Corrupt Government Could Jeopardize US Postwar Pact with Afghanistan
(WASHINGTON) -- International experts believe the Strategic Partnership Agreement signed Tuesday by President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai may not be worth the paper it's written on unless Afghanistan gets it political house in order over the next few years.
The pact outlines the U.S. military role in Afghanistan following the scheduled withdrawal of most American troops in 2014 that also provides an annual stipend to the country that has yet to be determined.
However, Afghanistan still has one of the most corrupt governments in the world and there are fears that the effects of the SPA could be severely compromised if Afghan leaders continue to fall under the sway of both crooks and insurgents.
Former Afghan Ambassador to the U.S. Tayeb Jawad notes, "The transition of the security responsibilities to the Afghan security forces, the transition of the Afghan economy gradually from a contract economy into a private-led economy is taking place in a much better organized and robust way than the political transition."
Professor Larry Goodson of the U.S. Army War College concurs that the Western-style government and elections haven't been nearly as successful as "the focus on the military and the security sector."
There's another important variable that could wreak havoc on the SPA: Hamid Karzai's term ends in 2014 and by law, he can't run again. That means the U.S. will be dealing with a big unknown, perhaps a president who is more sympathetic to the Taliban than the current leader.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio