Constituent Mitigations

3.4 Establishing dedicated anti-corruption task-forces

In high-risk environments, consider the establishment of specialist anti-corruption task forces to ensure coordination and generation of expertise.

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. Task force personnel can 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.

Costs and benefits:

Dedicated anti-corruption task forces require additional personnel, ideally with particular expertise and skills. Their work is also likely to add to the work of other agencies and the mission commanders, who will need to incorporate the demands related to additional issues and coordination requirements. Moreover, the effectiveness of the task forces – especially when it comes to investigations – depends on factors that are often outside of the mission’s control, such as the quality of the host nation judicial systems and the political readiness to eradicate high-level corruption and state capture. They can therefore be an uncertain investment.

However, there are also benefits: dedicated task forces can add to a fuller operational picture and can assist in gauging the impact of corruption on operational goals and priorities. Their focus on corruption and their wide expertise can not only uncover corrupt practices, but also identify opportunities for change and – provided that mission leadership provides political support – design ways to take advantage of them.



Case Study: Afghanistan: Corruption and the making of warlords

Task Force Shafafiyat

Task Force Shafafiyat, which operated in Afghanistan between 2010 and 2014, was a multi-national and multi-agency anti-corruption organisation tasked with promoting a common understanding of corruption issues and coordinating common responses. Its key focus was on tackling corruption in the Afghan MoD and MoI. It was also, however, responsible for conducting investigations, including into the high-profile scandals at the Kabul Bank and the National Military Hospital in Kabul. While Shafafyiat has uncovered large-scale corruption schemes and promoted a common approach to addressing corruption within ISAF, its activity was hampered by lack of a regional reach in Afghanistan and by limitations of the Afghan justice system, often unable to sanction corrupt officials or translate investigative findings into prosecutions. The international community itself has also shown limited enthusiasm for Shafafyiat’s work, frequently opting to preserve relationships rather than pursue high-level corruption cases.

View case study

Case Study: Afghanistan: Corruption and the making of warlords

International Contract Corruption Task Force

The International Contract Corruption Task Force (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. Its members comprised investigative units from across the US government and its mandate was to investigate corruption and fraud related to US overseas operations.

View case study

Key Personnel

  • J1
  • J2
  • J5
  • J9
  • Command Group