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The US and Russia

Statements on foreign policy by President Bush or Condoleezza Rice are vague and leave us wondering what is really going on. Suddenly it is announced that Bush and Putin have agreed on a large cut in nuclear weapons, subject to approval by the US Senate and the Russian Duma. The background of this was given in an important address by Representative Curt Weldon at the National Press Club, organized by the World Affairs Council of Washington, DC. Weldon, a Republican, works with both parties on relations with Russia, to which he has devoted his life. As a member of the Armed Services Committee, he is well informed about matters military, but his aim is to promote peace between the two countries. He was one of the first students to go though the Russian Language and Area programs, of which geography was an essential part. He has made innumerable trips to Russia, and he impressed me as being the best informed person in the US government on Russia. He promotes relations between Congress and the Russian Duma as a form of people-to-people, or middle-class to middle-class diplomacy. Such relations between parliamentary bodies are healthier and more solid than executive wheeling and dealing. He is not a yes-man for Bush. On the contrary, one gets the impression that he sold Bush on the idea of a new arms agreement.

He spoke of the many ties between US and Russian organizations outside of the two governments, and he stressed the importance of the reports they produce. He has launched an innovative plan to identify all these organizations. He reported that he had visited many US institutions with Russian programs; I wonder if he has visited Stanford and if Stanford Libraries have all the publications these organizations produce. Since such publications cover a wide array of fields, it is probable that they are scattered in various libraries, including those of the Medical School and SLAC. Is the Russian bibliographer in Green Library cognizant of all these collections? Does she in any way coordinate them? Many of the publications cited by Representative Weldon are pamphlets, which libraries tend to neglect. I have been unable to contact the appropriate library officials at Stanford, so I will copy them this posting, and I will summarize the information I receive from them.

Ronald Hilton - 5/14/02