Part the Second

by Nathan Hamm on 9/16/2004 · 6 comments

“In which Nathan again takes issue with PINR

I have been critical of PINR in the past. [I have since been in contact with the author of the piece in question before and am happy to report that some of my questions have been cleared up. ]

In this case, I would have to say that my reaction is colored by the ludicrously misleading headline in the Asia Times reprint. Honestly, the piece is much better than a lot of what is written on China and Central Asia.

Otherwise, it’s some standard stuff fact-checking stuff that I get a little picky about. For example, I though that the SCO anti-terror center was in Tashkent, not Bishkek. It was apparently proposed to be in Bishkek at one point, so if someone could clear this up, I’d appreciate it. (This suggests that one would be right to say there was a change of plans and that the center is in Tashkent.)

I take issue with the characterization that the United States is in retreat in the region and would love to hear why Mr. Wolfe thinks resources have been shifted to Iraq from Central Asia. I also have to mention that the conspicuous absence of Russia from the discussion gives impression that China would somehow become dominant were the US to pull back despite the huge number of reasons to think it would actually be Russia that benefits. The explanation of Russia’s contentment with the SCO is a little hard to buy because I get the impression that it’s only China that really takes the SCO seriously. Russia’s involvement appears to have more to do with the US than it does with any love for China. For regional security, Russia already has a CIS collective security organization.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

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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Laurence September 16, 2004 at 3:08 pm

Nathan, what is PINR, who pays for it, where does it come from, etc.? It’s name sound sort of weird and cult-like. Are they connected to Lyndon LaRouche, by any chance?

Nathan September 16, 2004 at 3:17 pm

All I really know is that Yellow Times connection. I leave it to the reader to fill in the blanks of what that means.

They certainly do a disservice to readers by not printing biographical information about their writers or giving info on who they are. If Feiser is any indication, the authors are working on getting established and PINR gives a place to start.

The authors are good writers with a knack for getting the facts wrong. Therefore, I predict they will have stellar careers in journalism.

Laurence September 16, 2004 at 4:45 pm

Nathan, I think they also have some connection with Eurasianet, I think I’ve seen some links…

Nathan September 16, 2004 at 5:02 pm

EurasiaNet reprints their stuff sometimes. The following also have used or do use their use:

# United States Army
# United States Air Force
# United States State Department
# United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
# Center for Security Studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
# Eurasia Foundation
# Russian American Nuclear Security Advisory Council
# American Enterprise Institute
# Pravda
# Asia Times
# Times of Central Asia
# Miami University
# Princeton University
# Tufts University
# Australian National University
# Global Policy Forum
# African Bulletin

Though I’d take money from Pravda (as a close friend recently said, “If I had to describe Nate with one word, it would be ‘mercenary.'”), I wouldn’t brag about it.

Here are author bios. Honestly, if I put more time into cleaning up the things I wrote, I’d slap the title “Senior Analyst” on myself too, so I can’t blame them.

Nathan September 16, 2004 at 5:03 pm

Oh, and I know at least one of them reads this site on occasion.

Laurence September 19, 2004 at 10:38 am

Well, the name alone sounds like a front for something or other, no matter how many “respectable” sites reprint their stuff. And the lack of information about their board of directors, staff, corporate status, funding, etc. is also a little suspicious…

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