Counterterrorism aid from countries like the US and her NATO allies is continually posing a major that that is making the efforts to decimate terror organizations across the globe counterproductive. A comprehensive intelligence deep-dive shows that counterterrorism aid intended to bolster efforts to combat violent extremists has also had the unintended consequence of fueling corruption and funding terrorist group activities and recruitment.
While there is a clear mechanism erected in different countries to stymie the diversion of weapons and funds to terror organizations, there are loopholes that place the aid given to affected nations in a position to be exploited to both, directly and indirectly, help terror organizations. For instance, foreign aid meant for military and counterterrorism efforts increases the risks of corruption and other defense practices that can be termed as sleazy and fraudulent.
While the common assumption is that corruption is the misuse or misappropriation of money, there are several practices that warrant to be labeled as corruption and in turn, interfere with global security while at the same time undermining the progress and effectiveness of counterterrorism programs around the world.
Key Defense/ Counterterrorism Corruption Practices
- Nepotism in police and military recruitment and procurement departments
- Use of ghost soldiers to divert monies to high-ranking officials
- Flawed purchasing process
- Delayed pays and pay cuts tor soldiers on the frontline
- Illicit economic activities like smuggling and trafficking of contraband by armed forces of recipient nations
The corruption cases and practices create a domino effect that trickles down to benefiting terrorists’ organizations. It is evident that terrorist groups benefit from popular grievances against corruption to help encourage new recruitments or support from others for their cause. In an audacious move by groups like ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabaab, Taliban as well as other affiliated groups, recruiters are recruiting aggrieved soldiers to join the fight in toppling the corrupt government.
Risks Posed By Corruption And Misappropriation Of Counterterrorism Aid
- Military coups and the ouster of governments
- Heightened risk of human rights violations by military officials
- Military tension, frictions, factions, and divisions that interfere with effective operational capability
- Youths frustrated by the corrupt system are driven to join terror organizations.
- Increased recruitment of aggrieved soldiers into the global terror organization ranks.