Afghan corruption thwarts war effort

Aug. 30, 2010 at 12:21 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- A lack of commitment to address government corruption in Kabul is undermining the war effort there, a security analyst said.

Washington expressed frustration over a decision by the administration of Afghan President Hamid Karzai to dismiss Fazel Ahmed Faqiryar, the deputy attorney general. P.J. Crowley, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, said the prosecutor was doing important work addressing corruption in the government.

"Those charged with pursuing corruption need to continue their work without political interference," he said.

Karzai during a May visit to Washington pledged to address corruption within the government ranks. One government official who spoke with The Wall Street Journal on condition of anonymity, however, said the Karzai administration was proving "very difficult to manage."

The U.S. Defense Department is scheduled for a review of its Afghan war strategy in December. Christine Fair, a peace and security professor at Georgetown University, told the Journal that the war effort was undermined by rampant corruption in Kabul.

"There is a fundamental lack of commitment from the Afghan side and we simply can't win this without the governance," she said.

Karzai, the Journal said, points the finger at Washington and its Western allies for funneling billions of dollars worth of aid into the country with little accountability or oversight.

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