Paying Bribes a Fact of Life for Most Afghans
Afghanistan’s near-legendary levels of corruption continue to worsen, with the latest UN report putting the bribery industry at $3.9 billion, twice what the Afghan government actually collects in above-the-table revenue.
Cronyism and just absurd amounts of bribery demands for all levels of government employees have been a long-standing issue for the NATO-installed regime, and even something as simple as getting electricity or running water installed requires navigating a whole array of officials, each with their hand out for a “tip” to facilitate the process.
UN figures showed roughly half of the population was forced to pay at least one bribe over the course of the past year, and many paid a lot more than one. Perhaps the most disturbing revelation, however, was a poll showing roughly two thirds of Afghans find the practice acceptable.
With official “revenues” relatively low, Afghan government employees aren’t paid particularly well and it is an accepted fact that they will solicit bribes to “top up” their earnings to a higher level.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly blamed NATO for the levels of corruption in his country, and while NATO officials throwing cash around willy-nilly they are certainly an aspect of it, but corruption has become such an ingrained part of Afghan society that it goes far beyond the occupation forces.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Kurds Hype ISIS Threats With Eye on US Escalation - October 24th, 2014
- In Kobani, Kurds See War of Attrition - October 24th, 2014
- Rebels Urge US Intervention as Syrian Forces Near Aleppo - October 24th, 2014
- Pentagon: Iraq Won't Attempt to Retake Mosul for a Year - October 24th, 2014
- US Considers Bombing Oil Pipelines a 'Viable Option' - October 24th, 2014