TITLE: The Scientific and Cultural Exchange
A collodion ol orllctes on Ihe historical, operational, docirlnol, and ihoorctical aspects ol intelligence.
All statements of fsci. opinion or analysis expressed in Studies in Intelligence are (hose of
ihe authors They do not necessarily reflect official positions or views of the Central Intelligence Agency or any other US Government entity, past or present. Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying US Government cndorscmeni of an anicle's factual statements and interpretations.
Some slight scientific advantage sacrificed to broader aims.
the SCIENTinC and cultural exchange janes mcgratfa
ecent article In this journal' Mr. Amos Wylie takes some weU-aJmed pot shots at the weaknesses Inherent In scientific exchanges with the USSR, He points out thatscientists who come to the United States are almostdedicated Communistsarefully prearrangedf 5ClcnUflc Intelligence of special interest to the USSR He sees these scientific mercenaries, "backed by the full coercive power of the Sovietakingcontributions to Soviet scientific intelligencein fields related to development of new weapons. On the other side of the coin, he cannot see. exchange scientists get anything like an even break information-wise when they confront the language barrier, the closed areas and the closed laboratory doors of the USSR
Ut us grant at the outsetery great deal of what Mr Wylie says is true The case against having scientific exchanges with the USSR can be backed up by many other facts than those he cites, and the Interagency Committee on Exchanges acknowledges in its most recent annual report on Intelligence evaluations of the exchange program that the Soviets could havelight net gain in scientificexcept in the field of atomic energy, where carefully negotiated exchanges were Judged to haveetto the United States. What, then, is the use ofSoviet scientists to come to the United States? Or is there any use?
The Larger Picture
The answer lies In part in an over-all look atoviet cultural exchange program, which Includes provision for thexchanges and indeed could not have been negoti-
Mad jrtthjutThe agreement for culturalwHh the Sonets, first signedas renewed IcTtil third ume In Under .t. exchanges have takrr
ln?ii* Purism by Soviet
andiua citizens visiting each others- country.tate DepartmentS. and Soviet excrumpees nave participated tn over Sis exchange protects durinp the
H antaittty, recognizing thai each side will look for profit
4cccss,bl*. dtizensay that could not have been .magmed during the Stalin era. This has been
fct.onsh.ps between the peoples of the two
SS'aS 5 dpale*meunnun,
e rtuTnv^5h"1wiU lead eventuallyUll more relaxed attitude In the USSR.
srln^lafT ^ nd
nt.flc know-how when we allow Soviet scientists to visit our laboratories and research institutes and talk wUh^ hiding sc.enusts. But the losses can be and are rnlnimC by first, recngnning that thisrimary aim in theexchange strategy, and second, ooing^eryUung
, pronouncements. Indefending the program, voiced hisare of course concerned thatwiunational sceumy will be
The State Department similarly says in Its2 Review of Exchanges:
As far ai exchanges with the United States are concerned. Soviet primaryppear to be twofold: To obtain teleatiftehnlcaJ InformaUon. and toavorable picture of the
* one-way flow of*
In his commentary on the damaging effects of scientific exchanges with the Soviets, Mr. Wylie has not recognized the very considerable amount of checking, examining, and evaluating that is brought to bear on each and every such exchange. CIA. and in particular its Office of Scientificand Office of Research and Reports, plays anpart in this process. The CIA opinionsivenoften along with opinions of other elements of the InlelUgence community and the Department of Commerce, are coordinated into one intelligence estimate for submittal to the State Department by the Interagency Committee on Exchanges. The State Department considers thesejudgments in making its decision to accept or reject an exchange, scientific or otherwise.
A Case History
That vigilance in the matter of scientific exchanges Isby all concerned Is Illustratederies of incidents which occurredhe curious train of circumstances began in January when heavy pressure was brought to bear on the Computing Center at New York University by Soviet scientist A. A. Dorodnitsyn. Director of the USSR Academy of Sciences Computing Center, to accommodate two Soviet scientistswo-month exchange visit. This was followed In rapid successionequestoviet student tothe Western Joint Computer Conference In Losa letter to Professor James Robertson at Illinoisasking about his willingness to receive. Prtrosian, describedYerevan scientificorstudy at Illinois on computer technology, andoviet educational exchange delegation to add the IBM headquarters at Rochester, New York, totln-
The last request was unique Inoviet Embassy official by-passed the State Department and went directly to IBM with it.
The serieslimax when the Soviets proposed that economic. Golansky, coming to the United States
as an exchange visitor sponsored by the AmericanXouncil ^
calculated to get him into areas where he could observe"
plications of computer technology to economic pumning. Mr. Golansky,ery competent man in his field,ecord of involvement with the Soviet intelligence services.
Although the Department of State of necessity handled each of these proposals separatelyis the Soviets, inside the government they were treatedoncerted Sovietto get needed information on all aspects. research in automation and computer technology. In view of the USSR negotiators' having refused to include an exchange of automation specialists as part ofxchangethe Soviet play appeared to be an attempted end run on the exchange program. After checking intelligenceon the matter, the State Department took the following actions:
Informed the Soviets that the proposed visit of twoto the NYU computer center must be held upeview of reciprocity requirements. To date, despite continued pressure from the Soviets, this visit has not been approved.
Declined to allow the Soviet student to attend theJoint Computer Conference.
Took no action on the "Yerevan scientific worker's"for admission to Illinois University pending an examination of reciprocity requirements.
Reduced Dr. Golansky's itineraryrief swing through certain eastern university computer centers doingunclassified research,
Refused the Soviet Educational Exchangeisit to IBM's Rochester plant and Informed the Soviet Embassy that future requests of this kind were to be addressed to the State Department, not directly. industry or research laboratory.
From this history one can see that the Stateassembled the necessary backgroundpromptly and vigorously lo blunt the Soviet drivethe exchange agreement to its own advantageof course, docs not prove that we are alwaysIn Identifying.such Soviet movi^and taklng|tn-omptactionem It doesOWnghas been devised for assimilating Information andon it in the best Interests of the nation.
We know that the Soviets expose their closed society to the unpredictable impact of cultural exchanges with the United States and other Western nations (France. West Germany. Sweden, and the United Kingdom also have exchange treaties with them) In order torack at the latestin Western science and technology through scientific exchanges. In pursuit of that end they will continue to send to the United States mission-minded scientists andCommunists like Dr. Yuri Popov, who, as Mr. Wylie says, "was probably Instructed to absorb as much information as possible" in the maser-laser field. At least some of thethey get will be balanced by the findings. scientists visiting the Soviet Union under the scientific(II) of tlie exchangeimilar balance isby delegations exchanged under Sections III through VI of the agreement, covering Industry, transport,and trade, agriculture, public health, and education. Sections VII through XII, however, covering the performing arts, cinematography, publications, exhibitions, radio and TV programs, governmental affairs, civil, social, and cultural groups, athletes, and tourism, which have as theirowering of the barriers erected by the Soviet Union against the West, are not subject to this kind of exploitation; and it Is apparent that even the USSH recognizes that therests hen? with the United States. These sections, while they are not considered in the annual determination of net intelligence advantage, certainly loom largeeneral appraisalo/ the program.
Not only the scientific exchanges but all those underII through VI of the agreement are submitted by the Department of Stale to all Interested government agencies for comment The intelligence communityajor role in this appraisal, and its technical advice and suggestions are largely followed by the Department. As in any negotiation between adversaries, each must yicld^tsoir^a^ stand flrm^aV'olhers. Th^'programs1 arranged under the scientific section, as under any other, represent in general the best bargain obtainable in the opinion of those parts of. government charged with implementing the policy on
Almost any scientific or Industrial field can be related to war and weaponry. Every effort is made to isolate our visitors from applied research and development and restrict their exploration to basic science. We believe this effort Is largelytill more restrictive posture would result in retaliation that would prove generally disadvantageous and might lead to the virtual eliminationUSSR exchanges. It is difficult toetter procedure than that now used to ensure our getting the greatest possible benefit from the program Our performance under this procedure, as in all other human endeavors, can almost certainly be improved. But so long as we are not providing important assistance to the Soviets in critical matters and are successful Inscientific exchanges somewhere nearly in balance, it is reasonable and prudent to consider the program on anbasis and not draw large conclusions from IndividualOriginal document.