Investigating Corruption in the Afghan Police Force
Instability and Insecurity in Post-Conflict Societies

5: Corruption in Afghanistan: External intervention and institutional legacy


This chapter starts the process of examining the structural conditions that has embedded corruption in the majority of Afghan institutions. Moreover, trailing powerful figures – such as warlords – have cemented ties with political elites in exchange of securitising remote areas and attaining votes for those in power. The initial part of the chapter covers external intervention since late 2001 which conformed to the liberal peace doctrine. This democratisation process resulted in a rapid political arrangement at Bonn which inaugurated Hamid Karzai as the chair of the interim authority and anti-Taliban warlords – the Northern Alliance – were favoured to hunt the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the rugged mountains. Several Northern Alliance strongmen who held powerful militias were selected in the presidential cabinet and senior chief of military staff positions. This system formed patronage relations and forms of systemic corruption linked with illicit profit-making that trickled into the majority of state institutions, including the police sector. The subsequent parts of the chapter examine the several phases of regime changes within the Afghan police sector, the repercussions corruption has on the police sector and society and current anti-corruption efforts.

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