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ed at the end of World War II when it was realized that the Army would need a small cadre of officers fluent in Russian and highly knowledgeable of Soviet affairs.
The program included a year of Russian language study at Monterey, a year of graduate study at a university and then two years at the USARI in Germany, where courses are taught in Russian, exams are written in Russian and the subject matter taught from an ethnocentric Soviet viewpoint. These last two years were originally intend to be in Moscow, but as relations soured in 1946, it became evident we could not arrange a two-year study program in Soviet schools.
As a substitute, a number of Soviet emigres were selected to establish a school in Germany. That site was chosen because some of the faculty had difficulty with U.S. immigration authorities over their Marxist beliefs and Communist Party backgrounds.
The faculty included several former Red Army colonels, a lawyer who helped Vyshinsky run the purge trials, and a former highranging party official who taught at the Institute of Red Professors, heard lectures by Stalin and was eventually imprisoned as a Bukharinite.
Others had worked in the economic planning apparatus, in propaganda, and in two NKVD supervising concentration camps. They gave a lecture course about those institutions and topics on which there were expert from experience and study. They did not understand the United States. They had never been here except for short visits. They were in mid-life or older, in some cases. But they were extraordinary teachers. While then tended to be vigorously antiSoviet, some were outspoken opponents of U.S. foreign policy. Some remained convinced Marxists.
Needless to say, studying with these people helped give people a view of the USSR from within, not through an American academic prism. The officer-graduates of this program have been the core of the Defense Department's cadre of Soviet area experts. The return on our dollar in that program is probably greater, dollar-for-dollar, than most any I know.
Senator NUNN. I am just curious on that point. This was in the forties and early fifties we had this?
General ODOM. We still have it.
Senator NUNN. We had Marxists teaching American officers in Germany during the McCarthy era?
General Odom. Very distinguished.
Senator Nunn. Did that ever come up during the McCarthy hearings? [Laughter.]
General Odom. Not to my knowledge.
Senator Nunn. This is a covert operation we have been carrying on all these years. [Laughter.]
General Odom. That is what we call in the Army "off the shelf". Senator NUNN. Off the shelf, huh? [Laughter.]
General ODOM. USARI today employs 15 individuals who have defected or emigrated from the Soviet Union and Eastern bloc countries. The Institute provides these individuals with the opportunity to make an enormous contribution, to pursue their own academic work and to enjoy status and self-respect.
However, employment on the professional teaching staff at USARI creates a nettlesome "Catch-22" type problem for some of these individuals with regard to their status as international legal persons and their desire to become U.S. citizens. I would like to address these issues in the question-and-answer portion if you want to pursue them.
Perhaps similar schemes could be worked out for other agencies. In the area of military affairs, we have been able to make bettter use of a select number of emigres who have served with the Soviet armed forces, not for intelligence purposes, but for interpreting and using a lot of Soviet military press. A wealth of professional articles appear in the Soviet journals, but the Soviet approach to military affairs, conventional force tactics and operations, is quite different from ours, making it difficult for non-Soviet specialists to grasp it or to avoid being bored by it. For the uninitiated, it is, indeed, boring.
Another example of how the Defense Department has used emigres well is the Defense Language Institutes. Keeping a native Russian-speaking faculty there is imperative. We began to slip from that standard in the 1970s. Things have improved, but DLİ needs to keep a fresh flow of new emigres into its ranks in order to stay abreast of current Russian idiomatic speech in the USSR.
In passing, I would like to pay my respects to the many dedicated and able Russian instructors at Monterey who, over the four postwar decades, have done more to help Soviet studies than any other single group in the United States. In the days of the military draft in the United States, many young college graduates entered the Army, were selected for study at Monterey, and came away with a rather solid foundation in the language. Several of those people became professors in Soviet area studies in many of our universities. Others became diplomats. Seldom have the emigres of the first and second waves who taught at Monterey received the praise they deserve for the effect they have had through their students, not only on the academic community, but also on the Foreign Service, the Intelligence Community and the military services.
Today, the third wave has made its appearance at DLI in a few cases, and in time, it must take the torch of language teaching almost wholly into its own hands. Its influence may not be as broad as when the military draft made it imperative for a wide cross-section of our society to study there. However, it will still have a large influence, and a very important one.
Another example of good use of the third wave by the Department of Defense is Mr. Andrew Marshall's Net Assessment Office. A number of projects are funded by Mr. Marshall, small studies by individual Soviet emigres. I have found several of them fascinating, providing written accounts of activities and institutional arrangements in the USSR which do not make the grade in project selection for academic grants.
The authors cannot meet the same rigorous standards of evidence for methods of analysis or simply for interest among university circles that others do. Yet they have very important things to record for us, to explain to us. Many of these papers are uneven, particularly when the author is unread in the Western literature, but they frequently contain genuinely new evidence and insights if one is willing to fish for them.
I do not know with great confidence how well the third wave has been used in the academic world over the past few years, but I can share some tentative impressions. On the one hand, I have seen a growing number of monographs and books published by emigre scholars. A small number of new emigres have managed to secure teaching positions in spite of a dearth of opportunities in the last couple of decades. Perhaps the most encouraging thing I see is a small number who have come to the United States young enough to learn English well and earn a graduate degree, and yet able to remember their experiences in the Soviet Union. They are sufficiently bicultural to succeed as American academicians and to study the Soviet area.
On the other hand, I sense a genuine hostility to the views of many of these emigres. Many American scholars have a much more benign view of the USSR than do most emigres. Some emigres trim their views to meet American preferences. Others do not. At the same time, there is a tendency in some American scholarship to treat emigre and dissident views and writings as biased, evidence to be used with care, if used at all. There is no doubt that biases exist in emigre views, but there is occasionally a kind of lofty pomposity masquerading as detached objectivity among American scholars that brings an equal bias to analysis of Soviet affairs.
I mentioned earlier that the politics of the emigres have been diverse, bringing several strains of politics from pre- and post-revolutionary Russia to the West. Those strains meet head-on with an equally diverse set of political biases in the West. Depending on what one thinks of U.S. policy toward the USSR ought to be, one will find emigre views more or less congenial.
We like the emigres who buttress our prejudices. We ignore those who do not, or we snub them if they are sufficiently articulate to make us hear their views in any case.
I emphasize this point because your hearing can easily convey the impression that there are thousands of emigres just waiting to divest themselves of the unvarnished truth about the USSR, an accurate impression, and that U.S. policy would become much more effective by a large degree if we simply listened to that unvarnished truth and took it to heart, a most inaccurate impression.
Some emigres arrive with a kind of naivete, convinced that if they could tell the right people about the inequities of the USSR, U.S. policy would change at once for the better. They slowly become wiser or disillusioned.
Some Americans are equally possessed of a conviction that any thing emigres say about the USSR is to be discounted. Those who maintain extensive contact with Soviet officials and value assurance that they will always be welcome in the USSR are sometimes given to this view.
Soviet officials know this well, and they play to the American concern, they feed it, and they do what they can to limit emigre influence. I do not believe we can get rid of these biases, pro and anti, about emigre views. There is truth on both sides, and there is gross distortion on both sides. I readily confess my own bias, one that has shifted over the years. Living among emigres during my language and area training, I found their interminable debates hard to bear. I was particularly impatient with their lack of knowledge about what has been written in the West about the USSR. In the mid- and early 1960s, I believe we understood a lot more than eimgres were willing to concede.
As our foreign policy consensus broke down and we launched into polarizing debates about the nature of Soviet politics, refracting them through the prisms of the radical movement on U.S. university campuses in the late 1960s and the 1970s, I noticed more Western scholarship about the USSR that seemed to abuse the facts dramatically.
As I saw more of the third wave of emigres, I came to the conclusion that their biases are a much overdue corrective. Our experts exaggerated the prospects for liberalization in the USSR. Once Khrushchev denounced the malignancy of Stalinism and began to exorcize it, we tended to believe the USSR would soon lose its uniqueness, its totalitarian structure and become just an ordinary authoritarian system likely to evolve as authoritarian systems were doing in Portugal, Spain and some Latin American countries.
Thirty years after the initiation of de-Salinization, we find the Soviet emigres still using the term "totalitarianism," a term believed long irrelevant to an understanding of the USSR in most Western circles.
In the mid-1970s, I found myself more sympathetic to the general line heard from the emigres, less sympathetic to some American academic circles.
Now, I suppose you might get a better perspective on what the third wave of emigration can do if you imagine an American immigration to the Soviet Union, scholars, lawyers, teachers, economists, and picture an analogous debate in Soviet official circles about how to understand America from these newly arrived Americans.
Could those American emigres explain American politics and society to Soviet officialdom? They would certainly believe so, adamantly. Which ones should be taken seriously? The economists who studied under Milton Friedman or whose who internalized the teachings of John Kenneth Galbraith? Should they believe the opponents of detente or the proponents of detente? Both groups would speak with equal vigor and confidence that they alone possessed the truth. Actually, both groups could tell the Soviet officials a great deal, and it would be more accurate than what most Soviet scholars and experts know about us.
The same is true of Soviet emigres. We can learn a lot. It would be interesting to see a close analysis done on what emigres from all three waves have told us over the past seven decades and compare it with some of what our own pundits have reported, including more than a few scholars.
Their biases notwithstanding, the emigres generally have been right about more. I believe the record would show that Americans who travel a great deal to the USSR have tended to exaggerate change and liberal trends while the emigres have not.
American scholars who have traveled less, listened to the emigres and carefully studied the evidence available from written sources have done much better in understanding the USSR. This is only a hunch. There are exceptions among travelers. Tocquevilles do appear occasionally, but only occasionally.
In closing, I want to emphasize that the new Soviet emigres are a great resource. We already have learned a lot from them, and we can learn more. Given the great numbers, however, I doubt that we can use them all; we shall always find some cases of neglected emigres with much to offer us. At the same time, we should not expect vast new insights that alter our policies and basic understanding. The practical task is loosening our own biases sufficiently to accept the truths they bring.
The most important ones are not good news. Are we willing to accept the bad news? I am inclined to skepticism after watching Americans go to the USSR, mix eagerly with Soviet dissidents, champion their views and causes, and then drop them once they have emigrated because their views are troubling. While they are in the USSR, they are treated as great sources of insights. Once they arrive in the West and express doubts about the good will toward the West of the incumbent General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, their views lose cogency for these Americans.
Solzhenitsyn was a hero of our media before he was expelled. He came here, told us unflattering things about both the United States and the USSR, and the media discounted his views on both. I find Solzhenitsyn an extraordinary observer of Soviet society, and I listen to him for what he knows about the USSR, not for his views on the United States.
Rare is the emigre who can deal with both topics, but we have one right here in Washington, the most distinguished novelist of his generation, Vasilii Aksyonov. His most recent book, “In Search of Melancholy Baby," opens with a vignette about this very problem with Western intellectuals concerned with the Soviet Union.
In his novel, the "Island of Crimea," he satirizes Westerners' fascination with Soviet politics, yet their inability to handle the truths of that politics once back in the West. Are we really ready, as we assert, to recognize these truths?
There are many things we could do to take much better advantage of the new emigres, and I hope the Committee finds ways to do them. It will not be easy, however, because of the enduring prejudices both we and the emigres bring to the dialogue. The dialogue is important, nonetheless, more important than our dialogue with those Soviet citizens who have not emigrated, insofar as we are intent on seeing the Soviet phenomenon clearly.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your long patience.
Senator Nunn. Thank you, General, for an excellent statement. I think you brought out a lot of points that bring a degree of consideration and balance to this overall question. It is important to the subcommittee and also to the overall subject.