Foreign corruption has run rampant for a tremendous amount of time. To directly address this problem, Congress enacted the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in 1977. Corruption has adverse effects on democratic institutions; it deteriorates public accountability and redirects resources away from national priorities, including public “health, education, and infrastructure.” The impact of corruption abroad can spread rapidly through the global marketplace and ultimately cause chaos domestically. Due to their substantial international impact, foreign bribery and corruption are deemed a threat to U.S. national security. For these reasons, enforcement of the FCPA is a continuing priority for the United States.
This Note will first grapple with the definition of corruption. This Note will then explore the background of the FCPA, as well as its purposes, provisions, and enforcement vehicles. Next, it will discuss corruption as a global problem, investigating other global anticorruption initiatives, which have proven effective. Thereafter, it will provide a brief history of Afghanistan as a war-torn, underdeveloped, corruption-driven country. It will also delve into the legal history of Afghanistan. It will discuss corruption’s adverse effects on the country. Finally, this Note will analyze the possible effectiveness of the FCPA in Afghanistan and how the United States overcomes cultural barriers, in addition to the lack of security, to do its best for a damaged country.