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Prof. Alexander Cooley discusses U.S. taxpayer money funding propaganda in Central Asia

In a Foreign Policy article about the Pentagon spending tens of millions of U.S. tax dollars to whitewash the image of Central Asian dictatorships, political science professor Alexander Cooley comments on "influencer websites" run by a defense contractor.  An excerpt:

"It's disturbing, to say the least," says Alexander Cooley, a political scientist at Barnard College who writes frequently about America's military footprint in Central Asia. "I would not expect anyone who is otherwise involved as a contractor or a subcontractor for U.S. security agencies to provide objective news analysis of terrorism. Part of covering terrorism means covering both the emergence of legitimate threats, but also covering how the specter of terror is used as political cover for governments to clamp down on political opponents," Cooley said. He called the "fluff" on Central Asia Online "just propaganda."

Read the full article here.

Cooley is Tow Professor of Political Science at Barnard and a Faculty Member of Columbia’s Harriman Institute.  His research examines how external actors– including international organizations, aid donors, multinational companies, non-governmental organizations, and foreign military bases – have influenced the political and economic development of the former Soviet states, with a focus on Central Asia and the Caucasus.