Ignorance of local languages led to failures in Iraq and Afghanistan. Journalists and politicians note the special importance of language aspect for national interests of the USA, not least - in military and prospecting spheres.
In transatlantic mass media the problem of studying and improvement of teaching of foreign languages is actively discussed. This subject found any more only public, but also the state sounding.
The American press gave more than once the unfavourable facts about system and quality of training in foreign languages. If in 1970 Russian in the USA was learned by nearly 40 thousand students, in the late nineties - less than 24 thousand. And now and that it is less. Teachers of Russian and culture at military institute of foreign languages in Monterrey (California) cut in due time almost by half (with 443 to 223) and left only those to whom soon on pension. In general today only 8,2% of students registered in foreign language courses. Thus the total of students of colleges and universities grew by 4 times! Their most part learns Spanish, French and German. And after all need for experts on other languages considerably increased.
Ryszard Brecht, the managing director of the National center of foreign languages at Merilendsky university and one of authors of the book "Language and National Security in the XXI Century", compares present time from the end of the fiftieth years of the last century. Forty years ago, in 1957 when the USSR started a first-ever artificial satellite of Earth in space, the USA urgently took national measures to lift level of teaching of the exact sciences. Now, Brecht considers, the same should be made and with learning of foreign languages. However, now everything is much more difficult. When there was the Soviet Union, the American diplomats, to military analysts and scouts needed knowledge only one, Russian. Now - in more than ten times more.
It is well-known that it is necessary to train in languages since the childhood. The U.S. Government in interests of support of language training at elementary schools developed the special act under the name "No Child Left Behind". Its semantic translation approximately is as follows:any child shouldn't lag behind (in learning of foreign languages. - Bus). However, despite these measures and promotion of need of learning of foreign languages, desirable results aren't reached yet. Only in seven of fifty states learning of foreign languages is included in the obligatory curriculum of school students aged from 6 till 12 years.
As it was noted, foreign language skills find special value for the American armed forces and prospecting community. Especially in connection with a situation in the Middle East where the American armies conduct operations in Iraq and in Afghanistan. The influential newspaper "Washington Post" considers that one of the absence reasons how many - нибудь considerable progress "in war with the international terrorism" - insufficient language training of the American military personnel and the staff of intelligence services. Therefore supposedly they aren't fully ready to fight against terrorism. And by language of terrorists over the ocean today first of all mean Arab which Islamic fundamentalists speak.
However according to the largest American intelligence service - FBI, until recently from among her 12 000 agents only 33 though something understood on - Arab. The same who really knows language, can be counted on fingers of one hand. And the staff of translators after numerous reductions was cut down. So no wonder that armed forces and intelligence services feel need for experts with linguistic education more and more.
Against the above it is useful to tell how affairs in this sphere at the main ally of the USA in the Middle East - Israel are. Knowledge of foreign languages - the most important criterion of selection of shots in military investigation of the Country promised. Selection of candidates for service in its bodies begins with the senior classes of high school. But thus the main criterion - progress of candidates in learning of foreign languages and other subjects interesting investigation. Before final examinations with school students after preliminary selection interview is conducted. And not only with guys, but also with girls. To them offer a place of the military translator for the period of their obligatory biennial military service after school. Those who agrees, after conscription direct to serve in military investigation.
The best of yesterday's school students send to study in school of military investigation (in 5 km to the North from Tel - Aviva) where along with other disciplines foreign languages are studied or improved. Upon termination of military intelligence school graduates are appointed assistants to quick employees on places and serve there before receiving a captain's rank. Then transfer to staffs of military districts or to a staff - the apartment of military investigation where before them prospects of further growth open. So the language knowledge found still at high school, - one of major factors of office growth for officers of the Israeli military investigation.
As for the American colleagues Israeli "джеймсов bonds", they more than once were trapped from - for shortages of experts with knowledge of foreign languages. As the same Ryszard Brecht, for this reason of test of the nuclear weapon in 1998, carried out by Pakistan and India told, became an unpleasant surprise for the American investigation.
So life nominated to the agenda development and deployment of an integrated approach to learning of foreign languages not only in the American army and intelligence services, but also at the state level. According to some information, in the American military department absolutely usual order came into force not already. Its essence - money and languages. Or, perhaps, money for languages. It is a question of serious additional payments to the American military personnel who well know foreign languages. As it was reported, the annual increase for it can reach neither more nor less 12 thousand dollars depending on complexity of learned language and extent of possession of
In transatlantic mass media it was noted that life forced to make such decision of heads of military department. As showed experiment of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, shortage of the qualified military translators and simply the people knowing local languages, seriously complicated conducting combat operations and performance of special operations. In the same Iraq very few of tens of thousands of American military personnel combating insurgents and training the Iraq soldiers, speak the Arabic language. Language ignorance and consequently, and mentality, local realities and traditions creates big difficulties in communication джи - ouch with local population and consequently, and in aspiration in positive light to present stay of occupational armies on the Iraq earth.The same problem - very small number of those who speaks such exotic languages for America as Pashto both give, and understands them that negatively affects mission of the American military in Afghanistan.
The Pentagon planned for the next five financial years to allocate hundreds millions dollars for financing of "linguists". In particular, big investments will be made in mentioned military institute of foreign languages in Monterrey. The allocated funds also will be used in interests of mastering by languages and improvement of linguistic skills by the military personnel of all ranks.
The Ministry of Defence of the USA plans to expand language preparation in three military academies and to give classes abroad for the purpose of obtaining language skills. It was reported also about plans of creation of the special case of a stock for civil linguists as a part of not less than one thousand people which could work with "джи - ouch" abroad or in the United States.
As impulse to acceptance of all these measures the decision on the top - at the level of the president George Bush who, as we know, is also the Supreme Commander served. In January, 2006 it sounded intentions of the government of the country to involve the American youth in learning of foreign languages. It, according to Bush, has to help with fight against the international terrorism. And later, at a meeting with presidents of the American universities, I declared need of the special state program stimulating studying of languages. In his opinion, such program is especially necessary for this purpose, "to protect this country". Moreover, Bush declared that today learning of foreign languages is "strategic objective" for the USA.
Learning of foreign languages, the American president emphasized, it is necessary to involve other people in fight against the international terrorism, and also for promotion in freedom and democracy world. "When we will learn to speak foreign languages, for example Arab, people there, in the Arab region, will tell: My God, America is interested in us. To them, to Americans, we aren't so indifferent that they try to speak with us our language! " - Bush gave vent of the imagination.
The president was supported also by the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. "America doesn't make today due intellectual investments to adjust an exchange of people and ideas with the countries of other culture to know their language and their customs;such investments what we did during cold war", - madam Rice stated. By the way, it as the doctor of political science, the specialist in Russia and the East European countries, still the student mastered Russian.
This year Bush promised to allocate 114 million dollars for needs of the national program of learning of foreign languages. Plans for involvement of children in learning of foreign languages from kindergarten age are developed. The corresponding allocations will be allocated not only to the Ministry of Education, but also military department, State Department, and also prospecting community of the USA. By 2010 annual financial investments into learning of foreign languages will increase to 320 million dollars. Them will intensively teach in all military educational institutions. By the major for national security languages are declared Arab, Chinese, Russian, Farsi and Hindi.
As it was reported, in development of "linguistic installations" Bush Pentagon in the next five years is going to spend hundreds millions dollars to train the military personnel in foreign languages. From analytical reports of military follows what exactly ignorance of language of local population by them in Afghanistan and Iraq became the reason of absence of absolute success of operations.
In a scientific world and in military department with enthusiasm apprehended the message of the president, having paid attention that the similar decision had to make several years ago. The Department of Education, the Ministry of Defence, State Department, and also national investigation will take part in the program. So the Pentagon concretized presidential installations already in relation to actually military sphere. Military department on the allocated money is going to create national fund of safety. He will take care of implementation of plans for learning of foreign languages by children from kindergarten to university age.
The senior representative of the American command William Veles declared the Gene creation of special division - groups of the fast language help. On the basis of the analysis of potential danger to the USA it will define, on what languages and geographical objects the American army has to throw all the forces.
However experts consider: to the average American, be he even seven spans in a forehead, a lot of time and efforts is required to study not only Arab, Chinese, Korean and other east languages, but at least more easily acquired West European.So hardly the considerable funds allocated by the American administration for improvement of learning of foreign languages, will pay off quickly enough. Including in interests of national security.