“The Fifth Column”, found that states most affected by corruption are very often victims of deep conflict. Seven of the ten lowest-scoring countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index were also amongst the ten least peaceful countries in the most recent Global Peace Index.
Corruption and insecurity reinforce one another in conflict environments. Conflict often weakens state institutions and shifts the balance of expectations and incentives, entrenching corruption, undermining the development of state capacity, and encouraging cycles of impunity that leave whole populations angry and disenfranchised. This can be particularly pernicious when it affects defence and security institutions, turning them from protectors into predators that endanger human security, slow down development, and can perpetuate conflict.
Weaponising Transparency has found that unpublished defence budgets and arms procurements are still open to abuse by corrupt officials seeking to benefit from the conflict with Boko Haram and launder stolen money abroad. Many deaths in the conflict have occurred while the military lacks vital equipment, critical training, and morale.
"The Big Spin" finds that organisations including ISIS take advantage of corruption in their efforts to recruit and retain disillusioned members, even as they use corrupt practices to channel funds and smuggle arms, drugs, and people. Corruption also can dramatically weaken state institutions, rendering them ineffective in the face of the threat from extremist groups.
In this study Transparency International’s London-based Defence and Security Programme explores in some detail how security assistance programmes fared in an environment affected by corrupt practices and the nexus of corruption and criminality. The case study here is security assistance provided to the Malian Army by the U.S. and France in 2001-2012, i.e. prior to […]