Corruption in government defence sectors - MENA region
Last week, Transparency International’s Defence and Security Programme launched the first part of its new research project, the Government Defence Anti-corruption Index (GI) 2016.
The first iteration of the index, published in 2013, reviewed the corruption risks in 82 countries that accounted for 94 per cent of global military expenditure in 2011. It found that 69 per cent of countries that were covered in the index have a high, very high, or critical corruption risk. You can find the main report of the 2013 assessment here.
The first wave of results of GI 2016 have recently been published, focussing on the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) region. Of the 17 countries assessed, 11 receive a ranking of critical corruption risk. Tunisia scored the best in the region, by still only managed to achieve a high corruption risk rating.
The MENA regional report notes three themes emerging from the region. Firstly, corruption and a lack of transparency may make the governments of the region more fragile and unstable than they appear, as their finances are not being spent on equipment that meets their strategic needs.
Secondly, corruption is a major enabler of conflict. Organised crime in the security sector and corrupt officials and practices damaging the effective control of cross-border trade in arms both decrease stability and increase the opportunity for conflict in countries.
Thirdly, corruption has diminished public trust and state legitimacy in governments, has fuelled unrest, and have formed a narrative for violent extremist groups.