Transparency International UK has accused western governments, including Britain and the US of ignoring corruption and thereby allowing Islamic State (Isis) to thrive across the world, particularly in the Middle East.
In a report titled The Big Spin, released on Tuesday (21 February), the non-governmental organisation warned that governments fighting the Islamist group will not be able to defeat it unless they end corruption in the military.
According to BBC, the report comes amid intense fighting in Iraq and Syria to drive out IS (Daesh) militants from the two countries. US-led coalition forces are providing air support and training to local armies to fight the jihadists. While in Iraq the battle is centered on west Mosul, the operation in Syria is focused on liberating Raqqa– the last militant stronghold in the country.
The report also called on governments to bring in more transparency in their military budgets as it alleged that corruption in these ranks enabled extremists to take advantage, radicalise and recruit fighters. The report also explained that terrorist groups recruit fighters through social media posts that highlights the apathy of governments.
"Corruption is a rallying cry, an enabler and a key modus operandi for IS. The failure to grasp this undermines efforts to tackle the rise of violent extremism," Katherine Dixon, director of Transparency International Defence and Security and co-author of the report, said.
"The international community expends great efforts tackling the 'ideology' of groups such as ISIS, focusing on the religious rhetoric they produce, yet completely ignoring the material circumstances in which they thrive."
Dixon warned that the governments will not succeed in defeating these extremist forces unless they address corruption at the highest levels. "This is not just about closing off the corrupt channels that enable the day-to-day operations of groups like IS, but rethinking relationships with the Mubaraks [in Egypt], Gaddafis [in Libya] and Malakis [in Iraq] of the future.
"Corruption is a real security threat, more than just a means for elites to line their pockets. In the end corrupt governments by fuelling public anger and undermining institutions, are the architects of their own security crises," BBC quoted her as saying.