The impact of federal legislation and funding for foreign language and area studies
During World War II, well before the United States federal government began promoting the development of American expertise in strategic regions of the world, it was confronted with the need for such expertise and the reality that such expertise was virtually non-existent in its own diplomatic, military, and intelligence ranks. The expertise for diplomatic and intelligence service was met by recruiting from the academic community. While the goals of the Fulbright Program were aimed toward strengthening American education as much as international diplomacy, the program was lodged within the State Department. The Fulbright Program is arguably one of the most enlightened US government initiatives in its international relations, and its cumulative effect on US-foreign relations is inestimable. The Fulbright-Hays programs administered by the Department of Education are even more significant than those administered by the State Department in terms of strengthening non-Western European language and area expertise.