Afghanistan: August 24, 2002


 Despite the need for new businesses and reconstruction, the new government provides little but obstacles for new enterprises. Bribes are demanded and permissions withheld to new businesses. "Custom duties" are demanded several times (from different warlords) as equipment and goods are trucked in from foreign countries. Extortion, robbery and theft are still common and armed guards must be hired. New police and soldiers are being trained, but this will take months and years. The long training is essential to try and convince the new recruits to be corrupt. 

Members of the government are complaining that NGOs and foreign governments are using whichever Afghan leaders they can to help distribute aid, but that most of these Afghans are corrupt and are skimming off a lot of the aid for their private use. Corruption is widespread in Afghanistan and an honest leader is very rare.


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