How bad is Afghanistan? It’s so bad that Afghan President Hamid Karzai was able to run hundreds of fictitious polling sites, have over a million fraudulent votes cast on his behalf, then was able to get the run-off canceled after refusing to address voter fraud, then was saluted as the legitimately elected leader of Afghanistan by the international community.
It’s so bad that the international forces, the ones that have been promising to clean up Afghanistan and nation-build, are openly ordering troops on the ground to bribe insurgents instead of fighting them.
It should not come as much of a surprise, then, that Afghanistan finished virtually dead last in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. Only Somalia, a country with its “government” controlling a few city blocks and awash in US weapons, is in the same ballpark.
International aid continues to pour into Afghanistan, but where it goes once it arrives, nobody really knows. Officials have expressed hope that Karzai will “battle corruption” now that his second term has started, but that seems unreasonable as well. If there is a silver lining, it is that corruption can’t even hypothetically get much worse.