The Wages Of Corruption

by Patrick Appel

Anup Kaphle reports on Afghanistan's police force. The officers make $110 a month:

Given the widespread discontent about the rate of pay, it’s not surprising that the police force is rife with corruption and bribe-taking. Talk with any taxi driver or farmer in Lashkar Gah, and you’ll hear stories about police shakedowns. One farmer from the nearby town of Gereshk, who was transporting his wheat harvest to Lashkar Gah, said that a police officer had taken 1,000 Afghanis from him the previous week. “They will search your pockets and take money and valuables from you,” he said, “and you can’t say anything because you know you will have to deal with them again the next day.”

This is not a new observation, but it's worth putting this sort of reporting alongside Ackerman's point about the Afghan government often getting out-governed by the Taliban. His plea:

Time to ask why this is and revisit the Taliban's reputation for incorruptibility in the context of a very corrupt Afghan government.