Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Well that was a pretty easy fix

Two notes from today's news: first, Afghanistan comes in at number 179 (or for you glass half-full types, #2 Most Corrupt!) in Transparency International's Corruption Perception's Index (h/t Ex).

Of course, there's a simple solution for that, right? SPECIAL ANTI-CORRUPTION SQUAD!
Afghan officials launched a new anti-corruption unit and major crime fighting force Monday amid stiff international pressure to clean up the government following a fraud-tainted presidential election.

The Afghan government has been dogged by corruption for years and this is the third formal launch of a unit promising to rein in rampant graft and bribery. But Afghan government officials told reporters this attempt has a better chance because of a real desire to succeed and strong international backing.

It has also been accompanied this time by international threats.

I picture them wearing ninja suits and shoulder patches depicting Themis and the Scales.

U.S. Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry both praised the plan and called for follow-through.

"It requires action. Words are cheap. Deeds are required," he told reporters.

And ninjas.


  1. I agree with you. How do you make sure that the ninjas can't be bribed. As the quote says, this is the THIRD time they've tried this.

    Previous units had to be dismantled themselves because they were, ahem, corrupt. Not only that, but a main concern with these types of units, once they get more visible, is of course that they are subject to threats/intimidation etc (yes, I will say you're not corrupt, since you promised not to kill my son).

    Finally, can we have a discussion on TI's methodology for that index?

  2. Finally, can we have a discussion on TI's methodology for that index?

    No. Hell no.

    (Well, I guess you can. But not me!)

  3. "It requires action. Words are cheap. Deeds are required."

    The price for a word in Kabul immediately rose to $44 each as the Karzai kleptocracy adjusted their prices to cover the cost of transparency.


  4. So while I wanted to have a discussion on methodology, Drew Conway at Zero Intelligence Agents does it much better than I ever could so you should read that instead:


    To the credit of people I know at TI, they know that their data is problematic. They argue that it's useful because it provides trends and a general picture.