(The New York Times, Op-ed Letter) The United States will surely require more trained specialists on Russia (and on Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus) in coming decades. As the crisis in Ukraine shows, it is at our own peril that we ignore societies covering nearly one-sixth of the world’s land mass.
The situation described in your article would be even more dire were it not for a few high-impact, cost-effective federal programs to support young scholars and analysts with an interest in this region, including the Title VIII research programs in the Department of State and the Title VI international programs in the Department of Education.
These funding streams, along with the support of philanthropic organizations such as Carnegie Corporation of New York and the MacArthur Foundation, have played a vital role in nurturing regional specialists representing disciplines across the humanities and social sciences. They provide timely analysis of the historical, political, economic and cultural dimensions of the current crisis.
Unfortunately, funding cuts have imperiled the future of Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian studies. The time has come to invest again in these international training programs that contribute so much to our security, economic competitiveness and cultural understanding.
STEPHEN E. HANSON
HENRY E. HALE
[To the Editor: Re “Russia Experts See Ranks Thin, and an Effect on U.S. Policy,” March 7]
See the Letter © The New York Times