The United States has its fair share of scandals. But when it comes to corruption, there are plenty of other countries that leave the U.S. in the dust. Here are the three most corrupt countries in the world.
Global watchdog organization Transparency International gathers data
from more than a dozen respected international organizations and
businesses to answer a seemingly simple question : How corrupt is my
Somalia is one of the terrible trio. The easternmost country of
continental Africa, this country is perhaps most infamously known for
its modern-day pirates. The United Kingdom's Department for
International Development refers to it as the "most fragile state in the
world," and notes that the country hasn't had a functioning government
for more than 20 years .
North Korea is also chugging along on the corruption caboose.
According to Transparency International Executive Director Robert
Barrington, countries at the bottom of the corruption bucket are usually
undergoing conflict – but North Korea is an exception.
Kim Jong-un and his military leaders rule with an iron fist. A New York Times article
recently revealed that Jong-un used anti-aircraft machine guns to
execute two of his dissident uncle's top lieutenants , but the more
telling stories may be the ones that are never told. Corruption begins
with disinformation, and North Korea remains an enigma to most human
rights organizations and foreign countries.
Corruption Without Borders
Somalia, North Korea, and Afghanistan may seem like countries on the
other side of the world – and they are. Literally. But figuratively,
corruption halfway around the world can hit close to home.
While Somalia's last recorded GDP was just $910 million in 1990 , the
single pirating of an oil tanker in 2011 represented 20% of one day's
crude oil imports, a move that tanker owners say could "severely disrupt
oil flows to the rest of the world ."
As President Obama proposes to "pivot" foreign policy to Asia, North Korea is quickly becoming the Vietnam of the 21st
century. Fierce animosity and sporadic military conflict is a common
thread throughout Asian history , and the Chinese-North Korean alliance
continues to play yin to Japan and South Korea's yang. Add in nuclear
weapons development, close ties to the Middle East , and a Japanese
decision last week to boost military spending significantly , and you're
left with a ticking foreign policy time bomb.
In Afghanistan, the country where Operation Enduring Freedom has
endured since Oct. 7, 2001 , 2,295 U.S. military men and women have lost
their lives . While more difficult to calculate, The Nation
estimates that 6,481 Afghan civilians were killed between 2001 and
2012 . And in the first 10 years of U.S. operations in Afghanistan, the
U.S. government spent $444 billion .