NATO-ISAF takes steps to prevent corruption
In an effort to reinforce ISAF’s support to President Karzai’s fight against corruption in Afghanistan, the commander of ISAF forces, General David H. Petraeus, issued the first ever ISAF Counterinsurgency Contracting Guidance on 13 September. The guidance calls on commanders to ensure that contracts for goods and services do not further contribute to corruption which is already widespread in Afghanistan.
Contracts issued by NATO troop-contributing nations in 2009 amounted to approximately US$14 billion. While these contracts for goods and services provide a wide range of benefits to the Afghan people and help to spur economic development in the country, General Petraeus’ instructions make it clear that without proper oversight, such contracts may also unintentionally generate opportunities for misuse.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen applauded ISAF’s intent to focus on its own contracting practices as part of an effort to help Afghanistan fight corruption.
At the same time, Secretary General Rasmussen emphasized the importance of Afghanistan’s own anti-corruption efforts, and that Afghans must lead by example, stating: “In many ways, corruption in Afghanistan is a bigger detractor to stability and progress than the insurgency. Many Afghans face violence at the hands of the insurgency. But every Afghan experiences corruption, sometimes at the hands of Government officials, whom they are expected to trust over the insurgents.”