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Old 08-31-2008   #1
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Default Corruption in Iraq

Corruption in Iraq
Exploiting Market Behavior as a Form of Irregular Warfare

by William S. McCallister, Small Wars Journal

Corruption in Iraq (Full PDF Article)

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The term corruption, when used in a technical sense, is a general concept in which components of an organized and interdependent system are not performing the functions for which they were originally intended, or performing them improperly to the detriment of the system's original purpose. Its original meaning has connotations of being morally wrong in practice and principle. Corruption has evolved into an institution in Iraq. What has been described as a culture of corruption now serves a vital function in the distribution of scare resources. In a sense, corruption has been elevated to a form of irregular warfare as various groups compete for access to influence and limited resources. The study of corruption as a form of irregular warfare therefore will assist in developing suitable anti-corruption strategies and to communicate these strategies within the target audience’s cultural frame of reference.

Social, political and personal ideologies differ as to the costs and benefits derived from economic activities and how best to distribute the gains and losses of cumulative market transactions among individuals and groups. How best to distribute these gains and losses reflects the unique cultural, ideological and political sentiments of the society within which economic activities occur.

Ideas as to what constitutes good governance and by extension the use of appropriate economic and market management mechanisms vary. One definition describes good governance as the efficient and effective “delivery of security … economic, administration, social and political goods and public services, and the institutions through which they are delivered.” This definition implies a central role for government in the management of societal resources and a service centric function emphasizing equitable “delivery” and distribution of social services to all its citizens. Not all cultures articulate the role and function of governance in quite the same way.
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Old 09-05-2008   #2
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Corruption - The subtle insurgency of Iraq
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