The current Afghan government, having weak social roots has been forced to rely on the support of ‘warlords’ to stay in power. But a high price had to be paid. Despite the predominant stress in much current analysis on the issue of regional warlordism, the limited reform achievements in the Kabul ministries and the enduring domination by the militias of some key ministries are potentially much more threatening to the reform and re-establishment of the Afghan state. Widespread corruption is preventing some key ministries from achieving the minimal effectiveness required. Even within Kabul, the focus of the international community has been misplaced. In particular, the pressure of donors on the Ministry of the Interior has been nowhere near as strong as that exerted over the Ministry of Finance. The international community also failed to support adequately the attempts by ‘civil society’ to change the corrupt practices of the state administration.
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