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U.S. leads the world in fighting corruption

To the editor: Doyle McManus rightly argues that corruption abroad should be seen as a national security issue. The U.S. has been a leader in the fight against international corruption. ("How corruption abroad threatens U.S. national security," Op-Ed, Nov. 29)

Our Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was a groundbreaking and standard-setting law; we have used visa bans and other tools to target corrupt leaders; we have created the Open Government Partnership and supported international efforts like the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative; and President Obama, like Democrats and Republicans before him, has used his bully pulpit to highlight the importance of exposing corrupt practices.

But the international effort needs to be ramped up. This is part of the message that Secretary of State John Kerry will bring to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's ministerial meeting in Switzerland on Thursday.

As McManus points out, corruption in the regime of Viktor Yanukovich, who reportedly stole billions before fleeing in February, weakened Ukraine. And corruption in Vladimir Putin's Russia has accompanied repression at home and aggression abroad.

In 2012, the 57 OSCE participating states formally pledged to do more to advance good governance. Two years later, corruption threatens long-term security in Central Asia, the Caucasus and Eastern Europe.

Daniel Baer, Vienna, Austria

The writer is the U.S representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

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