After 9/11, the US Congress realized the need for in-depth knowledge of world affairs and advanced language proficiency and increased the Fulbright-Hays budget. This program "supports research and training efforts overseas, which focus on non-Western foreign languages and area studies."
Apparently the post-9/11 era is over now. A few days after Bin Laden's death, the 2011 Fulbright-Hays dissertation fellowships have been cancelled due to budget cuts. $5,800,000 had been estimated, when the US Department of Education invited applications in September 2010, while pointing out that "the actual level of funding, if any, depends on final Congressional action."
It's a disgrace that this prestigious and important fellowship program does not have secure funding.
I am wondering how many fellowships would have been made possible with those 5,8 Mio US-$ and how much the US would have benefited from this increase in language skills and knowledge about these non-Western world regions, that will be most important and dangerous for the US economy and security in the future.
The same amount of money buys you less than four Tomahawk missiles. The United States fired more than 190 Tomahawk missiles against Libyan air defenses and command centers in the first ten days of the war. Besides, many national security hawks doubt whether the Libya mission is advancing US national security interests and the US Congress has not yet expressed approval of the war either. NYT:
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said on Thursday [May 12th] that the air offensive in Libya had cost the Pentagon $750 million so far, more than originally expected for a conflict that Mr. Gates said he had never imagined the United States would enter. "If you'd asked me four months ago if we'd be in Libya today, I would have asked, 'What were you smoking?' " Mr. Gates told Marines during a visit to Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Sean Guillory from the University of Pittsburgh comments on Killing Fulbright-Hays.
Prof. Mark Lynch tweets "Congress cripples future academic knowledge of world."
Other scholars want to do something about it: Has the Fulbright-Hays Cancellation Affected You? and Fulbright Hays 2011 is Cancelled. Do Something.
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