Posted on December 12, 2014
There have been a number of articles circulating recently illustrating the effects that corruption has on national and regional security. The schemes are very familiar and include kickbacks, bribery, ghost employees (soldiers in this case), asset misappropriation (weapons), and straight larceny. In his article for the L.A. Times Doyle McManus examines how the rampant fraud and corruption inside the Iraqi army created a situation in which the terrorist group ISIS was able to sweep virtually unopposed from Syria right down to the outskirts of Baghdad. He exposes other international examples and illustrates how the corruption inside these militaries is a threat to U.S. and regional security by allowing militant groups to flourish unchallenged by paper tigers.
Writing for Mining.Com Cecilia Jamasmie provides an extreme example of a senior Chinese military officer who sold hundreds of positions in the People's Liberation Army and shipped billions worth of gold bars that were used in bribery schemes.
All this demonstrates that corruption isn't just the innocuous 'cost of doing business' expense so many people would like to believe. Corruption hollows out government services including militaries, public health (consider the Ebola crisis), education, and development. When their people need the services to defend them from violent extremists or treat them from killer disease, the state fails and people die. The funds intended for all these services are safely layered into a flat in London or a secret account in Luxembourg.
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