Petraeus issues guidelines to limit corruption | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 15, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 15, 2010

Petraeus issues guidelines to limit corruption

The commander of international forces in Afghanistan, US General David Petraeus, has ordered troops to limit corruption as they dole out billions of dollars in a drive to end a nine-year war.
Spending vast amounts of money in a bid to develop roads, schools and health centres is critical to the US-led strategy aimed at wooing Afghans to support the Western-backed government and reversing a Taliban insurgency.
But Petraeus told commanders in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) they must be careful to spend their money wisely to avoid feeding corruption, crime and insurgent networks.
"The scale of our contracting efforts in Afghanistan represents both an opportunity and a danger," said Petraeus, according to an emailed statement.
"With proper oversight, contracting can spur economic development and support the Afghan government's and ISAF's campaign objectives.
"If... we spend large quantities of international contracting funds quickly and with insufficient oversight, it is likely that some of those funds will unintentionally fuel corruption, finance insurgent organisations, strengthen criminal patronage networks and undermine our efforts in Afghanistan."
Since taking office in early July, the commander of 150,000 foreign soldiers deployed in Afghanistan has issued a series of directives aimed at improving discipline among troops as the insurgency appears to gain ground and intensity.
The contracting guidelines urge commanders to consult local leaders, use intelligence reports, and to understand the importance of "greater inclusion, transparency and adequate oversight at all levels".

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