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Top U.S. General in Afghanistan blames Afghan government corruption for Taliban success

McChrystal says Afghans believe U.S. military empowering corrupt officials—and it must stop
Robert Maier
Saturday 1 August 2009

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The top U.S. military leader in Afghanistan says that stopping corrupt Afghan government officials is crucial to his new strategy, according to civilian and military Pentagon officials contacted by the Associate Press. Gen. Stanley McChrystal has reassessed the strategy of attacking Taliban strongholds and will replace it with a focus on protecting the local population. By not specifically mentioning protection from whom, observers in Afghanistan feel that he is warning Afghan officials that it is time for them to respect the Afghan constitution, observe its human rights provisions, and provide a justice system that is not dependent on bribes, cronyism, and religious hypocrisy.

McChrystal feels that the U.S. military must take care in their dealings with Afghan leaders, that they are not perceived by the Afghan population to be empowering local officials. According to KabulPress commentators in Afghanistan, this lack of trust is the primary reason that the Taliban have gained strong footholds outside of Kabul. Afghans experience daily abuse of power and corruption by Karzai government appointees. In some blatant cases, government officials have been assaulted and chased from the region by local mobs frustrated by the lack of a fair justice system. The Taliban have found it easy to gain control in such situations.

This message is finally getting to the upper levels of the U.S. military, and “getting troops more active in fighting corruption” is one of McChrystal’s top recommendations.

These recommendations are part of a document to be released in two weeks that will ask for more troops and money to speed up training of 400,000 new Afghan soldiers and police. Key to this strategy, say military leaders, is that these new law enforcement officials be honest and fair in dealing with the Afghan people, which has not been their experience since the invasion by U.S. and coalition forces in 2001.


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Forum posts

  • Of course! Bit late to wake up by USA/coalition, saying ’we want freedom for Afghans from Talibans - allowed Pervesh to be sentenced to death under Taliban ’sharia’ courts - can’t be done!

    With Karzai lapping up millions of US$ to benefit himself and family, his government full of Islamists,Karzai who who feigned sympathy for Pervesh - not speaking out against his judges is Karzai covering his back not be rejected in the elections by Islamists and Talibans, and giving these judges his blessing - himself an Islamists to the core.

    I received a reply from an EU minister - strongly in favour of Human Rights - who replied after I asked to get Pervesh OUT - ’we do not interfere with the laws in Afghanistan’ - afraid to speak out ’against Koran’, but finally this general did and Bravo! for doing so.

    Young men like Pervesh hav’nt a hope to get even some freedom with Karzai & Co. getting away with applying censorship and other oppressive measures for Afghans - financed by the USA/coalition.

  • This is precisely the point. This is exactly the concern of success of Taliban. Particular examples are , the weak governament at sub national level especialiy. The governors are selected purley on relationship and warlord power not by the people. These warlords open the area for currption of themselves and their staff at provincial and district level. People recieve basic services by giving bribe which has caused millions of dollars spent of international aid and fund , in fact, gone to the pocket of these drug smugglers and human right vilioters who has reuined the system. Hence, this has made peole disconnected from governament and provide oppurtunity for Taliban to success.

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