To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
May I comment on a couple of points concerning the current criticism of the Center for International Affairs and the Development Advisory Service. First, as instruments of American imperialism they have surely been remarkably incompetent. Stanley Hoffmann's attack on an ambitious and obtrusive and thus, presumptively, imperialist foreign policy has. I sense, been the most widely influential work by anyone associated with the Center in recent years. The history of the DAS is even more striking. Pakistan was the original theatre of its efforts. It remains its show-case achievement. During the period when DAS was most effectively at work in Pakistan that country was moving ever closer into association with China. It was the only important non-Communist country in Asia so to move. This gave the State Department no comfort, as I can attest. It might cross one's mind that a relatively strong economy and the presence of a corps of independent economic advisers extensively recruited by the DAS from Canada. Britain and the Scandinavian countries added to Pakistan's confidence in moving toward China.
My other thought concerns the CFIA. I have long disagreed with Mr. Bowie on the major questions of foreign and military policy. This has not been passive argument between establishment types. As it has carried into public life it has involved sharp political infighting. But during much of the period of our controversy, Mr. Bowie's position on the Cold War and Vietnam has been that of the majority. Those of us who disagreed were greatly in the minority. On occasion we were cited as the agents of imperialism- in this case Communist imperialism. Had we been suppressed our position would not now be- as I believe it is-that of the majority. As a liberal I can be as solemn about protecting minority dissent as anyone. But surely we have evidence here of its practical advantages.
To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
Now these "radical" African scholars at the Center for International Affairs must really not go unchallenged.
Professor Rotberg was at great pains on Oct, 30 to show that the Center has been "interested in movements of anti-colonial and anti-imperial liberation . . . that make people in Washington uncomfortable." To substantiate this contention, Prof. Rotberg writes-inter alia-that he was "specifically invited to the Center nine long years ago in order to undertake a study of anti-British political movements in Africa."
This is precisely the point, and Professor Rotberg has- I fear-unwittingly lent powerful support to a grave charge that has often been directed against American interest in anti-colonial movements in Africa and elsewhere. Critics of American State Department "anti-colonialism" have argued that this policy was dictated primarily by the need to eject the old European colonial Powers from Africa and Asia. That having accomplished this task with the debacle and dissolution of the old Empires, the United States took fright at what it discerned as a "power vacuum" which it feared might be filled by indigenous revolutionary forces or the Soviet Union or a combination of both forces. At this juncture American anti-colonalism faded out, and the United States "stepped into" the presumed vacuum. Professor Rotberg's work in "anti-British political movements in Africa" is surely consistent with that view.
As for the Center's continued "radicalism," it might be noted that one reaction of the African specialists at the Center to the Afro-American Studies Department has been to schedule weekly seminars on Africa which are held contemporaneously with a course on Africa and World Politics offered by the Department. A mere oversight? Perhaps.
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