Foreign nations have pledged some
$25 billion, since September 11, 2001, to help rebuild Afghanistan. The U.S.
pledged about 40 percent of that, and has already spent about half the money
promised. Overall, only about half the money pledged has been spent (or applied
to long term projects). Many nations, including the U.S., are holding off on
turning over the rest until Afghanistan does something about the corruption.
Some government officials are pretty shameless with the theft of public funds,
which is largely made up of donations from foreign nations. Pressuring senior Afghans about the
corruption often just brings forth earnest pleas for patience, and admissions
that the corruption is considered a traditional way to keep the peace among
powerful factions in the country. This does not go over well with foreign
donors, who all have to deal with their own corruption back home. Such theft is
universal, and successful governments are those that control corruption the
best. Until Afghanistan gets the thieving officials and civil servants under
control, the government will be an unreliable and inefficient operation, and
foreign donors will be reluctant to throw money away on corrupt politicians in
poor countries like Afghanistan.