Corruption in Afghanistan extends beyond petty bribery and kickbacks, so much that too many Karzai power brokers gain much from war and will lose from peace. Corruption is everywhere, from the central government to development and security contracting. Speak out against corruption too strongly, however, and you may find yourself prohibited from entering the country.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai recently banned Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, from entering Kabul for alleging that Mr. Karzai and his supporters rule through exclusionary tactics and make money to stay in power.
That the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs oversight and investigations subcommittee was restricted from entering Afghanistan is appalling, given that American taxpayers spend nearly $2 billion a week on the 11-year-old conflict and almost 2,000 U.S.… Seguir leyendo »
A majority of Americans say they favor cutting U.S. foreign aid. So they should, especially for Egypt. The former president, Hosni Mubarak, left behind a political structure molded in his image. In fact, the soft transfer of power from Mr. Mubarak to the armed forces revealed Egypt’s inability to break free from the repressive features of military rule. The result: post-Mubarak Egypt has morphed into a dictatorless tyranny.
Sadly, in Egypt’s case, a freely elected civilian government may prove powerless in the face of the deeply entrenched and well-organized military. Ending America’s ample generosity to Egypt’s military, however, could produce the domestic political shake-up that country desperately needs.… Seguir leyendo »
On Feb. 13, just 48 hours after the abdication of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s 18-member Supreme Military Council abolished the constitution, dissolved parliament and vowed to hold presidential and parliamentary elections within the year. Though promising, a series of procedural changes is not a revolution. For that to happen, Egyptians must refuse to submit to an unrepresentative elite promising state-delivered economic growth – essentially, a repeat of the Mubarak era.
To plutocracy – rule by wealth – and kleptocracy – rule by theft – we humbly add “humiliocracy,” a concept coined by Moroccan scholar Mahdi Elmandjra to explain rule by humiliation. From the lowliest civil servant to the highest military general, humiliocracy is in effect when a culture internalizes the failures of economic inefficiency.… Seguir leyendo »
House minority leader John Boehner has accused President Barack Obama of endangering the mission in Afghanistan by “delaying action” on sending more troops. But present policy would require more troops than America could ever send – as many as 650,000 troops for the next 12 to 14 years, according to the US army and marine corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual metrics. This commitment of time and resources cannot be accomplished at a cost acceptable to Americans.
Many critics of the war, including Boehner, are not asking the right question when it comes to the eight-year campaign in Afghanistan: not whether the war is winnable, but whether the mission constitutes a vital national security interest.… Seguir leyendo »