"As part of the war on terrorism, it is widely recognized that the U.S. government has a substantial and growing need for personnel with knowledge of foreign languages and especially languages that may be spoken in limited and remote areas of the world. In 2002, the federal government employed about a thousand translators and interpreters in four agencies responsible for security-related functions. In addition, these agencies employ nearly 20,000 staff in positions that require some foreign language proficiency. Yet there is a widespread consensus that requirements for foreign language qualified personnel are not currently being met. The report issued by the 9/11 Commission in July of 2004 makes several references to this deficiency and suggests corrective action to address it."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32557