzai militia were not the only ones operating in Afghanistan and employed by international forces. Overall, the Afghan MoI registered 52 private security companies and 25,000 armed guards in Afghanistan.[58] By 2010, the US Department of Defense had hired nearly 14,000 Afghan private security guards, for duties ranging from base protection to trucking. Reliance on local warlords and militia – particularly on the part of the US Special Forces and especially prior to 2005 – gave legitimacy and materiel to these private forces, which often competed with the central Afghan government for work, influence and legitimacy as security providers.[59] They also drew potential recruits away from government institutions, as individuals could make far more money by working for militia commanders hired directly by the US even as aid was being pumped into Afghan state institutions.[60]

Private militia were also notorious for mistreating civilians. Aside from the Sherzai forces, which reportedly extorted bribes to release those arrested without foundation in the first place, militia have often been associated with violent assault, petty theft, extortion, looting, drug trafficking, kidnapping, rape, prostitution, and illegal arms trade.[61] As a result, they have been widely distrusted and resented, and international forces’ reputation tarnished by association.[62] By the time of NATO’s withdrawal from active combat, private militia and security companies had grown powerful enough that they continue to frustrate the attempts of the Afghan government to develop and maintain monopoly on violence within the state.

Host Nation Trucking Contract: Fuelling Corruption, One Truck at a Time

The 2009 Host Nation Trucking Contract between the US Department of Defence and 8 Afghan, American, and Emirati companies has widely been seen as reinforcing corrupt practices and enabling the leakage of tangible and intangible resources to the insurgency. It exemplifies some of the issues that can be created by sustainment decisions and the use of private militia and security companies.

Trucking at a glance

  • Contract value: $2.16 billion, with a cap on $360 million per contractor per year (Afghanistan’s GDP: $13 billion in 2009)
  • Transported 70% of the total goods and materiel distributed to US troops in Afghanistan, including ammunition, fuel, and food
  • 6,000-8,000 truck missions every month
  • A significant employment opportunity – one trucking company employed 20,000 people
  • 8 primary contractors, of which only one did not subcontract

Significantly, HNT primary contractors were responsible for their own and their cargo’s security. They were required to provide two security vehicles per five trucks, and to procure their own weapons and ammunition.

To comply with contract requirements and protect the deliveries from Taliban attacks, trucking contractors subcontracted Afghan private security companies. A congressional investigation has found that most of the private security contractors providing security for the supply chain were warlords and local strongmen, for whom securing US contractors was an opportunity to build up private armies. One sub-contractor – commander Rohullah, who worked for 7 out of 8 primary contractors – employed 600 armed guards, charged $1,500 to protect a truck between Kabul and Kandahar, and spent $1.5 million per month on ammunition. His men are reported to have used RPGs and machine guns. In Uruzgan, tribal leader Matiullah Khan commanded a private security force of 2,000 and racked up an annual income estimated at $4-6 million per year.

Private security companies were responsible for providing security from the Taliban. There is, however, evidence that they have extorted bribes for not attacking convoys and paid Taliban groups either for not attacking or attacking the convoys – the latter used to raise the price for their services on grounds of increasing insecurity. One report indicated that the Taliban would take 10-20% value of any supply project to provide security. In addition, Afghan government and security institutions treated the passage of trucks as yet another opportunity for private enrichment. The police and local officials extorted bribes in exchange for allowing safe passage. One contractor (Rashid Popal, President Karzai’s cousin) reported payments of $1,000-$10,000 per month to police chiefs, governors, and ANA units on the trucking route.

With practically no oversight from the US military or Department of Defense – neither of whom had overall sight of the subcontractors – the Host Nation Trucking Contract turned into a protection racket enriching warlords, entrenching corruption, and diverting resources to insurgents. The requirement that contractors provide security had strategic consequences far beyond its reach. It has, for example, allowed Afghan militia to build up weapon arsenals, undermining the UN-run disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme. In particular, working with the US military provided them with the resources and legitimacy to build up influence and structures acting to the detriment of the central Afghan government.

Furthermore, attempts to secure roads – or to, conversely, increase the level of insecurity as a reason to demand payments – resulted in firefights bringing about civilian casualties. Private security companies also exacerbated insecurity among local communities: they attributed attacks on convoys to these communities and would routinely threaten revenge and humiliation.

The HNT contract fuels warlordism, extortion, and corruption, and it may be a significant source of funding for insurgents. In other words, the logistics contract has an outsized strategic impact on U.S. objectives in Afghanistan.

US Congress, Warlord, Inc., 2009[63]

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Partnering with host nation security forces: The state of ANDSF

Rebuilding Afghanistan’s security and defence institutions (ANDSF) – especially the army and the police – was one of the priorities of OEF and ISAF forces. Part of their exit strategy, resilient and effective defence institutions were seen as a way to provide security and stability once the OEF and ISAF missions had wound down. Accordingly, intervention forces poured most of their resources into developing the ANDSF. The US itself put over $70 billion, or 60% of its Afghanistan expenditure between 2001-2016, into the Afghan army and the police, and committed to providing a further $4 billion per year until at least 2020. Out of the overall annual international funding for Afghanistan from 2016 – 2020, about $3 billion or 42% was foreseen to go to the defence and security forces.[64]

And yet the Afghan defence and security forces have long been plagued by ineffectiveness, lack of equipment, and poor training. Developments following the reduction of ISAF strength on the ground – the fall of Kunduz and the urgent need to reinforce Sangin in Helmand province in 2015 – have focused attention on the shortcomings of the ANDSF, corruption prominent among them.[65]

It is important to note that corruption was not the only problem affecting the ANDSF’s performance, and that other issues – poor to non-existent infrastructure, patchy training, and donors providing equipment that was rarely coordinated or sustainable (a variety of vehicles provided by different nations, for example, came without spare parts, a maintenance plan, or training plans for their operators) – posed problems for their effectiveness.[66] Nevertheless, corruption and weak institutional governance made practically all other problems worse and had a direct impact on relations with the civilian population in a way that, for example, faulty equipment did not. Polling carried out in 2017 showed that Afghans feared for their personal safety when coming across Afghan National Police (ANP) or Afghan National Army (ANA) officers: nationally, 43% were wary of encountering the ANP and 40% of the ANA, with over 60% in the south-western region of the country declaring mistrust.[67]

Corruption by ANDSF officials, at all institutional levels, has degraded security, force readiness, and overall capabilities. High-level corruption, such as that exhibited by some ANDSF leaders, is likely to promote lower-level corruption, as a culture of impunity starts at the top and then normalizes corrupt behaviour within the entire system. It gives the rank and file an “excuse” to engage in extortion, embezzlement, fraud, and other abusive behaviours themselves, which then directly affects the population.

SIGAR, Reconstructing the Afghan Defence and Security Forces, 2017.[68]

Reports of abuses in the ANDSF included bribery, extortion of civilians, senior officers selling ANDSF appointments in return for bribes or diverting salaries by padding rosters with names of non-existent soldiers, and land grabbing. There were also cases of equipment and fuel provided by the U.S. and NATO being sold off; at times, these would make their way to the insurgency. Within the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MoI) – which had control of the ANP – patronage networks distorted the recruitment process and made appointments dependent on personal and tribal ties and bribery, rather than merit.[69]

It is important to note that corruption in the defence and security forces – much like corruption in other Afghan institutions – was vertically integrated, enabling the flow of resources upward. Typically in a patronage system, resources flow downward from patron to client in exchange for political loyalty. However, in Afghanistan resources – including kickbacks, levies, and bribes for official appointments – moved from subordinates up to their superiors; those at the top of the pyramid would frequently move these resources out of the country to places like Dubai in United Arab Emirates.[70] In return, the top of the system provided first “unfettered permission to extract resources for professional gain, and, second, protection from repercussions.[71] It is estimated that extorted bribes total more than $2 billion per year.[72]

Ghost soldiers and payroll

The presence of ghost soldiers – soldiers who receive pay and benefits, but who either do not exist or do not show up to train or fight – has resulted in inaccurate strength assessments for both the Afghan army and police, and had dire consequences for both institutions’ combat readiness. Reports of police chiefs inflating personnel numbers to pocket salaries, as well as of army units whose actual strength could not be verified, have been noted since at least 2006.[73] In 2006 and 2007, for example, field visits from US officers and provincial surveys confirmed the presence of only about 76% of the more than 45,000 police officers meant to be on duty.[74]

In October 2016, Taliban forces overran the Helmand town of Nawa. A closer look at Nawa’s defences, unexpectedly weak during the attack, revealed that more than half of the 700 policemen assigned to defend the district only existed on paper. Prior to the Taliban offensive, concerned local officials attempted to verify actual police numbers through estimating current presence at checkpoints. Their estimate was that about 300 officers were actually present in the district; the other 400, whose salaries were duly conveyed to the district each month, were nowhere to be found. District officials reported the discrepancies up the chain to the Afghan government, but there was no response. A similar problem affected the Army in Helmand: in 2016, a newly appointed commander found that out of 250 soldiers assigned to 10 checkpoints, only 96 were actually at their posts and out of those 96, only 54 had weapons. Overall, one estimate by a Helmandi police chief concluded that the province’s ghost personnel problem affected about half of the police force’s overall strength of 26,000. [75]

The amount of Afghan government funds that should be disbursed to district headquarters and earmarked for defence and security forces has been calculated on the basis of personnel numbers that the district authorities report. But the gap between reported and real numbers can be sizable, making it difficult for Afghan forces and their international partners to assess the real strength of available forces. Repeated audits of US funding disbursed to cover the costs of running the ANDSF found that the amounts of funds distributed were not based on solid numbers of forces strength and needs, and were at risk of leaking through an unaccountable salary payment chain. In 2015, for example, a Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) audit flagged the risks associated with police salaries: about $300 million was being paid through a network of ‘trusted agents’ employed by the MoI and charged with disbursing salaries in cash, with very little to no oversight. [76] Within the ANA, the ‘trusted agent’ method was used to disburse salaries to at least 20% of soldiers, potentially enabling corruption and skimming of funds.[77]

Diversion of resources: from weapons to fuel

Some estimates have put the number of ANA soldiers who have at some point sold their weapons or ammunition for personal gain – including, in some cases, selling them to insurgent groups – at 80%. Similar numbers have been reported for the ANP, with commanders allegedly selling heavy vehicles and ammunition to the highest bidder.[78] Fuel – a key resource – was frequently left unaccounted for and unmonitored, enabling fuel theft schemes such as that in the Kapisa province, where Brigadier General Abdul Karim Fayeq, the provincial chief of police of the province masterminded a scheme that diverted 60,000 gallons of fuel meant for ANA units.[79]

Abuse of civilian population: checkpoints, extortion, and grievances

Abuses perpetrated by the security forces directly on the civilian population have ranged from establishment of illegal checkpoints to extorting bribes for unlawful and arbitrary arrests and detentions. A 2013 report identifies bribes extorted at illegal checkpoints set up by the ANP as one of the main grievances of long-haul truck drivers, often abused and humiliated as police officers sought to break their resistance. The problem was widespread: about 59% of police checkpoints in the country were found to have been collecting illegal tolls.[80] In addition to their impact on individuals, SIGAR has noted that widespread tolls had a major strategic effect through making the Afghan economy less efficient and less attractive to investors.[81]

Corruption in mission forces

Intervening forces are not immune from corruption. Deployed personnel seeking private enrichment not only diverted international resources, but also enabled corruption in Afghanistan by participating in schemes involving Afghan stakeholders, ranging from theft[82] and alleged drug smuggling,[83] to sophisticated procurement schemes.[84] One 2015 tally of court records found that in the US, at least 115 enlisted personnel and military officers were convicted of theft, bribery and contract-rigging valued at more than $50 million during their deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq.[85]

Sustainment and contracting

Irregularities in procurement processes – from bid rigging and kickbacks, to helping steer contracts to politically connected power brokers – were one of the key corruption risks in the Afghanistan mission.[86] Most areas of procurement, from delivery of humanitarian relief supplies[87] to helicopter sales[88] and road construction,[89] were vulnerable to corruption risks.

In the Humanitarian Aid Yard (HA Yard) case at Bagram Airfield, eight individuals pled guilty to variety of charges after SIGAR uncovered a complex pattern of corruption that involved US military personnel and Afghan contractors conspiring in bribery, fraud, kickbacks, and money laundering.[90] The HA Yard at Bagram Airfield was responsible for purchasing and storing supplies from local Afghan vendors to use as part of the Commander’s Emergency Response Program, which enabled U.S. military commanders to respond to urgent humanitarian relief requirements in Afghanistan. Over a period of at least three years, U.S. personnel pocketed bribes from vendors or from Afghan interpreters to steer business to favoured vendors. This persisted for years, as participants remained involved remotely or new personnel adopted the same corrupt practices.[91] In one case, a U.S. Army sergeant first class and his supervisor awarded 217 such contracts totalling approximately $30,760,255 to Afghan vendors in 2008-2009. In return, the two received jewellery, including a Rolex watch, and $350,000 in bribes.[92]

In a case that demonstrates that corruption begets corruption, a former employee of a US Government contractor pled guilty to the foreign transportation of $104,000 in stolen money in April 2018.[93] After becoming suspicious that his colleague was receiving illegal kickbacks from an Afghan contractor in return for assistance to acquire subcontracts under the Department of Defense contract in 2016, the individual confirmed that this was indeed the situation by recording the meetings[94]. However, rather than reporting the corruption through the appropriate channels, the individual waited until his colleague’s office was empty after a meeting, stole a bag containing $108,000 in US currency and transported the contents to the US.[95]

Relations with the host nation: drug smuggling

Since 2010, British military police have been investigation a case of British and Canadian troops allegedly buying heroin and using military aircraft to smuggle it out of the country.[96] An Afghan dealer told the Sunday Times that soldiers make an order before their term of duty is about to finish and then transport the drugs to North America or the UK.[97]

The drug trade has long been connected with the insurgency in Afghanistan, with UNODC concluding that involvement in opium trade is what allows the Taliban insurgents to ‘fund a war machine that is becoming technologically more complex and increasingly widespread.’[98] Deployed personnel involvement in these transactions directly contravenes mission objectives and assists opposing forces.

Mitigating corruption: possible approaches

When OEF and ISAF forces were deployed, corruption was not part of their mandate or tasking. Neither the U.S. coalition mandate,[99] nor the NATO mandate (International Security Assistance Force and Resolute Support),[100] nor the multiple UN mandates[101] specify mitigating corruption risks or countering corruption as a particular task for the mission. The international community first identified it as a challenge in 2006 and 2008, following donor conferences;[102] it took until 2012 for corruption to be included in NATO’s Operational Plan for ISAF, and for the military intervention to be tasked to ‘neutralize corruption and organized crime.’ That same year, a subordinate command in Brunssum included support for counter- and anti-corruption in its own planning.[103]

Lack of focus on corruption, underpinned by the perception that it was a secondary issue that could be tackled once security was established, meant that the armed forces were ill-prepared for recognising the risks and mobilising the expertise to analyse and mitigate them. Even when the threat that corruption posed was recognised, the impending withdrawal of international forces meant that anti- and counter-corruption efforts never had a chance to truly gather pace. Nonetheless, the ISAF example offers a number of potential approaches and institutional solutions which could benefit future missions. From anti-corruption (preventive) task forces to counter-corruption measures (support for investigative and judiciary capabilities), ISAF’s experience should inform planning and implementation of other mission mandates.

Investing in monitoring and oversight

Preventative and investigative measures aimed at mitigating corruption risks take time and expertise, but they pay for themselves – not merely in financial means recovered, but perhaps primarily in showing that standards governing contracting matter and will be upheld. Conversely, a lack of oversight and lack of responses to complaints enable corruption: in the case of the Host Nation Trucking Contract, it underpinned a significant protection racket. Prior to the Congressional investigation which identified financial flows to the insurgency, the US military and the Department of Defense allowed contractor reports of extortion and bribery along the transport routes to go unheeded.

When HNT contractors self-reported to the military that they were being extorted by warlords for protection payments for safe passage and that these payments were “funding the insurgency,” they were largely met with indifference and inaction…. From the logisticians’ perspective, their jobs were to make sure the goods got to where they needed to go. Any other concerns were beyond the scope of their duty.

US Congress, Warlord, Inc., 2009 [104]

Making it known that preventing and countering corruption is a key consideration and that there is a dedicated team or person who can be consulted on the issue can result in staff not only coming forward with problems, but also referring their doubts to the agency responsible. Whether a police team, investigative organisation, or a dedicated anti-corruption task force, such a unit can encourage attention to corruption and increase the likelihood of detecting irregularities.

Inspector General systems

In the US, the high costs of missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as billions of dollars spent on reconstruction in both countries, prompted the creation of standing Inspector General offices dedicated to overseeing the expenditure of all funds – from development to military – within particular missions. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has thus had oversight over US spending within ISAF, OEF and development projects in the country, and has had preventive, audit, and investigative powers. SIGAR reports directly to US Congress and is independent of other government departments.

By mid-2017, after 9 years of existence, SIGAR has reported that its investigations have brought about 112 criminal convictions and about $1.1 billion in criminal fines, forfeitures, recoveries of costs through settlements and U.S. government cost savings. In mid-2017, SIGAR was still conducting over 50 open investigations, with procurement fraud being the largest category of issues under investigation.[105]

As of the end of June 2017, the efforts of SIGAR to use suspension and debarment to address fraud, corruption, and poor performance in Afghanistan have resulted in a total of 136 suspensions and 508 finalized debarments/special entity designations of individuals and companies engaged in U.S.-funded reconstruction projects. An additional 14 individuals and companies have entered into administrative compliance agreements with the government in lieu of exclusion from contracting since the initiation of the program. During the third quarter of 2017, SIGAR’s referrals resulted in three finalized suspensions and four finalized debarments of individuals and entities by agency suspension and debarment officials. An additional 20 individuals and companies are currently in proposed debarment status, awaiting final adjudication of their debarment decisions.[106]

Dedicated anti-corruption task forces

Where international missions operate in fragile environments affected by widespread corruption problems, specialist anti-corruption task forces can help shape and coordinate approaches to mitigating the impact of corrupt practices. They can help promote a shared understanding of the features and consequences of corruption; cultivate and pass on anti-corruption expertise from diverse sources; and shape cooperation between various actors in the area of operations.

Task Force Shafafyiat

CJIATF-Shafafiyat (meaning ‘transparency’ in Dari and Pashto), established by the ISAF Commander in September 2010 and operating until October 2014, was a multi-national and multi-agency counter and anti-corruption organisation with a focus on the Afghan MoD and MoI. Located at ISAF Headquarters in Kabul, Shafafiyat consisted of approximately 40 military and civilian staff, (50 at its height[107]), and represented over 19 countries. This included planners, analysts, action officers, and advisors, along with a senior leadership team.[108]

Shafafiyat also aimed to integrate, with varying results, the work of Task Force 2010, Task Force Spotlight and CJIATF-Nexus, which dealt with due diligence on contractors and mapped out drug-smuggling networks, respectively. [109] In 2014, Shafafyiat was turned into TAO EAG (Transparency, Accountability and Oversight Enterprise Advisory Group) and reassigned to the US Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan.[110] TAO EAG now provides training, advice and assistance to the MoD and MoI in the establishment of Ministerial Internal Control Programmes (MICP) within each Ministry’s Inspector General Directorate.[111]

Shafafiyat’s primary role was to promote a common understanding of the corruption problem, plan and implement anticorruption efforts, and integrate USFOR-A anticorruption activities with partner efforts.[112] Its core aim was to develop Afghanistan’s security ministries, the MoD and MoI, as legitimate and credible government institutions, and to set up oversight over the country’s defence and security forces by the end of 2014.[113]

Shafafyiat had access to civilian and military sources of information to help shape a more comprehensive picture of networks and individuals related to corruption. Military intelligence, law enforcement information, evidence gathered by specialised task forces, and liaison with Afghan civil society and other key leaders helped understand the operational environment and prioritise areas where corruption posed the greatest threat to the coalition’s mission and the viability of the Afghan state.[114]

At the height of its activity, Shafafyiat focused on two main areas:

  • risk identification and management, focusing on corruption risks in Afghan institutions and advising officials on tackling them;[115]
  • investigations, of both Afghan institutions and the deployed forces, especially US financial flows.[116]

The task force had a mixed success record. It managed to convene discussions about corruption and mentored Afghan investigators, and succeeded in making corruption a separate line of engagement in the 2012 NATO OPLAN, thus enabling greater focus on the issue. However, limited resources and lack of support at the political level of the intervening nations meant that some of its key investigations were thwarted.[117]

Among its successes was Shafafyiat’s ability to liaise between varying international and Afghan forums where corruption was addressed. The monthly International Community Transparency and Accountability Working Group (ICTAWG), for example, brought together UNAMA, USAID, the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee, Shafafiyat, CJITAF-Afghanistan, French Embassy, GIZ (the German government’s development agency) and the UK’s Department for International Development.[118] This working group initially established a six-month agenda with prioritised tasks for customs and trade (focused on airports and border-crossings); the Afghan National Army and the Ministry of Defense; the Afghan National Police and the Ministry of Interior; the narcotics trade; the Afghan justice sector; and local governance.[119] Coordination between institutions, however, was rudimentary at best – including that between the largest donors, ISAF and the World Bank – and often dependent on personal relationships formed at the tactical level.[120]

Shafafiyat also cooperated with the Afghan government ministries to produce anti-corruption plans and actions, help conduct investigations, and assist in designing systemic corruption prevention measures.[121]

Shafafiyat and NTM-A worked closely and routinely with senior officials from the Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Ministry of Interior (MoI) in a sustained manner through several joint, Afghan-led, working groups and commissions to develop detailed anti-corruption recommendations and implementation plans….

Sullivan and Forsberg, Confronting the Threat of Organised Crime, 2017 [122]

The regular, often off-the-record working groups and meetings with Afghan officials, especially at a low ministerial level, built up trust and often allowed officials to be candid. [123] Monthly and bi-monthly routine working groups promoted coordination and collaboration on CAC activities and provided a forum for insights and monitor progress.[124]

Some of the best-known Shafafyiat investigations included the Kabul Bank scandal and into the National Military Hospital in Kabul [LINK TO EXAMPLE IN RISKS PAPER]. Investigation into the latter yielded, in the words of a Shafafyiat official, 7 meters of material. However, there were indications that some of the evidence was destroyed by international staff, and that one of the key suspects, responsible for embezzling almost $20 million from the hospital, was protected from prosecution by the Karzai government.[125]

The outcome of the National Military Hospital investigation points to one of the key limitations for Shafafyiat: while it could conduct investigations into Afghan institutions, it was dependent on the Afghan judiciary for prosecutorial and judicial outcomes. Once the evidence was passed to Afghan authorities, all prosecutions were up to them and Shafafyiat lost all influence over their conduct and outcomes. This meant that while it could gather evidence, it could not ensure trials would be conducted, especially for those who enjoyed the political protection of the Afghan government.[126] Despite evidence, corruption among officials and family members of President Karzai were ignored and individuals protected. Many accusations of corruption were also used by the President to replace them with those more loyal or force compliance with the President’s personal goals.[127] Moreover, Shafafyiat had to face reluctance from the international community as well: the US government, for example, often refused to tackle corruption for fear of jeopardising relationships, especially with an increasingly difficult then-President Karzai, and did not offer the political support that would have been necessary to push investigations forward. [128]

The Kabul Bank Investigation

The investigation into the scandal surrounding the Kabul Bank, described as ‘one of the largest banking failures in the world’, was a joint enterprise involving, among others, the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee and Shafafyiat.[129] The investigation had uncovered the existence of nearly $1 bn in loans to 19 key individuals, including close relatives of the President and First Vice President, which had no security, low to non-existent interest and often no requirement to be repayed.[130] The problems for the Bank’s cashflow created by these loans were being resolved using, among other resources, the money that international donors deposited with the Bank in order to pay Afghan government salaries: essentially, the effects of bad loans made to political allies were being mitigated by using donor funds meant for the Afghan government. Among the ‘investments’ financed by the Bank were 35 luxury villas in Dubai, worth $160 million.[131] The Bank also loaned $22m to Mahmoud Karzai, one of the president’s brothers who had previously run a restaurant in the US and who used the loan to buy a share in the Kabul Bank.

The investigating committee found the ‘group of shareholders and related parties’ who capitalized on the regulatory vacuum in Afghanistan wholly responsible for divertingcitizens’ savings to their own personal accounts.[132] It attributed their ability to do so unchallenged to two factors: one, issues specific to the financial sector in Afghanistan, such as poor banking governance, the low capacity of the central bank and coordination amongst regulatory bodies; second, severe systemic issues, from institutional weakness to political interference and impunity.[133]

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While Shafafiyat has managed to put in place practices that could help tackle corruption – from regular consultations that created trust to inter-agency coordination and mentoring programmes – it also came in for significant criticism for lack of long-term impact and has been described as ‘a talk shop [with] no teeth.’[134]

  • Shafafiyat had no regional reach, being almost exclusively Kabul-focused. Military officers attempting to tackle corruption in regional commands declared themselves unaware of Shafafiyat and its activities; this meant that often region-specific corruption risks were ignored.[135]
  • Shafafiyat did not establish effective whistle-blower protection procedures and did not facilitate disclosures being made. Without effective participation of whistleblowers, Shafafyiat was not capable of understanding the full scale of corruption or taking appropriate action. [136]
  • Without appropriate political will and support, Shafafiyat, as well as other ISAF anti and counter-corruption efforts in Afghanistan, were ultimately established too late into the mission to have any meaningful impact or effect. Without political support, they were often perceived as ‘annoying lecturers’, especially by Afghan institutions.[137]
  • Without political support on the Afghan side, corrupt officials would often be ‘recycled’ – re-hired after being let go or posted to a different government department or area. Moreover, within a vertically integrated system in which individuals needed to pay for jobs, removing individual officials was of limited utility.[138]
  • Without a formal remit, lacking doctrine that would tie corruption issues to security-related outcomes, and with limited personnel, Shafafiyat was finding it challenging to coordinate with the military chain of command and to inject the results of their work into military processes such as targeting and into operational design.[139]

Shafafyiat was, however, one of the first anti-corruption task forces in an operational area and as such, ‘making it up as it went along’[140] was the only way available to it. While it had some good expertise available, it had to work from scratch when marrying anti-corruption expertise and security issues, and working out how to apply available expertise to tactical anti-corruption activities.[141] It remains a useful model for future interventions.

International Contract Corruption Task Force (ICCTF)

ICCTF was established in 2006 to combat the proliferation of bribes and kickbacks used by corrupt contractors to secure government contracts in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan.[142] Its members comprised the Special Inspector General for Iraqi Reconstruction (SIGIR); the Major Procurement Fraud Unit, the US Army Criminal Investigation Command (U.S. Army CID), the Department of State Office of Inspector General (DoS OIG), the USAID OIG, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).[143] SIGAR joined the ICCTF in 2009, along with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AF OSI) and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).[144] In 2009 a Joint Operations Centre (JOC) was created within the US Army’s Joint Force Headquarters – Capital Region (in Washington DC).

The ICCTF mandate was to investigate corruption and fraud related to US overseas operations, and it helped coordinate the work of investigative and oversight agencies with jurisdiction over US funds abroad.[145] The Task Force posts investigators – from the armed forces as well as the FBI – to US operational outposts in Southeast Asia and Africa to conduct and coordinate corruption and fraud investigations. The investigations would usually follow whistleblower disclosures, undercover surveillance (and use of undercover agents), site inspections, contract audits or self-reporting from contractors.[146]

A key limitation of the ICCTF’s work was that it could only bring cases against US nationals; its ability to investigate nationals of other countries depended on the particular Framework Agreement or MoU with the country of the national investigated. For example, according the Security Framework Agreement in Iraq, the ICCTF would pass information from an investigation to the Iraqi Ministry of Interior to conclude.[147] Where the capacity of local judiciaries was in question, or their integrity was compromised, the outcomes of these investigations were often questionable.

In 2013, ICCTF expanded to form the International Foreign Bribery Task Force, adding investigators from the FBI, AFP, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and London Police’s Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit to exchange information and best practice relevant to ongoing investigations. The task force supports the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and U.N. anti-bribery conventions.

Comprehensive approach: Coordinating international and inter-agency initiatives

One of the best examples of inter-agency coordination was the creation of the Anti-Corruption Justice Centre in Kabul, supported by the Resolute Support mission and the British Embassy. The Centre aimed at constituting a group of competent Afghan police officers and prosecutors prepared to tackle high-level corruption offences, and insulating them from pressures and corruption opportunities.The ACJC has already prosecuted and sentenced two high-ranking generals for fraud and corruption.

The military forces participating in the creation of the ACJC provided advice on security and the design of a secure courthouse and other facilities; they also managed logistics for polygraph tests. Their role was underpinned and facilitated by the presence of officers with expertise in corruption and an appreciation of the significance of the issue.[148]

Applying conditionality

Throughout the OEF and ISAF deployment, the amount of funds disbursed within tight timelines, rather than the long-term effectiveness of that assistance, was the primary criterion for assessing how effective programmes were.[149] Pressure to spend money meant that the provision of assistance was rarely tied to improvements in the recipients’ – usually different levels of the Afghan government – integrity and capacity to govern. Neither conditionality nor monitoring of particular projects was a priority until almost a decade into the mission. It was only in 2012 that the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework of 2012 tied provision of international funding to a series of reform commitments implemented by the Afghan government.[150]

Similarly, prior to 2014 there were no conditions on the funds disbursed to the Ministries of Interior and Defence through the US Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A).[151] After 2014, CSTC-A used ‘commitment letters’ – documents setting out the conditions that Afghan institutions had to meet to receive tranches of funds or resources such as weapons, vehicles, or fuel to prompt compliance and foster self-reliance and long-term planning. There is evidence that conditionality and commitment letters can improve the performance of Afghan institutions, if only by small amounts. In 2016, DOD reporting indicates slight improvement in conditions being met by Afghan authorities, from 60% to 66% within one quarter.[152]

However, for conditionality to work, significant buy-in from both donor and recipient governments is essential. It requires the Afghan government to implement their commitments and the U.S. government to hold them accountable when they do not. This, in turn, requires the willingness to admit failure or slow progress as and where it happens. The National Academy of Public Administration noted that political pressures and fears of destroying or undoing progress can serve as a motivation to keep aid flowing, despite failure to comply with or meet agreed conditions.[153] In Afghanistan, the DOD Inspector General reported in 2016 that the CSTC-A’s ability to develop the capacity of the ministries was limited because CSTC-A officials failed to enforce the conditions, and were reluctant to let recipient institutions fail.[154] Similarly, the head of Shafafyiat task force commented that while conditionality had potential, it required tight coordination between donors and, above all, willingness to acknowledge that things were not going well to start with. Without a common understanding of what progress looked like and what needed to be done to push for it, donors could be played off against each other and conditionality would not work.[155]

Countering corruption in personnel: recruitment and payroll

The existence of ghost soldiers is often enabled by a lack of electronic, transparent, and integrated salary and payroll system capable of keeping track of changes in personnel numbers. In Afghanistan, the starting point for implementing salary systems was a difficult one: when the OEF mission began to set up ANA units, most Afghans did not possess a bank account and there was no electronic money transfer capacity, meaning that payments were issued and transferred in cash.[156] In addition, there were no systems to gather, verify, or relay data on personnel numbers except for oral reports from ANA officers that were passed up the chain of command via radios. These were subject to little oversight from supervisors, and prone to manipulation and abuses.[157]

Equally, there has been very little oversight over the actual disbursement of funds that the Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan (CSTC-A) passes on to the Afghan Ministry of Finance for salary payments. While documentation of payments made through the MoF and commercial banks to particular units reportedly do exist, they are not verified or audited.[158]

The introduction of electronic payroll systems into the ANP – the Afghan Human Resource Information Management System (AHRIMS) and the Electronic Payroll System (EPS) sought to address some of these issues. However, they were not fully successful, leaving them only partially functional by January 2015; their current effectiveness was being verified by audits at the time of writing.[159] Even if the systems themselves functioned well, whether they prevent corruption depends on the availability of reliable baseline data as well as frequent updates. Their complexity and reliance on a steady supply of electricity to function well also leaves them vulnerable to interruptions and in need of frequent monitoring.[160]

Modernising resource management systems

Closing gaps in the monitoring of contracting and delivery of weapons and fuel to the ANDSF could go some way toward addressing corruption risks. For example, verifying prices of fuel in the market and assigning amounts of fuel to particular units based on reliable consumption data (rather than, as occurred frequently, a single month of fuel use).[161] Monitoring the delivery and use of weapons provided to ANDSF was hobbled by the existence of two separate systems used to register weapons: the Security Cooperation Information Portal (SCIP), and the Operational Verification of Reliable Logistics Oversight Database (OVERLORD). The former was used to keep track of weapons leaving the US and the latter for weapons arriving in Afghanistan. There was, however, no link between the two systems and information had to be manually entered, reducing their effectiveness as monitoring tools. One audit found that about 43% of entries in the OVERLORD system were either incomplete or duplicated. The ANA, the ultimate recipient of the weapons, used a third system – Core Inventory Management System – to track their supplies, but the records were incomplete and frequently unreliable. Site visits, few and far between, were also not regular enough to provide a good picture of the weapons being used and stored, or to account for weapons that were no longer necessary as Afghan needs and requirements changed.[162] Ensuring the use of integrated systems, combined with site monitoring, could help reduce the opportunities of corruption.

Cooperation with civil society: whistleblowing and monitoring

Among a number of civil society organisations reporting on corruption in Afghanistan – including the Afghan Analyst Network and Global Witness – the work of Integrity Watch Afghanistan in monitoring reconstruction projects improved project outcomes, empowered local communities to demand that government institutions respect their obligations, and built links between the communities and the elites in the Afghan government. IWA has trained community representatives to monitor projects funded and implemented by US forces, including roads, bridges and ANDSF facilities.[163] Its previous advocacy has led to ISAF adopting a policy of contracting transparency, which in turn enabled community oversight over military-funded projects. With community involvement came better buy-in from local communities and greater likelihood that objectives related to peace and security could be achieved.

Participation of civil society in monitoring and oversight is the flip side of transparency. While availability of data itself does not improve outcomes, the work of organisations which make use of that data can help achieve better outcomes. In order for civil society to be effectively involved, however, the following conditions need to be fulfilled:

  • Collective engagement from communities and monitors, creating pressure on government institutions and enabling involvement from the monitors
  • Buy-in from government institutions financing the projects
  • Monitor expertise and sense of collective engagement.[164]

Mitigating corruption in sustainment: Task Force 2010

The discovery of finances flowing from ISAF contracts through corrupt sub-contractors to insurgent groups promoted the creation of a specific task force mandated to vet contractors and flag those suspected of possessing links with insurgents: Task Force 2010. Contractors were graded on an A-D scale, with ‘A’ denoting ‘beyond suspicion’ and ‘D’ signalling near-certainty that a company was in fact cooperating with insurgent groups. While TF 2010 was not specifically geared toward tackling corruption, it was one of the factors they took into consideration when assessing contractors,[165] and the overall mode of operating could well be adapted to mitigating corruption risks in sustainment.

TF 2010 checks were preventive in nature and did not include monitoring or oversight of contracts and projects being implemented. They did, however, enable problematic companies to be suspended, disbarred or prevented from entering a contract. TF 2010 would start gathering information on potential contractors through consulting open sources and databases such as those run by US government departments or the World Bank, and gather information on particular contractors within local communities. If a company has been on the watch-list as selected by another organisation, or if community interviews were giving cause for concern, further intelligence was gathered through human sources, through signals intelligence such as phone tapping, and through analysing financial flows. In some cases, checks were initiated by observations from routine inspections, such as those of fire or health safety. That information was used by TF2010 to assign a risk rating to a company; the rating was later assessed and final decisions were taken at the level of US joint commands such as CENTCOM.[166]

Where TF2010 faced challenges was in coordinating with other interested agencies: one interviewee has noted that it was an isolated unit, which did not work directly with civilian agencies and which did not cooperate with ISAF-wide anti-corruption task forces such as Shafafiyat.[167] This means that it was likely less effective in mitigating corruption risks than it could have been; for example, if it could share information, it might help others identify corrupt networks and problematic financial flows. It did, however, pass information on to SIGAR, therefore helping to set audits and verifications in motion.[168]

Conclusions and recommendations

Rampant corruption – from seemingly petty offences to grand-scale corruption carried out by vertically integrated networks – affected all levels of the Afghan government. Corrupt practices not only wasted resources, but also directly funded the very insurgency the international forces were there to defeat. In the longer term, they undermined development, good governance, and security in Afghanistan.

While manifestations of corruption were underpinned by a complex mix of factors – from Afghanistan’s legacy of conflict to societal and tribal rivalries – they were also made possible by what the intervening forces did or, more frequently, neglected to do. Distribution and allocation of resources, for example, was heavily skewed toward short-term results rather than developing institutional structures that could support operational improvement. As donors supported the Afghanistan National Army, most of the funding – which increased from $362 million to over $1.7 billion in 2004-2005 – was directed at the forces’ fighting end, leaving the establishment of enablers and the development of the MoD’s governing and institutional structures woefully underfunded.[169] At the MoI, the Inspector General and the Ministry’s anti-corruption department received no mentoring and no attention before 2010-2011, despite the scale of the corruption problem in Afghan institutions.[170]

In post-2014 Afghanistan, diminishing international troop numbers resulted in less engagement with Afghan units, especially those below the army corps and police regional headquarters level.[171] This resulted in less oversight and more reliance on data generated by the ANDSF – long criticised as unreliable and insufficiently standardised across units – and provided more opportunities for abuses.

The ANA was increasing in size at a rate faster than the United States and its coalition partners could keep pace, especially in training and providing the institutional backbone to sustain the force, for example, in logistics, human resources, and oversight.

SIGAR, Reconstructing the Afghan Defence and Security Forces, 2017

Within the international community, the role of the military – which either supported or took over many functions of the Afghan state apparatus – the armed forces’ presence and actions could either exacerbate or mitigate corruption risks. OEF and ISAF ended up managing a sizeable budget to implement a broad and multi-disciplinary mandate that focused on ‘what’ rather than ‘how’ it was spent in a country with limited aid absorption capacity. In an international context where the number of peacekeeping and stabilisation operations only seems set to increase, it is paramount that military and civilian actors learn from this case study and understand the impact of corrupt practices and their ability to limit or further them.

Future intervention design therefore needs to reflect a more balanced approach, one that builds up institutional capacity alongside operational effectiveness, and to help host nation institutions develop their own anti-corruption and governance capabilities. This will require not only a different allocation of funding, but also appropriate levels of expertise among deployed personnel to provide mentoring, expertise and advice.

In order for this to happen, missions need to combine technical expertise and capability – usually part of the force generation process – with a political and leadership commitment to curbing the extent of corrupt practices. In some cases, this might mean accepting that progress is not always made and that host nation governments are not always the mission’s best allies. It requires preparedness to question intentions, performance, and accuracy of information, and to create wide-reaching networks that can help missions sift through often contradictory and limited information to design the most effective strategies. Importantly, mission planners – at both political and military-strategic levels – need to recognise that curbing corruption will require monetary and time investment, and therefore it needs to be planned for from the outset. These investments will pay for themselves with time, helping avoid abuses, detecting problems, and spreading norms of good governance.

Future mission planning also needs to consider coordination between donors and among donor agencies in one country. In the US, for example, the mandate to provide security assistance is divided between the State Department – responsible for programmes such as Foreign Military Sales and International Military Education and Training – and the Department of Defense, with its own funding for train and equip programmes. Authorised by Congress, these programmes have tended to operate as separate pots of activity, with limited coordination and few opportunities for an overarching programme aimed at building up governance and anti-corruption capacity. Starting in 2008, the US government implemented small programmes such as the Defence Institution Reform Initiative, aimed at institutional reform, and Ministry of Defence Advisors, which placed civilian advisers within the Afghan MoD. However, it never managed to put in place a wide-ranging, coordinated approach that would put all relevant initiatives in the context of institutional development and sustainability.[172] Similarly, the flow of funds to and management of the Law and Order Trust for Afghanistan (LOTFA, affected by its own corruption issues), a multi-donor fund aiming to cover police salaries, made sustainability and forward planning unachievable. Delays and fluctuating funding levels on the part of donors meant that at one point, LOTFA funding fell from $21 million to $2 million from year to year, effectively making it impossible to establish and monitor consistent systems or programming.[173] Donor coordination and longer-term programming could help design initiatives with an element of institution building and oversight.

ANNEX 1: INTERVIEWS

This paper uses data from interviews conducted in 2017 and 2018 expressly for the paper, as well as interviews conducted as part of the research into a previous publication released by TI-DS: Corruption: Lessons from the international mission in Afghanistan, February 2015, available at http://ti-defence.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/150217-Corruption-Lessons-from-the-international-mission-in-Afghanistan.pdf.

All interviews have been anonymised for consistency.

Interview 1: Former Task Force 2010 official, August 2017

Interview 2: Former high-ranking officer, Task Force Shafafyiat, January 2018

Interview 3: Former military officer, Task Force Shafafyiat, July 2017

Interview 10: UK official, via email, September 2018

Interview 11: US military officer, October 2018

Interview 12: High-ranking military officer, formerly of Task Force Shafafyiat, October 2012.

Interview 13: International civilian official, November 2012

Interview 14: International academic, October 2012.

ENDNOTES

  1. NATO, ‘ISAF’s mission in Afghanistan (2001-2014)’, 1 September 2015, available at https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_69366.htm.

  2. NATO, ‘ISAF’s mission in Afghanistan (2001-2014)’, 1 September 2015, available at https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_69366.htm.

  3. President George W. Bush, Presidential Address to the Nation, Washington D.C.: The White House, 7 October 2001, available at https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2001/10/20011007-8.html. The British mandate was modelled along similar lines and can be found at Letter from Stewart Eldon, Chargé d’Affaires, UK Mission to the UN in New York, to the President of the Security Council, S/2001/947, 7 October 2001. More information can be found at Operation Enduring Freedom and the Conflict in Afghanistan: An Update, London: House of Commons Library, 31 October 2001.

  4. NATO, ‘ISAF’s mission in Afghanistan (2001-2014)’, 1 September 2015, available at https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_69366.htm.

  5. UN Security Council resolution 1378/2001, Adopted by the Security Council at its 4415th meeting, on 14 November 2001, S/RES/1378 (2001).; UN Security Council resolution 1383/2001, Adopted by the Security Council at its 4434th meeting, on 6 December 2001, S/RES/1383 (2001).; UN Security Council resolution 1386/2001, Adopted by the Security Council at its 4443rd meeting, on 20 December 2001, S/RES/1386 (2001).; UN Security Council resolution 1413/2001, Adopted by the Security Council at its 4541st meeting, on 23 May 2002, S/RES/1413 (2002).; UN Security Council resolution 1444/2001, Adopted by the Security Council at its 4651st meeting, on 27 November 2002, S/RES/1444 (2002).; UN Security Council resolution 1510/2003, Adopted by the Security Council at its 4840th meeting, on 13 October 2003, S/RES/1510 (2003).; UN Security Council resolution 1563/2004, Adopted by the Security Council at its 5038th meeting, on

    17 September 2004, S/RES/1563 (2004).; UN Security Council resolution 1623/2005, Adopted by the Security Council at its 5260th meeting, on 13 September 2005, S/RES/1623 (2005).; UN Security Council resolution 1707/2006, Adopted by the Security Council at its 5521st meeting, on 12 September 2006, S/RES/1707 (2006).; UN Security Council resolution 1776/2007, Adopted by the Security Council at its 5744th meeting, on 19 September 2007, S/RES/1776 (2007).; UN Security Council resolution 1817/2008, Adopted by the Security Council at its 5907th meeting, on 11 June 2008, S/RES/1817 (2008).; UN Security Council resolution 1833/2008, Adopted by the Security Council at its 5977th meeting, on 22 September 2008, S/RES/1833 (2008).; UN Security Council resolution 1890/2009, Adopted by the Security Council at its 6198th meeting, on 8 October 2009, S/RES/1890 (2009).; UN Security Council resolution 1917/2010, Adopted by the Security Council at its 6290th meeting, on 22 March 2010, S/RES/1917 (2010).; UN Security Council resolution 1943/2010, Adopted by the Security Council at its 6395th meeting, on 13 October 2010, S/RES/1943 (2010).; UN Security Council resolution 2011/2011, Adopted by the Security Council at its 6629th meeting, on 12 October 2011, S/RES/2011 (2011).; UN Security Council resolution 2069/2012, Adopted by the Security Council at its 6843rd meeting, on 9 October 2012, S/RES/2069 (2012).; UN Security Council resolution 2120/2013, Adopted by the Security Council at its 7041st meeting, on 10 October 2013, S/RES/2120 (2013).

  6. UN Security Council resolution 1817/2008, Adopted by the Security Council at its 5907th meeting, on 11 June 2008, S/RES/1817 (2008).

  7. UN Security Council resolution 1890/2009, Adopted by the Security Council at its 6198th meeting, on 8 October 2009, S/RES/1890 (2009).; UN Security Council resolution 1943/2010, Adopted by the Security Council at its 6395th meeting, on 13 October 2010, S/RES/1943 (2010).; UN Security Council resolution 2011/2011, Adopted by the Security Council at its 6629th meeting, on 12 October 2011, S/RES/2011 (2011).; UN Security Council resolution 2069/2012, Adopted by the Security Council at its 6843rd meeting, on 9 October 2012, S/RES/2069 (2012).; UN Security Council resolution 2096/2013, Adopted by the Security Council at its 6935th meeting, on 19 March 2013, S/RES/2096 (2013).; UN Security Council resolution 2120/2013, Adopted by the Security Council at its 7041st meeting, on 10 October 2013, S/RES/2120 (2013).; UN Security Council resolution 2145, Adopted by the Security Council at its 7139th meeting, on 17 March 2014, S/RES/2145 (2014).

  8. UN Security Council resolution 1917/2010, Adopted by the Security Council at its 6290th meeting, on 22 March 2010, S/RES/1917 (2010).; UN Security Council resolution 2096/2013, Adopted by the Security Council at its 6935th meeting, on 19 March 2013, S/RES/2096 (2013).; UN Security Council resolution 2145, Adopted by the Security Council at its 7139th meeting, on 17 March 2014, S/RES/2145 (2014).

  9. NATO Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre, Corruption and Anti-Corruption: Theory and Practice from NATO Operations, 27 June 2013, http://www.jallc.nato.int/products/docs/jallc_report_corruption_releasable.pdf, pp. 2 & 9.

  10. See for example Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, Corruption in Conflict: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan, Arlington: SIGAR, September 2016.

  11. NATO Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre, Corruption and Anti-Corruption: Theory and Practice from NATO Operations, 27 June 2013. P. 7. Available at: http://www.jallc.nato.int/products/docs/jallc_report_corruption_releasable.pdf [accessed November 2018].

  12. Clayton Thomas, Afghanistan: Background and U.S. Policy: In Brief, Congressional Research Service, 1 November 2018, https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R45122.pdf, pp. 13-14.

  13. Afghanistan, The World Bank Data, https://data.worldbank.org/country/afghanistan, [accessed November 2018].

  14. United Nations, Least Developed Country Category: Afghanistan Profile, https://www.un.org/development/desa/dpad/least-developed-country-afghanistan.html, [accessed November 2018].

  15. See SIGAR, Corruption in Conflict, pp. 12-13, 31-67.

  16. President George W. Bush, Presidential Address to the Nation, Washington D.C: The White House, 7 October 2001, available at https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2001/10/20011007-8.html. The British mandate was modeled along similar lines and can be found at Letter from Stewart Eldon, Chargé d’Affaires, UK Mission to the UN in New York, to the President of the Security Council, S/2001/947, 7 October 2001. More information can be found at Operation Enduring Freedom and the Conflict in Afghanistan: An Update, London: House of Commons Library, 31 October 2001.

  17. Ibid.

  18. NATO, ‘ISAF’s mission in Afghanistan (2001-2014)’, 1 September 2015, available at https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_69366.htm.

  19. Sarah Chayes, The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan after the Taliban, St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 2006, p. 12.

  20. Antonio Giustozzi and Noor Ullah, ‘The Inverted Cycle: Kabul and the Strongmen’s Competition for Control over Kandahar, 2001-2006’, Central Asian Survey, vol. 26, no. 2, 2007.

  21. Sarah Chayes, The Punishment of Virtue, p. 12.

  22. Tyler Marshall, ‘Warlord’s Politics Could Prove Problematic’, Los Angeles Times, 24 October 2001, http://articles.latimes.com/2001/oct/24/news/mn-60965.

  23. Peter Maass, ‘Gul Agha Gets His Province Back’, The New York Times, 6 January 2002, available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/06/magazine/gul-agha-gets-his-province-back.html

  24. Multiple sources, see; ‘The Taliban are forced out of Afghanistan’, BBC History, 2018 http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/events/the_taliban_are_forced_out_of_afghanistan;

    ‘Celebrations, Confusion as Kandahar falls’, CNN World, 7 December 2001, http://edition.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/central/12/07/ret.kandahar.surrender/.

  25. On press reports of these events see ‘Washington mit der Afghanistan-Konferenz zufrieden’, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 10 December 2001; ‘Afghan fighters close in on Bin Laden, Squabble over Kandahar’, People’s Daily, 9 December, 2001; Giustozzi and Ullah ‘The inverted cycle: Kabul and the strongmen’s competition for control over Kandahar, 2001-2006’.

  26. Maass, ‘Gul Agha Gets His Province Back’

  27. Ibid.

  28. Stability Operations Information Center, Kabul Kanadahar City Municipality and Dand District: District Narrative Analysis, Kabul: Department of Defense, 30 March 2010, https://info.publicintelligence.net/SOICKandaharAssessment.pdf.

  29. Ashley Jackson, Politics and Governance in Afghanistan: The case of Kandahar, London: Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium, June 2015, http://areu.org.af/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/1513E-Politics-and-governance-in-Afghanistan-The-case-of-Kandahar.pdf.

  30. Carl Forsberg, Politics and Power in Kandahar, Washington D.C.: Institute for the Study of War. April 2010; Conrad Jennings, ‘Update from Kandahar: A City in Crisis and Implications for NATO’, The Culture and Conflict Review, 1 November 2008.

  31. Giustozzi and Ullah, ‘The Inverted Cycle’

  32. Multiple sources; Paul Richter and Peter G. Gosselin, ‘Hundreds of Marines Land Near Kandahar; Kunduz Falls’, Los Angeles Times, 26 November 2001, http://articles.latimes.com/2001/nov/26/news/mn-8445;

    Peter Symonds, ‘Kandahar: the Taliban’s last stronghold in Afghanistan falls’, World Socialist Website, 11 December 2001, https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2001/12/afgh-d11.html.

  33. Jason Motlagh, ‘Kandahar Air Base: Part Afghanistan, Part Jersey Shore’, 5 July 2010, http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2001475,00.htmlS

  34. Michael M. Phillips, ‘Battlefield Business Deals Are Cut as Marines Find Willing Contractors’, The Wall Street Journal, 19 December 2001, https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB1008713995502982560.

  35. Ahmed Rashid, Descent into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia, New York: Viking Press, 2008.

  36. Anand Gopal, No Good Men Among The Living, New York: Metropolitan Books, 2014.

  37. ‘Dedicated to Sarah Chayes’, The Transom Review, vol. 3, no. 6, 2003, http://wwww.transom.org/guests/review/200310.review.chayes.html; Sarah Chayes, ‘Rebuilding Akokolacha’, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 December 2002; Sarah Chayes, ‘On the ground, no stability’, interview on Afghan Independent Radio, 20 August 2003, available at http://talk.transom.org/WebX?14@174.ZTrial14fLo.141053@.eeaf8bb/0.

  38. James Risen, ‘Intrigue in Karzai Family as Afghan Era Closes’, The New York Times, 3 June 2012, https://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/04/world/asia/karzai-family-moves-to-protect-its-privilege.html

  39. Forsberg, Politics and Power in Kandahar, p.30.

  40. Gopal, No Good Men Among The Living.

  41. Gopal, No Good Men Among The Living, p. 108.

  42. Jennifer Murtazashvili, ‘Gaming the State: Consequences of Contracting out State Building in Afghanistan’, Central Asian Survey, vol. 34, no. 1, 5 March 2015.

  43. UNODC, ‘Corruption in Afghanistan: Recent Patterns and Trends.’ Vienna: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Islamic Republic of Afghanistan High Office of Oversight and AntiCorruption, 2012; UNODC. ‘Afghanistan: Opium Survey 2012’. Kabul: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ministry of Counter Narcotics, 2012.

  44. Murtazashvili, ‘Gaming the State: Consequences of Contracting out State Building in Afghanistan’.

  45. Gopal, No Good Men Among The Living, p 109.

  46. Chayes, The Punishment of Virtue, p. 274.

  47. Chayes, The Punishment of Virtue, p. 274.

  48. Gopal, No Good Men Among The Living, p 109.

  49. Vernon Loeb and Thomas E. Ricks, ‘1 Killed, 59 Held in Raid on Suspected Taliban Camp’, The Washington Post, 25 May 2002 https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2002/05/25/1-killed-59-held-in-raid-on-suspected-taliban-camp/0226b491-df01-4d81-aabf-21a5cf9c1c2d/?utm_term=.ea65c9458a1f

  50. Gopal, No Good Men Among The Living, pp 116-117.

  51. University of Montana, ‘District assessment: Kandahar-city, Kandahar Province,’ November 2009, http://www.umt.edu/mansfield/dclcp/documents/kandahar.pdf, p. ii

  52. Chayes, The Punishment of Virtue, p. 178.

  53. Jackson, ‘Politics and Governance in Afghanistan: The Case of Kandahar’.

  54. Gopal, No Good Men Among The Living, p 110.

  55. Gopal, No Good Men Among The Living, p 110; Anonymous, Hunting al Qaeda: A take-no-Prisoners Account of Terror, Adventure, and Disillusionment, Minneapolis: Zenith Press, 8 October 2009.

  56. Quoted in Astri Suhrke, ‘The Peace in Between’, in Astri Suhrke and Mats Berdal (eds.), The Peace in Between. Post-War Violence and Peacebuilding, London: Routledge, 2012, p. 16.

  57. Stability Operations Information Center, Kabul Kandahar City Municipality and Dand District: District Narrative Analysis; Forsberg, Politics and Power in Kandahar.

  58. U.S. House of Representatives, Warlord, Inc.: Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghnaistan, 22 June 2010 pp. 14-15.

  59. SIGAR, Reconstructing the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan, p. ix, 31-33, 2017; Joras and Schuster, Private Security Companies and Local Populations, pp. 21-33.

  60. Michael Bhatia and Mark Sedra, Afghanistan, Arms and Conflict: Armed Groups, Disarmament and Security in a post-war Society, London and New York: Routledge, 228-229, 236-242.

  61. Ulrike Joras and Adrian Schuster (eds.), Private Security Companies and Local Populations: An Exploratory Study of Afghanistan and Angola, Bern: Swisspeace, November 2008, p. 28.

  62. Joras and Schuster, Private Security Companies and Local Populations, p. 21.

  63. U.S. HoRs, Warlord Inc., p. 2.

  64. SIGAR, Corruption in Conflict, p. viii; Al Jazeera, ‘World donors pledge $15 billion for Afghanistan’, 5 October 2016. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/10/afghanistan-aid-donors-pledge-billions-brussels-161005130723718.html.

  65. SIGAR, Testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Armed Services U.S. House of Representatives. Assessing the Capabilities and Effectiveness of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, 12 February 2016, pp. 1-3.

  66. SIGAR, Afghan National Defense and Security Forces: DOD Cannot Fully Account for U.S.-funded

    Infrastructure Transferred to the Afghan Government, Arlington: SIGAR, February 2018, p. 23.

  67. It is important to note that fears of ANP and ANA, while high, were still lower than fears for personal safety when encountering Western troops, which oscillated around 79%. See The Asia Foundation, ‘A Survey of the Afghan People. Afghanistan in 2017. 14 November 2017. pp. 45-46.

  68. SIGAR, Reconstructing the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan, September 2017, available at https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/lessonslearned/sigar-17-62-ll.pdf ,p. 157

  69. Antonio Giustozzi and Artemy Kalinovsky, Missionaries of Modernity: Advisory Missions and the Struggle for Hegemony in Afghanistan and Beyond, London: Hurst Publishers, March 2016. pp. 265-7.

  70. Sarah Chayes, Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 19 January 2015; Sarah Chayes ‘The Structure of Corruption: A Systemic Analysis Using Eurasian Cases’, Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, June 2016. p.18. On purchase of office in Afghanistan, see Mohammad Razaq Isaqzedah and Antonio Giustozzi, ‘A Call for Government Determination Fighting Corruption in Afghanistan’, Integrity Watch Afghanistan, 24 May 2015, http://integritywatch.co/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/moi_senior_appointments_and_corruption_english.pdf, 29–30.

  71. Chayes, Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security.

  72. See for instance UNODC, Corruption in Afghanistan: Recent Patterns and Trends, December 2012, http://www.unodc.org/documents/frontpage/ Corruption_in_Afghanistan_FINAL.pdf; and ‘Key Findings – NCS 2014’, Integrity Watch Afghanistan, 28 May 2014, https://iwaweb.org/key-findings-ncs-2014/.

  73. SIGAR, Testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, p. 7.

  74. SIGAR, Reconstructing the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan, p. 60.

  75. Jessica Purkiss, ‘How “ghost soldiers” could frustrate Trump’s plan for Afghanistan’, The Bureau for Investigative Journalism, 25 September 2017. https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2017-09-25/ghost-soldiers-frustrating-trumps-plans-for-afghanistan.

  76. SIGAR, ‘Afghan National Police: More than $300 Million in Annual, U.S.-funded Salary Payments Is Based on Partially Verified or Reconciled Data’, Audit Report 15-26-AR, 1/2015.

  77. Ibid.

  78. Ibid. pp. 132-133.

  79. U.S. Department of Defense, ‘Operation Freedom’s Sentinel: Report to the United States Congress’, September 2016, available at https://oig.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/other-reports/ofs4_sept2016_gold.pdf, p.66.

  80. Mohammad Isaqzadeh and Antonio Giustozzi, On Afghanistan’s Roads: Extortion and Abuse against Drivers, Integrity Watch Afghanistan, November 2013, https://iwaweb.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/on_afghanistans_roads_extortion_and_abuse_against_driver.pdf

  81. SIGAR, Reconstructing the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan, pp. 132-133.

  82. U.S. Department of Justice, ‘Former Staff Sergeant Sentenced for Stealing Public Money Earmarked for Her Military Unit’, 10 January 2013, available at https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/charlotte/press-releases/2013/former-staff-sergeant-sentenced-for-stealing-public-money-earmarked-for-her-military-unit.

  83. BBC News, ‘British troops investigated for heroin smuggling’, 12 September 2010, available at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11277466.

  84. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, ‘Investigations – Criminal Cases: Gallery of Greed’, 2018, available at https://www.sigar.mil/investigations/criminalcases/index.aspx?SSR=3&SubSSR=20&WP=Criminal%20Cases.

  85. Julia Harte, ‘U.S. Military Personnel have been convicted of $50 million worth of crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan’, Center for Public Integrity, 8 May 2015.

  86. Lawrence J. M. Haas, Leonardo Mazzei, and Donald O’Leary, ‘Setting Standards for Communication and Governance’, Washington D.C.: The World Bank, 2007; The World Bank, ‘Fighting Corruption in Afghanistan: Summaries of Vulnerabilities to Corruption Assessments’, Washington D.C.: The World Bank, 2009.

  87. SIGAR, ‘Investigations – Criminal Cases: Gallery of Greed’, 2018.

  88. U.S. Department of Justice, ‘Former U.S. Army Colonel Pleads Guilty to False Statements and Conflict of Interest in Connection with Helicopter Procurement Contracts’, 20 April 2015, available at https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndal/pr/former-us-army-colonel-pleads-guilty-false-statements-and-conflict-interest-connection.

  89. U.S. Department of Justice, ‘Former Employee of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Afghanistan Sentenced to Prison for Soliciting Approximately $320,000 in Bribes From Contractors’, 8 March 2018, available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-employee-us-army-corps-engineers-afghanistan-sentenced-prison-soliciting-approximately.

  90. SIGAR, ‘Investigations – Criminal Cases: Gallery of Greed’; U.S. Department of Justice, ‘Former Army Sergeant Sentenced On His Guilty Plea To Money Laundering Conspiracy Resulting From Bribes Sergeant Received In Afghanistan’, 9 January 2015, available at https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdtn/pr/former-army-sergeant-sentenced-his-guilty-plea-money-laundering-conspiracy-resulting; U.S. Department of Justice, ‘Lebanon Service Man Charged For Conspiracy To Receive Bribes While Serving In Afghanistan’13 March 2015, available at https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdpa/pr/lebanon-service-man-charged-conspiracy-receive-bribes-while-serving-afghanistan; U.S. Department of Justice, ‘Army Sergeant Sentenced to Prison for Conspiracy in Afghanistan Bribery Scheme’, 10 December 2015, available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/army-sergeant-sentenced-prison-conspiracy-afghanistan-bribery-scheme; U.S. Department of Justice, ‘Former Navy Noncommissioned Officer Sentenced to 24 Months in Prison for Accepting Bribes While Serving in Afghanistan’, 29 March 2016, available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-navy-noncommissioned-officer-sentenced-24-months-prison-accepting-bribes-while-serving; U.S. Department of Justice, ‘Former U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribe While Serving in Afghanistan’, 22 May 2018, available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-us-air-force-staff-sergeant-pleads-guilty-accepting-bribe-while-serving-afghanistan;

  91. SIGAR, ‘Investigations – Criminal Cases: Gallery of Greed’.

  92. U.S. Department of Justice, ‘Former Army Sergeant Sentenced On His Guilty Plea To Money Laundering Conspiracy Resulting From Bribes Sergeant Received In Afghanistan’.; U.S. Department of Justice, ‘Army Sergeant Sentenced to Prison for Conspiracy in Afghanistan Bribery Scheme’.

  93. U.S. Department of Justice, ‘Former Employee of U.S. Government Contractor in Afghanistan Pleads Guilty to Foreign Transportation of Approximately $104,000 in Stolen Money’, 26 April 2018, available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-employee-us-government-contractor-afghanistan-pleads-guilty-foreign-transportation.

  94. U.S. Department of Justice, ‘Former Employee of U.S. Government Contractor in Afghanistan Pleads Guilty to Foreign Transportation of Approximately $104,000 in Stolen Money’, 26 April 2018, available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-employee-us-government-contractor-afghanistan-pleads-guilty-foreign-transportation.

  95. U.S. Department of Justice, ‘Former Employee of U.S. Government Contractor in Afghanistan Pleads Guilty to Foreign Transportation of Approximately $104,000 in Stolen Money’, 26 April 2018, available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-employee-us-government-contractor-afghanistan-pleads-guilty-foreign-transportation.

  96. BBC News, ‘British troops investigated for heroin smuggling’, 12 September 2010, available at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11277466; Radio N.Z., ‘Claims British and Canadian troops smuggled heroin’, 13 September 2010, available at http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/56692/claims-british-and-canadian-troops-smuggled-heroin.

  97. Reported in Express U.K., ‘Probe into troop heroin allegations’, 12 September 2010, available at https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/199104/Probe-into-troop-heroin-allegations.

  98. United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, ‘Addiction, Crime and Insurgency: The Transnational Threat of Afghan Opium’, October 2009, available at https://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/Afghanistan/Afghan_Opium_Trade_2009_web.pdf.

  99. President George W. Bush, Presidential Address to the Nation, Washington D.C.: The White House, 7 October 2001, available at https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2001/10/20011007-8.html. The British mandate was modelled along similar lines and can be found at Letter from Stewart Eldon, Chargé d’Affaires, UK Mission to the UN in New York, to the President of the Security Council, S/2001/947, 7 October 2001. More information can be found at Operation Enduring Freedom and the Conflict in Afghanistan: An Update, London: House of Commons Library, 31 October 2001.

  100. NATO, ‘ISAF’s mission in Afghanistan (2001-2014)’, 1 September 2015, available at https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_69366.htm.

  101. UN Security Council resolution 1378/2001, Adopted by the Security Council at its 4415th meeting, on 14 November 2001, S/RES/1378 (2001).; UN Security Council resolution 1383/2001, Adopted by the Security Council at its 4434th meeting, on 6 December 2001, S/RES/1383 (2001).; UN Security Council resolution 1386/2001, Adopted by the Security Council at its 4443rd meeting, on 20 December 2001, S/RES/1386 (2001).; UN Security Council resolution 1413/2001, Adopted by the Security Council at its 4541st meeting, on 23 May 2002, S/RES/1413 (2002).; UN Security Council resolution 1444/2001, Adopted by the Security Council at its 4651st meeting, on 27 November 2002, S/RES/1444 (2002).; UN Security Council resolution 1510/2003, Adopted by the Security Council at its 4840th meeting, on 13 October 2003, S/RES/1510 (2003).; UN Security Council resolution 1563/2004, Adopted by the Security Council at its 5038th meeting, on

    17 September 2004, S/RES/1563 (2004).; UN Security Council resolution 1623/2005, Adopted by the Security Council at its 5260th meeting, on 13 September 2005, S/RES/1623 (2005).; UN Security Council resolution 1707/2006, Adopted by the Security Council at its 5521st meeting, on 12 September 2006, S/RES/1707 (2006).; UN Security Council resolution 1776/2007, Adopted by the Security Council at its 5744th meeting, on 19 September 2007, S/RES/1776 (2007).; UN Security Council resolution 1817/2008, Adopted by the Security Council at its 5907th meeting, on 11 June 2008, S/RES/1817 (2008).; UN Security Council resolution 1833/2008, Adopted by the Security Council at its 5977th meeting, on 22 September 2008, S/RES/1833 (2008).; UN Security Council resolution 1890/2009, Adopted by the Security Council at its 6198th meeting, on 8 October 2009, S/RES/1890 (2009).; UN Security Council resolution 1917/2010, Adopted by the Security Council at its 6290th meeting, on 22 March 2010, S/RES/1917 (2010).; UN Security Council resolution 1943/2010, Adopted by the Security Council at its 6395th meeting, on 13 October 2010, S/RES/1943 (2010).; UN Security Council resolution 2011/2011, Adopted by the Security Council at its 6629th meeting, on 12 October 2011, S/RES/2011 (2011).; UN Security Council resolution 2069/2012, Adopted by the Security Council at its 6843rd meeting, on 9 October 2012, S/RES/2069 (2012).; UN Security Council resolution 2120/2013, Adopted by the Security Council at its 7041st meeting, on 10 October 2013, S/RES/2120 (2013).

  102. UN Security Council resolution 1817/2008, Adopted by the Security Council at its 5907th meeting, on 11 June 2008, S/RES/1817 (2008).

  103. NATO Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre, Corruption and Anti-Corruption: Theory and Practice from NATO Operations, 27 June 2013, http://www.jallc.nato.int/products/docs/jallc_report_corruption_releasable.pdf, pp. 2 & 9.

  104. Majority Staff, Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Warlord, Inc. Extortion and Corruption Along The U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan. Washington: U.S. House of Representatives, June 2010. https://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/HNT_Report.pdf, pp. 2, 55.

  105. SIGAR Quarterly Report to Congress, 30 July 2017, https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/2017-07-30qr.pdf, p. 47.

  106. Ibid., p. 54.

  107. Transparency International UK, Corruption Threats and International Missions, Transparency UK Defence and Security Programme: London, 2014, p.35.

  108. JCOA, Operationalising Counter/ Anti-Corruption, 2014, p.23.

  109. SIGAR, SIGAR Information Paper: CJIATF-Afghanistan, 2013

  110. SIGAR, SIGAR Letter to General Joseph F. Dunford Jnr, 2017 [online] Available at: https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/special%20projects/SIGAR-14-88-SP.pdf [Accessed 2 Jun. 2017]. p.3.

  111. SIGAR, SIGAR Letter to General Joseph F. Dunford Jnr, 2017 [online] Available at: https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/special%20projects/SIGAR-14-88-SP.pdf [Accessed 2 Jun. 2017]. p.2.

  112. SIGAR, Corruption in Conflict: Lessons from the U.S Experience in Afghanistan, 2016 [online] Available at: https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/lessonslearned/SIGAR-16-58-LL.pdf [Accessed 05 Jun 2017] , p.96.

  113. JCOA, Operationalising Counter/ Anti-Corruption, 2014 p.24-25.

  114. Allan, T.S., ‘Addressing the Ignored Imperative: Rural Corruption in Afghanistan’, Small Wars Journal, 2013 [online] Available at: http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/addressing-an-ignored-imperative-rural-corruption-in-afghanistan [Accessed 6 Jun 2017]

  115. Interview 2.

  116. Interview 2.

  117. Vanda Felbab-Brown, How Predatory Crime and Corruption in Afghanistan underpin the Taliban insurgency, Brookings Institution, 2017. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2017/04/18/how-predatory-crime-and-corruption-in-afghanistan-underpin-the-taliban-insurgency/; Douglas Wissing, ‘Why We Lost The Afghan War’, Breaking Defense, 1 May 2017, https://breakingdefense.com/2017/05/why-we-lost-the-afghan-war/; SIGAR, Corruption in Conflict, p. 40.

  118. International Military Officer, 19.03.12, Anonymous transcripts, p.41.

  119. SIGAR, SIGAR Information Paper: CJIATF-Shafafiyat, 2013, p.4-5.

  120. Interview 3.

  121. JCOA, Operationalising Counter/ Anti-Corruption, 2014, p.24.

  122. Sullivan, T. and Forsberg, C. (2017). Confronting the Threat of Organised Crime in Afghanistan: Implications for Future Armed Conflict. [online] Center for Complex Operations. Available at: http://cco.ndu.edu/Portals/96/Documents/prism/prism_4-4/Confronting_the_threat_of_Corruption_corrected_II.pdf [Accessed 7 Jun. 2017]. p.163.

  123. Interview 4.

  124. Saad Mustafa, et al., ‘Fighting Corruption in Conflict Areas’, in Lucius Gerard & Rietjens Sebastiaan (eds.), Effective Civil-Military Interaction in Peace Operations: Theory and Practice, 2016, pp. 205-219, p. 212.

  125. Interview 2.

  126. Interview 2.

  127. Nojumi, N, American State-building in Afghanistan and Its Regional Consequences, Rowman & Littlefield: London, 2016, p.70.

  128. International Policy Maker, 07/12/12, Anonymous transcripts, p.56.

  129. Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee, ‘Report of the Public Inquiry into the Kabul Bank Crisis’, 15 November 2012, p. 2. Available at: http://mec.af/files/knpir-final.pdf [accessed 19 November 2018].

  130. Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee, ‘Report of the Public Inquiry into the Kabul Bank Crisis’, p. 9.

  131. Jon Boone, ‘The financial scandal that broke Afghanistan’s Kabul Bank’, The Guardian, 16 June 2011 (online). Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/jun/16/kabul-bank-afghanistan-financial-scandal [accessed 16 November 2018].

  132. Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee, ‘Report of the Public Inquiry into the Kabul Bank Crisis’, pp. 62.

  133. Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee, ‘Report of the Public Inquiry into the Kabul Bank Crisis’, pp. 65-66.

  134. Interview 13, Interview 14.

  135. Allan, T.S., ‘Addressing the Ignored Imperative: Rural Corruption in Afghanistan’, Small Wars Journal, 2013 [online] Available at: http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/addressing-an-ignored-imperative-rural-corruption-in-afghanistan [Accessed 6 June 2017].

  136. JALLC, ‘Counter and Anti-Corruption – Theory and Practice from NATO Operations’ p.10.

  137. Interview 3.

  138. Interview 3.

  139. Interview 3.

  140. Interview 3.

  141. Interview 3.

  142. https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=8f492cad-c0e9-488a-8d27-4a810ff578bc

  143. Kevin L. Perkins, ‘Statement before the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan’, 24 May 2010, https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/news/testimony/the-fbis-efforts-to-combat-international-contract-corruption

  144. https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/2012-01-30qr.pdf p.26.

  145. https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09BAGHDAD2927_a.html

  146. https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/2015-07-30qr-section2.pdf p.53-54.

  147. https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09BAGHDAD2927_a.html

  148. Interview 12 and Interview 13.

  149. SIGAR, Stabilization: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan, Arlington: SIGAR, May 2018, pp. vi, 57, 64. https://www.sigar.mil/interactive-reports/stabilization/index.html

  150. ‘Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework’, 2012.

  151. SIGAR, Reconstructing the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, p. xiv.

  152. U.S. Department of Defense, Report on Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan, December 2016, pp. 87–88.

  153. National Academy of Public Administration, ‘Why Foreign Aid to Haiti Failed’, February 2006, p.27.

  154. Department of Defense Inspector General, ‘The Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s Controls Over the Contract Management Process for U.S. Direct Assistance Need Improvement’, DOD IG-2015-082, 25 February 2015, p. i, 14. See also SIGAR, ‘Quarterly Report to the United States Congress’, 30 July 2015, p. 11.

  155. Interview 2.

  156. SIGAR, Reconstructing the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, p. 22.

  157. SIGAR, ‘Testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations’, pp. 8-9.

  158. SIGAR, Afghan National Army: Millions of Dollars at Risk Due to Minimal Oversight of Personnel and Payroll Data, Arlington: SIGAR, April 2015, https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/audits/SIGAR-15-54-AR.pdf.

  159. SIGAR, Reconstructing the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, pp. 29-30; Department of Defence, ‘Reannouncement of the Audit of the Afghan Personnel and Pay System’, 21 May 2018. https://media.defense.gov/2018/May/22/2001920436/-1/-1/1/D2018-D000RJ-0135.000.PDF

  160. SIGAR, Reconstructing the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, pp. 118-119.

  161. SIGAR, Afghan National Army: controls over fuel for vehicles, generators, and power plants need strengthening to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse, Arlington: SIGAR, January 2013, https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/audits/2013-01-24audit-13-4.pdf

  162. SIGAR, Afghan National Security Forces: Actions Needed to Improve Weapons Accountability, Arlington: SIGAR, July 2014, https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/audits/SIGAR-14-84-AR.pdf

  163. IWA communication with authors

  164. Shazka Beyerle et al, Citizens as drivers of change: how citizens practice human rights to engage with the state and promote transparency and accountability, World Bank 2014, http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/278701500571128996/Citizens-as-drivers-of-change-how-citizens-practice-human-rights-to-engage-with-the-state-and-promote-transparency-and-accountability

  165. Interview 9.

  166. Interview 9.

  167. Interview 9.

  168. Interview 9.

  169. SIGAR, ‘Quarterly Report to the United States Congress’, 30 July 2015, pp. 44-45

  170. Giustozzi and Kalinovsky, Missionaries of Modernity, p. 275.

  171. SIGAR, Testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, p. 5.

  172. SIGAR, Reconstructing the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan, pp. 6-9 and 77-78; see also Transparency International, Security assistance, corruption and fragile environments: Exploring the case of Mali 2001-2012, August 2015, p. 27, http://ti-defence.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/150818-150817-Security-assistance-corruption-and-fragile-environments-Exploring-the-case-of-Mali-2001-2012.pdf;

  173. SIGAR, Reconstructing the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, pp. 29-30.