Karzai, who won a new term in an election that was tainted by charges of massive voter fraud, said he would submit his complete cabinet by next Tuesday, acknowledging the importance that competent, transparent ministers would have on the endemic corruption in the country.
"It's a malaise affecting our society. It's preventing us from progress. It's stealing revenues away from us. The better we function there [on corruption], the sooner we'll be able to pay for ourselves and sustain ourselves," he said.
Gates acknowledged something that American officials rarely spend much time on discussing: corruption within Western companies and the complicity that the West has in facilitating corruption in Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries on the planet.
"The vast amounts of money the international community has has been an enabler, if you will, and has created a significantly larger temptation that it had been perhaps in the past," Gates said. "President Karzai has taken responsibility for dealing with the problem in so far as Afghans are concerned. We have to do what we can do to help make it more difficult for people to misbehave."