It’s said that the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Yet, once again, the international community is using the reports of a government in Kabul to build an understanding of the Afghan economy and the tax revenues that the de facto authorities earn. Corruption shaped the economic political fabric of the Afghan Republic and impacted the very data used to measure and analyze the performance of the economy. This all points to the need for a more skeptical view of the official data reported by Kabul, and other administrations in fragile and conflict-affected states. There is, after all, much that takes place on the peripheries of these states that is difficult to monitor and control; it is part of what defines them.
Why We Continue to Misunderstand Conflict Economies
By monitoring corrupt cross-border trading, international organizations can begin to understand the performance of Afghanistan’s economy.