Aeon_edited.jpg

AEON:
The Midas Disease

by Sarah Chayes

Excerpt:

"How is it, then, that in the West we pay so little attention to corruption? We brush it away, as an innate feature of the human condition, or of the culture of certain foreign countries. Or – sometimes and – as a distasteful aberration, a scandal beneath notice."

The Taliban is Vulnerable.  Here's How to Seize the Moment

The Taliban is Vulnerable. Here's How to Seize the Moment

Politico
November 13, 2021, 5:00:00 AM

With Afghanistan's new rulers finding governing more difficult than insurgency, now is the time to leverage any financial assistance to get them to abide by their own commitments.

Impeachment or Not, Justice Department Must Investigate Trump

Impeachment or Not, Justice Department Must Investigate Trump

Los Angeles Times
January 13, 2021, 5:00:00 AM

Neither Biden nor the Attorney General should make this call. An independent task-force should determine whether there are grounds for criminal prosecution.

Why Biden Should Look Beyond the Usual Pool for His Cabinet Appointments

Why Biden Should Look Beyond the Usual Pool for His Cabinet Appointments

Los Angeles Times
November 20, 2020, 12:00:00 AM

Biden ran on a promise to restore integrity... to Washington. Yet names of prospective nominees suggest he will be drawing from corporate networks that have served their members at the expense of the American public.

Look Out, Corruption Ahead

Look Out, Corruption Ahead

The Atlantic
April 17, 2020, 4:00:00 AM

The Atlantic: As the country mobilizes to address the pandemic, watch for officials and corporate executives attempting to exploit the crisis to enrich themselves.

Sarah Chayes on Amaryllis Fox

Sarah Chayes on Amaryllis Fox

January 31, 2020, 5:00:00 AM

As good as fiction! In more ways than one. (Review of "My Life Undercover." Subscribe to Book Post for the unabridged version.)

Hunter Biden's Legal, Socially Acceptable Corruption

Hunter Biden's Legal, Socially Acceptable Corruption

The Atlantic
September 27, 2019, 4:00:00 AM

Americans of both parties should stop leveraging their names for payoffs from shady politicians and businessmen -- and the rest of us should stop condoning that business model

Fighting the Hydra: Lessons From Worldwide Protests Against Corruption

Fighting the Hydra: Lessons From Worldwide Protests Against Corruption

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
April 12, 2018, 4:00:00 AM

In the past half decade, uprisings against corruption has broken out worldwide. The frequency and significance of these events forces the question: What is going on? And does this international phenomenon hold lessons for others beset with systemic political corruption, not least in the United States? A look at countries as diverse in culture and political history as Brazil, Burkina Faso, Guatemala, Lebanon, Romania, South Africa, and South Korea suggests that it does.

Do Trump’s Foreign Business Entanglements Threaten Our Democracy?

Do Trump’s Foreign Business Entanglements Threaten Our Democracy?

Los Angeles Times
October 17, 2017, 12:00:00 AM

The Trump Organization’s continued business dealings with foreign governments, both at home and abroad, challenge the core principles of U.S. democracy.

A Hidden Cost of Corruption: Environmental Devastation

A Hidden Cost of Corruption: Environmental Devastation

The Washington Post
June 16, 2017, 4:00:00 AM

Honduras offers an example of how corruption devastates landscapes and the environment.

Trump and the Path Toward Kleptocracy

Trump and the Path Toward Kleptocracy

Bloomberg
May 22, 2017, 4:00:00 AM

The Trump administration... resembles nothing so much as a kleptocratic network of the type seen in many developing countries and post-Soviet states.

It Was a Corruption Election. It’s Time We Realized It.

It Was a Corruption Election. It’s Time We Realized It.

Foreign Policy
December 6, 2016, 5:00:00 AM

In a country full of sophisticated lawyers and lobbyists and rationalizers, it is now urgent to ask whether Americans still understand what corruption is.

The Structure of Corruption: A Systemic Analysis Using Eurasian Cases

The Structure of Corruption: A Systemic Analysis Using Eurasian Cases

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
June 30, 2016, 4:00:00 AM

A prerequisite to building an effective anticorruption approach is an intimate—and unflinching—examination of the specifics of corrupt operations in the individual country of interest and its physical and electronic neighborhoods.

Start Preparing for the Collapse of the Saudi Kingdom

Start Preparing for the Collapse of the Saudi Kingdom

Defence One
February 16, 2016, 5:00:00 AM

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

Thunder God: Values, Corruption, and Nigeria's Election

Thunder God: Values, Corruption, and Nigeria's Election

World Politics Review
April 28, 2015, 4:00:00 AM

In Muhammadu Buhari's upset election, Nigerians -- Christian and Muslim as well as those who follow the old religions -- may have been seeking a Thunder God.

Nigeria's Boko Haram Isn't Just About Western Education

Nigeria's Boko Haram Isn't Just About Western Education

The Washington Post
May 16, 2014, 4:00:00 AM

Nigerians, in the north and the south, see the education system as a corrupt intake valve into a profoundly corrupt political system.

Hamid Karzai’s cozy history with the Taliban

Hamid Karzai’s cozy history with the Taliban

Los Angeles Times
February 9, 2014, 5:00:00 AM

If anyone is surprised that with each passing day Afghan President Hamid Karzai seems to veer more sharply away from the U.S. and toward the Taliban, it might be time to remember some history.

Enabling Hamid Karzai

Enabling Hamid Karzai

Los Angeles Times
December 3, 2013, 5:00:00 AM

Why does the Afghan leader thumb his nose at us? Because we let him.

When Obama says, ‘Force alone cannot make us safe’

When Obama says, ‘Force alone cannot make us safe’

Los Angeles Times
June 2, 2013, 4:00:00 AM

Why does every major interagency debate on security policy focus on the use of force?

Bahrain's Shifting Sands

Bahrain's Shifting Sands

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
February 13, 2013, 5:00:00 AM

Underlying tensions between the largely Shi'ite population and Sunni ruling family, is anger not over religious ideology, but the kleptocratic capture of the island's most rare and precious substance: its land.

The world after Petraeus

The world after Petraeus

Los Angeles Times
November 15, 2012, 12:00:00 AM

Crisis can be a great corrective.

As Afghanistan turns

As Afghanistan turns

Los Angeles Times
August 16, 2012, 4:00:00 AM

In a raucous session that brought lawmakers to blows this month, the Afghan parliament passed a no-confidence vote against the country’s top security officials: the ministers of defense and interior.

Corruption is still Tunisia’s challenge

Corruption is still Tunisia’s challenge

Los Angeles Times
June 10, 2012, 4:00:00 AM

Religion is not what set off the Jasmine Revolution. But it is dominating the aftermath.

The Afghan divide

The Afghan divide

Los Angeles Times
January 26, 2012, 5:00:00 AM

Who shapes perceptions of how the war is going?

Denying Pakistan

Denying Pakistan

Los Angeles Times
November 23, 2011, 12:00:00 AM

Why is the US government asking the Pakistan to broker peace negotiations with the very insurgents that country fostered?

Scents and Sensibility

Scents and Sensibility

The Atlantic
December 1, 2007, 5:00:00 AM

How to expand your skin-care business in the midst of a burgeoning insurgency -- in spite of America's aid industry.

Drawing Hope From History

Drawing Hope From History

The New York Times
August 1, 2006, 4:00:00 AM

Afghanistan has risen again and again from the ashes.

The Taliban Seizure of Afghanistan was long -- and invisible -- in the making

The Taliban Seizure of Afghanistan was long -- and invisible -- in the making

Boston Globe
August 16, 2021, 4:00:00 AM

How do we suppose a ragtag militia lurking in the hills — as we’ve so often heard the Taliban described — managed to execute such a sophisticated campaign plan with no international support?

Sarah Chayes on Wade Davis

Sarah Chayes on Wade Davis

Book Post
December 1, 2020, 5:00:00 AM

A magnificent love song to the country of Colombia, told by way of its national river (Book review)

Sarah Chayes on Zephyr Teachout

Sarah Chayes on Zephyr Teachout

Book Post
July 28, 2020, 4:00:00 AM

A splendid book about ... the excessive power of mega-corporations in our society, and how they are turning all of us into their serfs.

This Is How Kleptocracies Work

This Is How Kleptocracies Work

The Atlantic
February 23, 2020, 5:00:00 AM

Trump’s pardons were shocking to some, but to me they were eerily familiar...

Russia Is Waging Asymmetric Warfare Against the US — And We’re Letting Them Win

Russia Is Waging Asymmetric Warfare Against the US — And We’re Letting Them Win

Defence One
December 18, 2019, 12:00:00 AM

Moscow is using the type of tactics I first saw the Taliban master in Afghanistan.

Acting DNI Shows Why Generals and Admirals Should Not Become Top Civilians

Acting DNI Shows Why Generals and Admirals Should Not Become Top Civilians

Defence One
September 27, 2019, 4:00:00 AM

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire got in over his head on the Ukraine whistleblower complaint.

Want to Limit Migration? We Can Start by Supporting Democracy in Honduras.

Want to Limit Migration? We Can Start by Supporting Democracy in Honduras.

The Washington Post
December 5, 2017, 5:00:00 AM

The US should not support a rigged presidential election. Such antics destroy the hopes of Honduran citizens -- and force them to flee a brutal regime.

Kleptocracy in America

Kleptocracy in America

Foreign Affairs
August 15, 2017, 4:00:00 AM

Corruption Is Reshaping Governments Everywhere (Review of The Corruption Cure)

When Corruption Is the Operating System:The Case of Honduras

When Corruption Is the Operating System:The Case of Honduras

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
May 30, 2017, 4:00:00 AM

In some five dozen countries worldwide, corruption can no longer be understood as merely the iniquitous doings of individuals. Rather, it is the operating system of sophisticated networks that cross sectoral and national boundaries in their drive to maximize returns for their members. Such networks are of course configured differently in different countries. This report examines one country's experience in detail.

Why Read a 5-Year-Old Book About ExxonMobil Now? Two Words: Rex Tillerson

Why Read a 5-Year-Old Book About ExxonMobil Now? Two Words: Rex Tillerson

Los Angeles Times
January 27, 2017, 5:00:00 AM

If you want a deeper understanding of what has been inaugurated in Washington, read Steve Coll's "Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power."

The Marines Are Trying to Expel an Officer Whose Warning Could Have Saved Lives

The Marines Are Trying to Expel an Officer Whose Warning Could Have Saved Lives

Los Angeles Times
September 14, 2016, 4:00:00 AM

Who we empower and how our allies treat the locals may determine the outcome of the US fight against violent extremism.

Corruption and Terrorism: The Causal Link

Corruption and Terrorism: The Causal Link

UK Prime Minister's Office
May 12, 2016, 4:00:00 AM

Governments that ostensibly fight terror may actually generate more dire security crises than they curb as a result of corrupt governance practices.

The Right Way to Fight Boko Haram—and How the U.S. Should Help

The Right Way to Fight Boko Haram—and How the U.S. Should Help

Defence One
January 13, 2016, 5:00:00 AM

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari should make his anticorruption agenda central to his campaign against Boko Haram.

Corruption: The Unrecognized Threat to International Security

Corruption: The Unrecognized Threat to International Security

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
June 6, 2014, 4:00:00 AM

Acute, structured government corruption is a misunderstood scourge. And the role it plays in exacerbating international insecurity is widely overlooked.

How a Leftist Labor Union Helped Force Tunisia's Political Settlement

How a Leftist Labor Union Helped Force Tunisia's Political Settlement

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
March 27, 2014, 4:00:00 AM

Without the muscular involvement of a powerful union, it is unlikely Tunisia's bitterly divided political parties could have reached a settlement.

Robert Gates’ failure of duty

Robert Gates’ failure of duty

Los Angeles Times
January 12, 2014, 5:00:00 AM

Gates's memoir reveals and inhibited, petulant man who ill-served both his president and the national interest.

Blinded by the war on terrorism

Blinded by the war on terrorism

Los Angeles Times
July 28, 2013, 4:00:00 AM

The U.S. government’s focus on thwarting terrorists has not only eroded Americans’ privacy, it’s opened the door to other less obvious dangers.

CIA buys trouble in Afghanistan

CIA buys trouble in Afghanistan

Los Angeles Times
May 2, 2013, 4:00:00 AM

What did the U.S. get for bags of cash delivered to Karzai?

On Benghazi, blame the bureaucracy

On Benghazi, blame the bureaucracy

Los Angeles Times
January 23, 2013, 5:00:00 AM

Interagency word-smithing, not political machinations, produced misleading language that arguably cost lives.

Does ‘Innocence of Muslims’ meet the free-speech test?

Does ‘Innocence of Muslims’ meet the free-speech test?

Los Angeles Times
September 18, 2012, 4:00:00 AM

The film designed to provoke violent responses in the Muslim world arguably does not qualify.

Cut aid to Egypt’s generals

Cut aid to Egypt’s generals

Los Angeles Times
June 27, 2012, 4:00:00 AM

Let's not reward a restoration of military dictatorship.

Iran, Israel and the nuclear diversion

Iran, Israel and the nuclear diversion

Los Angeles Times
March 18, 2012, 4:00:00 AM

The governments of two religiously defined nations are playing a game of brinksmanship.

In Tunisia, how to build a democracy

In Tunisia, how to build a democracy

Los Angeles Times
December 21, 2011, 12:00:00 AM

Report from the front lines in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Government by crime syndicate

Government by crime syndicate

Los Angeles Times
September 25, 2011, 4:00:00 AM

Outrage is growing around the world at rampant public corruption.

A Mullah Dies and War Comes Knocking

A Mullah Dies and War Comes Knocking

The Washington Post
November 18, 2007, 12:00:00 AM

The fall of Arghandab District provides an object lesson in asymmetric warfare.

Afghanistan: The Night Fairies

Afghanistan: The Night Fairies

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
March 1, 2006, 5:00:00 AM

Afghans suffer collective PTSD. "Courage" is a word that may not apply.