Ecology of Military Corruption

Drawing on program manager Sam Perlo-Freeman’s research and expertise, and case study research conducted as part of the Compendium of Arms Trade Corruption, this research program adds an analytical component drawing out key themes and providing analysis of particular country contexts. It locates military corruption within the ecology of corruption of each particular country; the characteristic forms it takes and how it is related to corrupt practices in the wider commercial arena (including the common phenomenon of military-owned companies operating in non-military sectors) and in the political sphere (including the role of military corruption in funding political parties and patronage systems).

The key output for this program is a series of reports and working papers focusing on specific countries and themes. 

Publications include:

Arms Trade Corruption and Political Finance
by Xiaodon Liang and Sam Perlo-Freeman
July 9, 2018

This occasional paper examines the link between political finance and corruption in the arms, trade drawing from the Compendium of Arms Trade Corruption, a collection of 29 cases of corruption in the arms trade and the broader military sector from around the world.

Corruption in the Indonesian arms business: tentative steps towards an end to impunity
by Xiaodon Liang and Sam Perlo-Freeman
December 13, 2017

This paper examines the problem of corruption in the military sector in Indonesia in the post-Suharto era, in particular in relation to arms procurement, and discusses the significance of recent tentative signs of greater efforts by the Indonesian civil and military authorities to address the problem. It illustrates three crucial points about democratization and corruption in the arms trade.

How big is the International Arms Trade?
by Sam Perlo-Freeman
October 4, 2017

This paper attempts to produce a global estimate, or rather a range of estimates of the financial size of the international arms trade. It also explains problems with the data, including for some of the largest western arms exporters, from whom one might expect a greater level of transparency: most notably, the USA.

Corruption in the Russian Defense Sector
May 11, 2018

The report by Polina Beliakova and Sam Perlo-Freeman discusses information on corruption in the Russian defense sector, especially the arms industry, identifying key cases of corruption that have become visible in recent years, in particular since 2008, when Russia’s current set of military reforms, and major rearmament drive, began.

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