From a speech by John Brademas, president of New York University, on Oct. 24, 1985:
Terrorism in the Middle East, conflict in Central America, the threat of civil war in the Philippines, tensions in Cyprus and in the Eastern Mediterranean -- are all developments that reach far acress international borders
In the present day, how well are we preparing Americans to understand other nations, other cultures, other peoples? In my view, we are not doing very well. . . .
(The National Council on Foreign Language and International Studies) found a serious lack in this country of experts on the cultures, economies and foreign policies of Asia, sub- Sahara Africa, the Middle East, the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. . . . (former CIA directors) William Colby and Stansfield Turner blamed our lack of expert knowledge about Vietnam and Iran for serious intelligence shortcomings in those countries, and both men said our ignorance of Latin America appeared "almost boundless". . . .
Last November, the National Endowment for the Humanities issued a report that . . . cited a sharp decline since 1966 in college entrance and graduation requirements in foreign languages. . . .
Whatever the reasons for the troubled state of international studies in this country, it seemed clear at one time that we were as a nation willing to take steps to overcome our ignorance. The Soviet launching of Sputnik in 1957 shocked us into a reevaluation of the quality of American education. Our response was the National Defense Education Act, an effort . . . to retain our international leadership in science and technology. Through Title VI of NDEA, we sought to strengthen our capabilities in foreign languages and area studies. I regret to say, however, that we have consistently failed to provide adequate fund for these programs.