Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security

Thieves of State Why Corruption Threatens Global Security The world is blowing up Every day a new blaze seems to ignite the bloody implosion of Iraq and Syria the East West standoff in Ukraine abducted schoolgirls in Nigeria Is there some thread tying these

  • Title: Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security
  • Author: Sarah Chayes
  • ISBN: 9780393352283
  • Page: 328
  • Format: Paperback
  • The world is blowing up Every day a new blaze seems to ignite the bloody implosion of Iraq and Syria the East West standoff in Ukraine abducted schoolgirls in Nigeria Is there some thread tying these frightening international security crises together In a riveting account that weaves history with fast moving reportage and insider accounts from the Afghanistan war, SaThe world is blowing up Every day a new blaze seems to ignite the bloody implosion of Iraq and Syria the East West standoff in Ukraine abducted schoolgirls in Nigeria Is there some thread tying these frightening international security crises together In a riveting account that weaves history with fast moving reportage and insider accounts from the Afghanistan war, Sarah Chayes identifies the unexpected link corruption.Since the late 1990s, corruption has reached such an extent that some governments resemble glorified criminal gangs, bent solely on their own enrichment These kleptocrats drive indignant populations to extremes ranging from revolution to militant puritanical religion Chayes plunges readers into some of the most venal environments on earth and examines what emerges Afghans returning to the Taliban, Egyptians overthrowing the Mubarak government but also redesigning Al Qaeda , and Nigerians embracing both radical evangelical Christianity and the Islamist terror group Boko Haram In many such places, rigid moral codes are put forth as an antidote to the collapse of public integrity.The pattern, over, pervades history Through deep archival research, Chayes reveals that canonical political thinkers such as John Locke and Machiavelli, as well as the great medieval Islamic statesman Nizam al Mulk, all named corruption as a threat to the realm In a thrilling argument connecting the Protestant Reformation to the Arab Spring, Thieves of State presents a powerful new way to understand global extremism And it makes a compelling case that we must confront corruption, for it is a cause not a result of global instability.

    One thought on “Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security”

    1. Some say the heart is just like a wheel. When you bend it, you can’t mend it.The sage counsel offered by the McGarrigle sisters for matters of love could just as easily apply to the question of trust. Once betrayed, how easy is it to trust that person ever again. Now kick that up a level or three and apply to governments. When the people who offer to the public the face of government, the leaders, the police, the military, turn out to be criminals themselves, how can a people ever trust their [...]

    2. If you read my book reviews, you know where I stand on American politics these days and so it should come as no surprise that I watch Rachel Maddow more often than not to understand what is happening over there, back home. Rachel has had Sarah Chayes on several times who has always impressed me in terms of her experience (having lived seven years in Afghanistan after being there for PBS as a journalist) and her brilliance (she is fluent in several dialects of Arabic, French and I am assuming sev [...]

    3. This book is one of the most significant I've read in a long time, and one I think should be read by anyone who's concerned about 'failed states' and the seemingly endless entanglements the U.S. and Europe have with them. First, Chayes makes the excellent point that what we've termed 'failed' states are actually very good at what they mean to do: channel money and power to an elite few. She points out that when we think of these not as governments, but essentially fronts for illicit behavior, th [...]

    4. Description: The world is blowing up. Every day a new blaze seems to ignite: the bloody implosion of Iraq and Syria; the East-West standoff in Ukraine; abducted schoolgirls in Nigeria. Is there some thread tying these frightening international security crises together? In a riveting account that weaves history with fast-moving reportage and insider accounts from the Afghanistan war, Sarah Chayes identifies the unexpected link: corruption.Since the late 1990s, corruption has reached such an exten [...]

    5. Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security by Sarah Chayes“Thieves of State” is an insightful look inside the world of global corruption. Former reporter, entrepreneur, and former special adviser to Generals McKiernan and McChrystal, Sarah Chayes provides readers with a revealing and unique perspective on one of the main causes of global upheaval, corruption. This provocative 272-page book includes fourteen chapters that will take the reader on a journey through: Afghanistan, [...]

    6. Fascinating 1st person account with a deep knowledge of the Middle East and developing world. Listened to audiobook narrated by the author, former NPR reporter.

    7. If you want to understand what motivates young men to join the IS, murder Parisians by the score, and then blow themselves up, I highly recommend this book. It's available in hardcover and audio formats. A paperback is coming soon.The book contains a lot of history you probably don't know. It calls into question US foreign policy for most of our lifetimes. It explains why Islamic fundamentalism is supported even by people who don't believe in its extreme doctrine.Sarah is a Harvard graduate and [...]

    8. "Corruption--an ambiguous word in every language, implying moral as well as material depravity."In Thieves of State, Chayes tackles the behemoth of acute corruption not only as a brief history (it's only 200 pages long) of "mirror writings" (historical works written for kings and sultans, imams and popes on how to govern well without getting one's royal head lopped off), but also her own intimate involvements in present-day Afghanistan and North Africa. All too fascinating in the mirror writings [...]

    9. This is a thoughtful and insightful book. The author has lived and worked for many years in various '3rd world' countries that has given her an insight in the various systems of corruption in those countries - both how it works to enrich those in power - and the demands and pain it inflicts upon ordinary people who pay and pay but see no improvement in their lives.The author has taken a fascinating approach and outlined current corrupt regimes around the world (think of the mafia as in control o [...]

    10. Details ways in which various countries governments are actually kleptocracies, existing to siphon wealth into the hands of government officials for their private benefit. These include Afghanistan (the U.S.-created Karzai regime, where the corruption is funded by the U.S. CIA), Egypt, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, and Nigeria. Then at the end, we hear the fall of the other shoe: the worst of the bunch is the U.S. itself. Here the kleptocracy exists to use the machinery of government to enrich Wall Stree [...]

    11. I so resisted reading this book, as my husband urged me to do. I knew it was about corruption, but I already understood that corruption is rampant and bad. Duh! Why did I need to be further preached to on that topic -- and depressed in the process? Still, I was in between audio books and so I acquiesced and started listening. Within 30 minutes, I was spellbound by the Chayes's personal story. In short order, I became awestruck by all the ground she covers -- both historic and geographic -- and b [...]

    12. 5 stars. A must read for any leader, operator, or student concerned with security, instability and conflict. Having worked with Sarah in 2008-9 I was immediately interested in reading her second book on the subject of corruption and governance. It was better than I could have imagined. A brilliant approach to an under addressed and misunderstood subject, using Medieval historical counsel to rulers and modern day examples of poor and predatory governance across three continents.

    13. Thieves of State, by Sarah Chayes Five stars. [Hardcover, borrowed from the library.]Rarely does a book come along with such important, qualified, nonpartisan information. Sarah Chayes provides a concise history of corruption and gives examples in the current era. She speaks from experience, having lived in Afghanistan for 10 years as a journalist, small business owner and advisor to US generals and civilian administrators through two administrations. Her perspective is unique.As citizens of the [...]

    14. This book teems with wonderful insights and original ideas, along with some amusing and horrifying anecdotes, I just wish it was a little more tightly organized. Sarah Chayes was an NPR reporter in Afghanistan, then a NGO organizer there, and finally an advisor to the U.S. military on Afghan corruption issues. The most important insight Chayes brought to the military was that the United States was consciously and unconsciously enabling a corrupt and kleptocratic state in Afghanistan, which was i [...]

    15. Sarah Chayes' analysis makes a lot of sense. She convincingly presents her theory that corruption fuels fundamentalist terrorism that is at the heart of so much insecurity in the world today and throughout history. This book should be a "must read" for any0ne involved in fashioning US foreign policy.

    16. This is a great book which provided very interesting angles od view to the security implications of corruption. I believe the analysis of the other is valid and applicable to countries in other parts of the world, including mine.

    17. "A fish rots from the head"This is a wonderful book on corruption. The author, Sarah Chayes, knows what she is talking about. Having spent a decade or so in Afghanistan, she has seen quite a bit of it. She is honest about how she herself has also been blind to the tricks employed by the corrupt. Sarah has served as an advisor to Gen Petraeus and others. If you are interested in the topic of 'corruption' and how to combat it, you should pick up this book. ***PURPOSE OF GOV'T- "The very objective [...]

    18. This was a fascinating work! It starts off as a straightforward account of governmental corruption in Afghanistan but quickly evolves into a look at kleptocracies around the globe and their direct links to the source of terrorism. The reflections on the "Arab Spring" and the financial collapse of 2008 were interesting. The historical examples taken from middle-ages 'mirrors' to the reformations and revolutions in the Netherlands, England, colonial America the even the Catholic church really give [...]

    19. An excellent primer on how corruption works and U.S. complicity in it. In Guatemala City, as a young reporter, I saw how the street kids robbed in part because they needed to pay the cop on the beat or suffer brutal consequences. The cop then kicked up to his commanding officer in order to keep his job and illicit income. The commanding officer in turn had to pay off his superior and on it went up the chain. Thieves of State explains these pyramids of corruption in other contexts around the worl [...]

    20. Thieves of States was one of the most original books I've read in a very long time. Written by a security/intelligence professional of the Middle East whose previous career was as a journalist for NPR, she cites excerpts from mirrors for princes (google it) to emphasize examples of corruption in multiple case studies of North African countries. These case studies are then tied into a larger case study of Afghanistan, which is the writer's primary country of focus throughout the book. It was a bi [...]

    21. Really a great read. It focused more on foreign governments as opposed to the U.S. government, which allows the reader to draw his own conclusions about the influence of corruption on our own soil. The author weaves historical accounts, ancient texts, and contemporary quotations into a penetrating look at the role corruption has played throughout modern history. Would recommend to anyone interested in politics and the role of the United States in the geopolitical arena.

    22. Cannot recommend this one highly enough - it really helps shed a light one of the factors fueling what is going on in the world today and the icing on the cake is that the author is not so bold to say that the problems that feed extremist views do not exist on home soil. So good and so interesting.

    23. Thieves of State is an important and fascinating book, and while I don't find the writing terribly elegant, I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in national security and US foreign policy. Sarah Chayes spent many years working in Afghanistan from 2001 onwards, first as a reporter, then as an NGO worker, and finally as a security expert, and credibly gives voice to the popular frustration with corruption in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Nigeria, and many of the countries involved [...]

    24. Fascinating look at corruption in government around the world. But "overwritten" for a "mass audience." The author is very bright and knows the subject thoroughly but like so many who know so much about their subject she finds it difficult to "translate" it for the rest of us. I call it "writing down" but do not mean that in a pejorative sense, merely in the sense of translating for those without the same background knowledge. I was interested in the subject matter and hypothesis, and saw the au [...]

    25. A fascinating tale of Sarah Chayes' adventures, insights, and struggles in becoming aware of how U.S. foreign policy is implemented in places like Afghanistan, Libya, Tunisia, and several other nations with which she has had extensive on the ground experience, first as an award-winning NPR reporter, then civic entrepreneur, adviser to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and political actor. Chayes' insights into the role of U.S. military and political engagement with its client states 'enables' the corru [...]

    26. Chayes' journalistic expertise and knowledge of her subject are the recipe for an outstanding thought-provoking treatise mapping the route between acute systemic corruption at the state level and violent extremism among a disaffected populace. Her detailed examination of the machinations of corruption at all levels of Hamid Karzai's Afghan regime are particularly informing and help connect the dots to a U.S. foreign policy that is often complicit in supporting corrupt governments and thus foment [...]

    27. I have always been frustrated by the fact that our government with regularity backs corrupt leaders and Chayes book does an excellent job of explaining how we are drawn in and mired down by these quagmires. Last year I read "The Locust Effect". The crux of the book was pointing out that efforts to address hunger, disease, and homelessness being a waste of time without addressing the, "hidden epidemic of everyday violence-of rape, forced labor, illegal detention, land theft, police abuse, and mor [...]

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