Afghanistan’s Former President and the Kleptocracy of “Liberal Democracy”

The predictable collapse of the American-imposed Afghan government has served as a powerful illustration of the hubris of the West’s Very Serious policy elites. Within the chaos of the past week emerged a figure that perhaps best personifies the sheer inadequacy of the modern ruling class: former president Ashraf Ghani.

Looking at Ghani’s resume, it is easy to see why he was a perfect figure for Western governments. Born in Afghanistan but educated abroad, he holds a PhD from Columbia and supplemental education from the business schools at Harvard and Stanford. His resume included teaching stints at Berkeley and Johns Hopkins before holding positions at the World Bank and the UN prior to the war in Afghanistan. Ghani served as the chief advisor to President Hamid Karzai and as the state’s finance minister prior to assuming the presidency. (Both of his elections sparked allegations of election irregularities.)

He is also the author of the book Fixing Failed States, published by Oxford.

Ghani is perhaps best known now as a man who fled his presidential palace with $169 million. Even before an official denial from the former president, questions around the logistics of transporting that amount of cash cast doubt on the claims. Still, regardless of what actually happened when Ghani fled Kabul, there is a truthfulness to the image of the failed leader stealing from the Afghan people.

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