The Corruption Curse
Corruption in Defence
Corruption hinders the development and undermines the security of modern societies and decreases trust in public institutions. Defence is not immune to the scourge of corruption. This may come as a surprise to many, given the high regard that the public generally has for the military around the world. Taking a global average, the military is one of the top three most respected institutions and is almost as trusted in terms of corruption as NGOs and religious bodies (see Figure 1.1 below). In many countries, the military is perceived as less corrupt than political parties, legislatures, business companies and the media.
This standing of the military, however, varies strongly across countries and regions. For example, in Western Europe and the United States the military is broadly perceived as being free of corruption. However, in the newly independent states of Central and Eastern Europe, and in Africa and Latin America in particular, the military does not fare as well.
Notwithstanding the high esteem for the military in most societies, Transparency International studies have rated defence among the most corrupt sectors entrusted with the management of public resources, along with extraction of oil and gas and construction industries. In the latest available study, defence falls to #13 on the list of industrial sectors, where bribes to public officials are expected to be paid, and to #8 on the “State Capture” list.
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