Why are most Arabs so prepared to trust the military?

Do people in the Arab region tend to trust transparent and corruption-free institutions more than others? That is what you would expect, but the opposite appears to be the case.

According to theĀ Arab Barometer from 2018-2019, 49.4% of people in Algeria, Iraq, Palestine, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Kuwait, Sudan, Lebanon, Egypt and Yemen put a huge amount of trust in their armed forces, while 26% put considerable trust in their armed forces. In the same survey, 47.3% of respondents who said that they had a high level of trust in the armed forces also replied by saying that corruption at a national level was very high in their countries, while 52.2% of them believed levels of corruption to be average.

In Egypt, for instance, 57% of Egyptians polled in 2018 said that they put great trust in the army, while 27.3% put considerable trust in their armed forces. Strikingly, 48% of respondents who said that they had a high level of trust in the army believed that corruption in the country was extreme. The majority of those surveyed tended to believe that there is corruption to a large extent at a national level (formal institutions): 74% of Iraqis, 59% of Lebanese, 77% of Libyans, 42% of Moroccans, 46% of Sudanese, 74% of Tunisians and 33% of Yemenis.

High risk of corruption in MENA countries

Based on data from theĀ Government Defence Integrity Index (GDI), which measures five corruption risk factors: political, personal, operational, financial and procurement, the vast majority of MENA countries at a high risk of corruption. GDI categorises corruption risks from A to F, where F is the highest risk of corruption, and A is the lowest. Most MENA countries are at critical or very high risk of corruption….

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