Militaries Are Traditionally Secretive, and That’s Good News for Weapons Traffickers

A lack of transparency enables corrupt officials worldwide to continue in lucrative racketeering of state assets. A new initiative aims to establish set of global standards for defense governance.

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In the summer of 2015, Lt. Col. Elie Tarpaga was commanding a battalion of Burkina Fasan peacekeepers in Timbuktu, the gateway to Mali’s vast northern desert. It was a tense time: With 850 men and minimal...