The Human Cost of the Taliban's Corruption and Kleptocracy

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About the Series
Captured State is a series of three reports published by the George W. Bush Institute that explores how the Taliban have relied on corrupt and kleptocratic behavior to consolidate power in Afghanistan. The report series examines Taliban corruption, the disproportionate impact on women, girls, and other vulnerable communities, and the role of foreign enablers in perpetuating the Taliban’s kleptocracy to identify new and underutilized policy options to advance peace, stability, and freedom in Afghanistan.



Dozens of conversations with experts, advocates, and practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences significantly aided this report’s development. Their expertise was invaluable in mapping areas of concern and identifying subsequent policy recommendations. The George W. Bush Institute thanks each of them for their contributions.

Kasra Aarabi, Fatema D. Ahmadi, Jason Brodsky, Pashtana Durrani, Naheed A. Farid, Jeffrey Grieco, Saeid Golkar, Valerie M. Hudson, Said T. Jawad, Habib Khan, Richard Kraemer, Zahra Joya, Steve LePlante, Esmat Mohib, Sayed Mahdi Munadi, Zahra Nader, Martin Rahmani, Mahmoud Saikal, Nilofar Sakhi, Sima Samar, Arian Sharifi, Omar Sharifi, Melissa L. Skorka, Jodi Vittori, Niva Yau, Juan C. Zarate, and Matt Zeller.

Due to ongoing safety and security concerns in Afghanistan and the sensitive nature of these reports, some experts we spoke with cannot be cited publicly. Though we are unable to name them here, the project team remains incredibly grateful for the contributions of these individuals to this effort.