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Addressing counterterrorism: US literacy in languages and international affairs

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The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 in New York and Washington, DC, have caused a significant review of US capacity to conduct intelligence analysis to predict such attacks. A key component of the ability to analyze intelligence is the matter of competence in languages appropriate to areas of current emphasis in national defense. Language capacity is not a new topic to national defense, but this article looks at the link between government needs for language capacity and the availability of languages in formal education. Despite previous links between education and defense and the availability of federal funding to subsidize languages in schools, the predominant pattern of language enrollment appears to be in response to domestic concerns rather than to international affairs.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2002

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