January 20, 2010
It's not just the Taliban holding back Afghanistan
BBC Report today unveils the huge scale of bribery going on in Afghanistan. In fact it equals almost a quarter of the nation's GDP! No country, especially a wartorn one, can hope to build sustainable economic development with that scale of corruption. A commitment to honest dealing is a cornerstone of a successful market economy. Without it history shows us that fair dealing will be imposed - either through socialist intervention or through fundamentalist authoritarianism. If the western nations hope to see a semblance of market growth and the first shoots of democratic institutions then they will need to look more broadly than just military, or material aid.