The President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, promised last November to crack down on corruption within his government.

In response the US supplied his authorities with surveillance technology and other assistance to help him in his efforts.

But interference from some quarters has derailed corruption prosecutions and one senior US official told the Washington Post that "Above a certain level, people are being very well protected."

As the US and other countries including the UK pump aid money in, it is estimated that as much as $1 billion a year is being siphoned off. According to the Washington Post it is thought that much of the money is finding its way into the Emirate of Dubai where ‘elite Afghans, including Karzai's older brother, have villas’.

Recently, when cases are being compiled against certain high level officials, Afghan prosecutors and investigators have been ordered to take names off the files, stop arrests and disregard evidence. This includes of course personnel of a large finance company who are thought to be behind the movement of the money concerned.

This news will not help the cause of the Karzai government on a domestic level and could see support for the war in Afghanistan drop in the US, UK and wider world.

The Afghan Attorney General, Mohammed Ishaq, took the job two years ago and was initially viewed as an ally in the war against corruption. But it seems he has interfered with progress in certain cases. He though says he was doing what he was told to do by President Karzai.

This corruption continues even though the US have selected Afghan recruits, put them through lie-detector tests and trained some at the Drug Enforcement Agency academy in Quantico. They then set up elite investigative and prosecution teams. But even the results of the work by these units are subject to review by a commission created by Aloko and names of politically connected Afghans are erased from the files.

Afghanistan is still living up to its name as the most corrupt country on earth.

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