From a speech delivered by Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.) in the Senate on May 21:
The U.S. Soviet relationship is our number-one foreign policy concern. Yet in the 27 years of exchanges, we have managed to average only 600 Americans and 250 Soviet scholars exchanged each year. Contrast these numbers with an average of 14,000 per year with Japan; 5,500 with Britain; 3,600 with West Germany; 3,000 with France; and 14,000 with the People's Republic of China.
We will probably not soon reach the level of good relations with Moscow that we have with Paris, London or Bonn, but who would have thought as late as 1968 that we would achieve the far-reaching accord with Beijing which we did following the Nixon summit? . . .
We need to build a much larger corps of Soviet and Easter European specialists so that we can draw ona broadly based and reliable cadre of professionals to help formulate policy. While we have a few outstanding scholars and Soviet watchers in the United States, there are not nearly enough full-time Soviet experts and even fewer who have actually spent a significant amount of time studying in the Svoiet Union.,
. . . Exchanges can be most valuable precisely when relations are strained. Relations grew worse between 1981 and 1985, and two-way exchanges suffereed. Would it no have been better to increase direct contact with each other when hostility was on the rise? Would it not have made more sense to have our youth, scholars and professionals engaged in routine discussion with the other superpower capable of global destruction?