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Pay for ANA Soldiers

Afghanistan, being one of the most corrupt countries in the world, does a disservice to its military members in regards to the pay provided. For a long time payments to members of the ANDSF was handled mainly through 'trusted agents'. As a result it was easy for local commanders to pocket all or some of their troop's money.

Ghost Soldiers. Some soldiers either desert or fail to show up for work. Many desert because of non-payment of salaries or because some of their pay is skimmed off the top by their  commanders. Once a soldier deserts the entire pay of these soldiers is pocketed by the units leaders. Commanders can keep a units roster intact by failing to report desertions. This has resulted in many ANA units being near or at strength on paper but drastically undermanned

Mobile Money. Electronic fund transfers can, in part, reduce the amount of corruption with a soldiers pay. This, however, will not remove the incentive for corrupt commanders to siphon off some of a soldiers pay. There are other mechanisms that can be used by corrupt leadership to take all or part of the soldiers pay; it just becomes a little more difficult.

Patronage System Threatened. Many (or should we say most) appointments to the officer ranks in the Afghan army are made on the basis of corruption (a position or rank is bought) or by the patronage system. Being an officer in the ANA means you can leverage the pay system to your benefit so officer positions in the Afghan army are actively sought. The implementation of a mobile money system will have a small effect on the traditional patronage system in the Afghan army but certainly won't change it.

Telecommunications System. While Afghanistan has made great strides in the cell phone industry and the mobile banking system some obstacles still remain. Not all of the rural areas of Afghanistan are covered by cell phone towers - which limits the effectiveness of mobile banking.

APPS. The Afghan Personnel and Pay System is supposed to solve some of the problems associated with disruption of the pay of the Afghan soldier and policeman. Full implementation of the APPS is supposed to take place in 2016; but like all things in Afghanistan this will likely be delayed. In addition, despite the supposed ability of the APPS to curtail corruption - the Afghan leadership of the ANA and ANP have proven extremely clever in their ability to overcome any constraints to their corrupt practices.


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