In Praise of Consolidation

by Nathan Hamm on 9/16/2004 · 2 comments

One of my biggest criticisms of the Russian military is the ease with which its members are bought off. Go read Chicago Boyz for a recent example.

Russian troops rented out tanks to both sides during the Tajik Civil War, have been caught smuggling drugs out of Afghanistan, and allegedly flew Juma Namangani in and out of Afghanistan back in the day.

This corruption at low- and mid-levels of Russian officialdom is in dire need of a solution, and much of the debate sidesteps that question entirely. I think you all know where I stand…

Jamestown printed an article worth reading on Putin’s proposed reforms.

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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Alexei September 17, 2004 at 6:12 am

An interesting review in at Jamestown indeed, although Torbakov is going too far when he says Putin’s Russia is “conscious and proud of its “un-Western” political identity.” This might be how Putin sees things, but most Russians capable of political reflections, while being conscious of this difference, are hardly proud of it.

Nathan Hamm September 17, 2004 at 7:02 am

That is certainly a good point. Both sides have a tendency to be hyperbolic in stating their positions.

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