(Kansas City, Missouri) - Syria to the East-West standoff in Ukraine to the abduction of schoolgirls in northern Nigeria, a violent new crisis seemingly erupts every day.
The common thread, Sarah Chayes says, is government corruption so pervasive that some regimes now resemble criminal gangs.
A former adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chayes lays out the role of state-sponsored malfeasance in today's geopolitical turmoil in a discussion of her new book Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security on Monday, May 11, 2015, at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. The presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.
Chayes, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment, is a former reporter who spent most of the past decade in Afghanistan. She covered the fall of the Taliban for National Public Radio, then left journalism to remain in Kandahar and contribute to the reconstruction of the country.
She was appointed in 2009 as a special adviser to Generals David McKiernan and Stanley McChrystal, commanders of the International Security Assistance Force, and a year later became special adviser to Admiral Mike Mullen, who headed the Joint Chiefs of Staff from October 2007 to September 2011. In that role, Chayes contributed to strategic policy on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Arab Spring.
Thieves of State is part memoir and part treatise. In Afghanistan, where the United State has been at war, and in Egypt, where American-sponsored government tyranny wound up leading to the overthrow of longtime ally Hosni Mubarak, Chayes argues that our country has thwarted its own strategic aims. Inevitably, corruption prompts resentment and subsequent protests and revolt. Often, it fuels extremist violence.
By tolerating corruption and even tacitly and actively enabling it, Chayes maintains that the U.S. likely has helped Islamist extremists recruit legions of bodies to flesh out their ranks.
Admission to the event is free. RSVP at kclibrary.org  or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available in the Library District parking garage at 10th and Baltimore.