Archive for January, 2010

Hey, who says we’re not pulling our weight?

Finland has decided to send more forces to Afghanistan. The Cabinet Committee on Foreign and Security Policy, along with President Tarja Halonen, decided on Friday that Finland should increase its current deployment of about 120 soldiers by more than 50.

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As if things weren’t gloomy enough, the UNODC report on corruption in Afghanistan is out:

In the aggregate, Afghans paid out $2.5 billion in bribes over the past 12 months – that’s equivalent to almost one quarter (23%) of Afghanistan’s GDP. By coincidence, this is similar to the revenue accrued by the opium trade in 2009 (which we have estimated separately at $2.8 billion). In other words, and this is shocking, drugs and bribes are the two largest income generators in Afghanistan: together they amount to about half the country’s (licit) GDP.

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