Old school mafia-style corruption in Afghanistan is like prostitution on a national level. While it is repeated as received wisdom that corruption is part of the culture, at this level the wholesale rape of the country is pure cannibalism.
Corruption is at the core of the debate at present with the culprits lined up behind President Karzai. The issue though didn’t just pop up onto our radar screens. While the fraudulent elections made it an international issue, over the last five years the situation has deteriorated. The international community has watched as the problem has worsened become more and more entrenched. The blame rests not only with the Afghan president but also with the US government that has not had an effective policy, which has lead to the present environment of impunity with no recourse for the victim, no justice system to prosecute the offenders and no real political will to fight corruption.
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Originally published at The Huffington Post on the 30th of March, 2010.