Pandora Papers How the United States Can Fight Corruption

Pandora Papers US

The United States faces a pandemic of global corruption, and its efforts to address this pandemic are failing. We need a radical overhaul of policy and strategy if we hope to improve the situation. The first step is to acknowledge that pandering to corrupt regimes around the world has not made America safer – it has undermined our national security by creating a culture of lawlessness in which bribery and embezzlement have become tools for foreign actors to undermine democracy rather than instruments for mutual gain through trade and diplomacy. And pandering has harmed American citizens as well: It is time for Congress to consider whether large-scale corruption perpetrated abroad poses an ongoing risk here at home.

The most powerful tool in U.S. anti-corruption policy continues to be the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) of 1977. But despite numerous high-profile FCPA enforcement actions in recent years, corrupt foreign actors are bolder than ever in their attempts to infiltrate the American market through bribery and embezzlement schemes.

Changing U.S. strategy will require an honest assessment of what has gone wrong with our efforts to address pandemic corruption around the world, particularly in resource-rich developing countries known as “baptist” states because they rely on oil or other natural resources for their economic livelihoods, often without diversifying their economies or investing effectively in infrastructure and education necessary for broad-based prosperity. These pandemic problems have created conditions ripe fostering by U.S. companies and ‘high-risk’ countries as a pandemic threat.

Below, we present two major arguments: (1) that U.S. anti-corruption efforts have focused on the symptoms and not the root causes of corruption, and (2) that pandering to corrupt regimes has undermined U.S. national security by making America less safe from terrorism and crime, among other harms. As such, we recommend a new approach for U.S. anti-corruption policy – one rooted in principled diplomacy coupled with far more stringent enforcement measures at home aimed at discouraging illicit foreign investment and money laundering in pandemic U.S. financial institutions and markets.

A pandemic of corruption is sweeping across the developing world from Afghanistan to Nigeria, from Venezuela to Malaysia. Transnational pandemics exploit similar vulnerabilities at each incubation stage: ‘weak host states,’ corruptible officials, and unregulated international free trade zones where it is possible for pandemic actors to skip across borders with illegal monies that can be used both to purchase political favors and to undermine legitimate economies around the world by distorting market competition in favor of pandemic operators. In pandemics, a weak state can contract a pandemic disease even though pandemics do not arise within its territory until it has been exploited dynamic monies back to their pandemic financial support networks.

When the growing levels of corruption are combined with weak states, it creates conditions for the international spillover of corrupt practices across borders and within countries. Corruption also contributes to conflict by undermining democratic institutions and by diverting state resources from human development priorities such as education, health care, and infrastructure… Corruption is a major source of grievances in fragile states such as Afghanistan and Pakistan where people view government services as commodities that can be purchased through actors who have exported pandemic corruption pandemics.

For example, countries known for corruption are experiencing ‘resource grabs’ by foreign actors who use corrupt practices to appropriate valuable natural resources. Furthermore, states which have developed an extractive economy are vulnerable to the ‘resource curse,’ where large quantities of monies earned from natural resource exports are subject to high levels of pandemic corruption and/or used to purchase illicit goods… The result is that this creates a cycle in which the money made from oil starts off being used for corrupt purposes at home, often funding civil wars or other violent conflicts. That same money then usually leaves the country—a process known as pandemic capital pandemics.

Many corrupt governments engage in pandemic rent-seeking behavior to maintain power, as was the case with former President al-Bashir of Sudan who is now under indictment by the International Criminal Court for his role in starving civilians and arming militias that murdered hundreds of thousands of people during Darfur’s civil war. Other countries under extractive governance finance wars against militant nonstate actors such as Boko Haram and ISIS and fund insurgencies and destabilizing activities abroad, such as those carried out by Hezbollah. pandora paper

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Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) has shown that global corruption pandemics have improved slightly since 2013, but it still remains pandemic. As seen in figure 1, out of the 168 countries ranked for 2015, one-third were classified as having a pandemic level of corruption and nearly half had a serious problem with pandemic bribery. Furthermore, 26% of countries have either not made significant strides or have declined in their levels of pandemic gray markets over the past few years.

free shippingrnrnThese are the top 10 most corrupt countries listed, out of those 168 countries ranked for 2015. Somalia ranks as the world’s most corrupt country due to having no effective government since 1991 and being filled with conflict and warlords.

The United States should work closely with its allies to ensure that cases of corruption are vigorously pursued in foreign courts. This would encourage other states to strengthen their own anti-corruption laws without fear of repercussions domestically or internationally… Furthermore, there needs to be more support put behind international organizations such as UNCAC.

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