links for 2006-01-29

by Nathan Hamm on 1/28/2006 · 2 comments

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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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Andreas Tamberg January 29, 2006 at 3:35 am

Re. Nick Schmidle’s article in the Post, “In Central Asia, New Players, Same Game”:

While it is true that the US could invest more in Central Asia, it is not at all clear that ‘showing the money,’ as Mr. Schmidle puts it, to the region’s non-democratic governments, — and underdeveloped civil sector — will achieve the results he has in mind. To quote the hero of the Russian classic, White Sun of the Desert, “The East is a Subtle Thing” (smile).

Those interested might want to look at USAID/CAR’s programs on the internet to fill a major gap the article leaves regarding the US role in the region. Infrastructure is fine but it won’t buy hearts and minds. If we try to buy folks’ loyalties, we’ll suffer the same fate that befell all previous empires here.

Also, if we take some time to look through the Russian language television channels in the region, we’ll notice a plethora of dubbed American films (and cable TV channels!) — arguably the region’s second largest media import following Russian productions. Considering the influence American mass media has on Russian television, the US is not altogether disadvantaged here, where people are still influenced by Soviet and post Soviet culture.

I’m now going to settle in for the start of the new blockbuster miniseries on Russian TV — the First Circle….

Best wishes.

Brian January 29, 2006 at 10:31 pm

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