Articles & Op Eds
PODCAST: Corruption as a National Security Issue with Sarah Chayes
by Dan Grazier, Dec 10, 2019
Corruption is often viewed as a byproduct of unrest and ineffective government. POGO board member and former adviser to the chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Sarah Chayes, in her book Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security, makes the case that corruption is the single largest source of unrest in the world. With this lens, it is possible to better understand many of the hotspots around the world—including Afghanistan, the counties upended by the Arab Spring, and even colonial America’s revolution.
By Sarah Chayes, December 18, 2019
Not too long ago, I watched the Taliban lose major offensives in Afghanistan and yet infiltrate the same zones afterwards, gaining strategic ground. Now I am watching Moscow do the same, inside the American homeland, and the national security establishment is hardly reacting.
Best of 2019: Editor’s Choice
By Sarah Chayes, September 27, 2019
The testimony of Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire before the House Intelligence Committee Thursday made two things clear. First: Democrats, who have embarked on the fourth presidential impeachment proceedings in American history, do not have their strategy down. Second: generals and admirals, especially three-stars, should not normally be appointed to top civilian posts.
OP ED LOS ANGELES TIMES
SEPTEMBER 14, 2016
ESSAY UK PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE
MAY 12, 2016
Governments that ostensibly fight terror may actually generate more dire security crises than they curb as a result of corrupt governance practices.
ARTICLE CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT
APRIL 14, 2016
The murder of a Honduran activist should be raising alarms about the implications of government corruption that has appeared in recent years.
OP-ED DEFENSE ONE
Sarah Chayes, Alex De Waal
February 16, 2016
Saudi Arabia is no state at all. It could best be described as a political enterprise with a clever but ultimately unsustainable business model, or as so corrupt as to resemble a vertically and horizontally integrated criminal organization
OP-ED DEFENSE ONE
JANUARY 13, 2016
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari should make his anticorruption agenda central to his campaign against Boko Haram.
Donald Trump committed an impeachable offense, but prominent Americans also shouldn’t be leveraging their names for payoffs from shady clients abroad.
SEP 27, 2019
Author of Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens National Security
WASHINGTON POST OP-ED
Want to limit migration? We can start by supporting democracy in Honduras.
By Kendra McSweeney and Sarah Chayes December 5, 2017
Honduran citizens are standing up for democracy, despite apparent efforts to rig the recent presidential election. The U.S. government should demand an impartial ballot recount.
ANGELES TIMES OP-ED
Do Trump’s Foreign Business Entanglements Threaten Our Democracy?
October 17, 2017
The Trump Organization’s continued business dealings with foreign governments, both at home and abroad, challenge the core principles of U.S. democracy.
FOREIGN AFFAIRS, BOOK REVIEW
August 15, 2017
Corruption Is Reshaping Governments Everywhere
Lately, it has become harder to deny that corruption lies at the root of many first-order global problems, such as the spread of violent religious extremism or the civil strife and mass casualties witnessed in South Sudan and Syria—not to mention the refugee crises that have followed on their heels. Corruption also plays a major role in the one truly global existential threat: the destruction of the environment.
OP-ED WASHINGTON POST
JUNE 16, 2017
Honduras offers an example of how corruption helps fuel environmental devastation.
I have spent a decade living through and researching how corruption has helped fuel some of the world’s most significant security crises — from the expansion of violent extremism to revolutions and their bloody aftermaths. Last year, I began wondering whether similar links exist between corruption and another grave threat: environmental devastation. It didn’t take long to find them.
MAY 22, 2017
How transnational political-criminal networks, often run by families, govern in their own economic interests.
The Trump administration, its personnel and early practices, resembles nothing so much as a kleptocratic network of the type seen in many developing countries and post-Soviet states.
OP-ED LOS ANGELES TIMES
MAY 22, 2017
JANUARY 27, 2017
If you want a deeper understanding of what has been inaugurated in Washington, read Steve Coll's "Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power." Rarely has a book been so profoundly and presciently relevant to events that would take place five years after its publication.
OP-ED FOREIGN POLICY
DECEMBER 06, 2016
In a country full of sophisticated lawyers and lobbyists and rationalizers, it is now urgent to ask whether Americans still understand what corruption is. To say it’s what is proscribed by law is to fall into a logical sinkhole.