CIA HISTORiCAL RAEt.
TITLE: CofTuTAiaication To The Editors: Scientific Exchanges
AUTHOR: Robert J. Martens
A colteclion ol articles on the historical, operational, doctrinal, and theoretical aspects ol intelligence.
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COMMUNICATION TO THE EDITORS
Scientific Exchanges Dear Sirs:
I endorse Mr. James McOralh'so Mr. Amos Wylie'S
* complBlnt^cerru^the*"OnI^ Exchange" of US^SuadWfi^ liet scientific rtslts1 and should like to make some additional comments from the point of view of those of us in thr State -Department who are concerned with these exchanges As Mr. Wylie phrases his challenge to defend 'the proposition that exchanges of visits. and Soviet scientists ln fieldsto the development of new weapons are Inne can scarcely take It up without labelingraitorool. It is like the old question, "When did you stop beating yourne can, however, quarrel with much of what Mr. Wylie'says on two kinds offirst, his often erroneous or incomplete set of facts, andhis Ignoring of the broader policy issues involved.
On the first point, Soviet scientists and other exchangeare admitted to the United States for specific itineraries only after clearance with the competent intelligence andagencies, and changes or extensions of itineraryimilar procedure. In the case of Oleg Roman which Mr Wylie cites, for example, no objection was posed to his visit by the competent agencies, including CIA. Defense, and Commerce, all of which were consulted. Mr. Wylie notes that Roman attended the annua) meeting of the Metallurgical Society of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers in New Yorkonference in Philadelphia,hese trips had been checked out with the intelligence community, and no objections were posed. Yury Popov's visit In the field of lasers was similarly checked and cleared with the appropriate agencies. Mr. Wylie observes with surprise that the participants in "so-called studentare not undergraduate students; butstudents have never been included in this exchange on
To Ihe Edi
of the officialtva0flO
of the Soviet^ erflJ*atlor,
To Iht Editors
strategy looks to more thanirect impact on the relatively few (and carefully selected) Soviet citizens who are allowed to come to this country (although In private many of these are not the rigid unswerving advocates of the Soviet system that they may appear in their public demeanor or in front of other Soviet citizens or most foreigners of shortabjy^ofjflnuxh more importance from the point of "impact" is the presence in the Soviet Union of large numbers of foreigners. Including Americans, and there is special advantage in having Russian-speakers who areon Soviet society there long enough to establish aof acquaintances. Still more important are the indirect benefits of the exchanges program, the mere existence of which gives Sovietationale and the courage to talk to foreigners or even to accept foreign ways. The regimeby taking one step in this direction, is encouraged to take more, because much of the iron curtain psychology is based on fear and feelings of inferiority toward the West.
Mr. Wylie proposes that exchange be limited to such fields as the arts, literature, and athletics, that is to those. interest is great and Soviet interest is meager or even negative. But the exchanges are all of one fabric. You can't abolish scientific exchanges without abolishing the Amerika-USSR magazine exchange, exchanges of exhibits, and other such informational activities. The Soviet Union is in thebusiness primarily for the sake of industrial andbenefits and would see no reason to agreerogram restricted to fields advantageous to the United States andto the Soviet Union.
Moreover, now that we havebetter or forwould have to consider the political effects of eliminating the program. In addition to the disadvantagesizable part of the world public, an abolition ofwould tend to throw the Soviet Union back onto itselfstrengthen the "Slavophil" element over ther" element In Soviet psychology and thus to reinforce the cohesion of the Bloc, including Communist China.presumably not of decisive effect in presentit wouldorce In this direction.
Do we get anything out of the exchanges from anence standpoLnt? In the graduate student exchange itrue we have few scientific graduate students in thend get little "bard" Intelligence out of tbe program. (Weprobably wouldn't get much more if we had morearticipants, in view of the levels of Sovietn most fields and the Soviet restrictions) There art some advantagesolitical and largely current intelligence nature, however, lnumber of knowledgeable,Americans living in Soviet society and close, or relatively close, to the Soviet pulse. Thisesource that theEmbassy ln Moscow can draw on from time to time, and Its value is reflected in telegrams and air grams, not in de-bnefings Sometimes one sees direct reference to factualobtained in this way (the Temlr Tau riots, for; in other cases It isatter of analysis beingomewhat broader base than It would otherwise have.
These remarks, written ln reaction to Mr. Wylic's article, put more emphasis on the positive aspects of the program than is probably warranted.gree with bis refutation, for example, of the claim by some superficial exchangethat since scientific information is available insources anyway the Soviets gain little or nothing from scientificope that sometime some of us who arc familiar with the program at first hand may have time to weigh all aspects of the exchangeseally serious study ln depth.
Robert J. Martens