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Dual-Use Technologies and Export Administration in the Post-Cold War Era: Documents from a Joint Program of the National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences A CONCEPTUAL APPROACH TO ADDRESSING DUAL-USE TECHNOLOGIES: A FRAMEWORK FOR U.S.-RUSSIAN DIALOGUE Glenn Schweitzer Director, Office for Central Europe and Eurasia, NAS CROSS-CUTTING THEMES During our planning meeting in Moscow, several themes cut across the specific topics which were identified for future discussions. I would like to comment briefly on these topics. We quickly agreed that one overarching goal of international cooperation in addressing dual-use technologies is the ''building of mutual confidence.'' But what do we know about confidence building? To arms control specialists, this term has a distinct connotation based on years of effort in formal and informal negotiations to develop approaches that could reduce suspicions of the U.S. and Soviet governments over possible hostile intentions of the other superpower. Diplomats emphasized the importance of steps that could decrease the likelihood that the United States or the USSR would misinterpret "normal" peacetime military activities of the other country as activities being undertaken to set the stage for military attacks in the near future. They also have underscored the closely related objectives of building trust between the two countries and of reducing uncertainties and miscalculations in each country's assessment of the capabilities of the other. Among the many types of formal arrangements that address these overlapping goals are the communications hotline between Moscow and Washington, the procedures for warning of accidental launches of strategic weapons, the verification provisions of the INF agreement, and most recently, the declarations of biological warfare activities of the past. Turning to our dialogue on dual-use technologies, an important objective would seem to be to building confidence that nations are using advanced technologies in ways they say they are using them and are not clandestinely diverting technologies earmarked for civilian applications to military applications. Given the diversity of technologies with dual-use applications, there are many opportunities for mistaken suspicions about motivations of other countries, and steps that encourage as much transparency as possible without compromising legitimate restrictions on military activities would be very welcome. Are there practical steps which can be taken to reduce the likelihood of technological surprises which result in major political or economic disruptions, or even more ominously, in war?
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Dual-Use Technologies and Export Administration in the Post-Cold War Era: Documents from a Joint Program of the National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences Building confidence is intended to enhance national security of nations. But the changing concepts of national security must be considered. Of course prevention of armed conflicts remains at the core of these concepts, but military threats do not seem to be as dominating a factor as in the past. Economic disparities among nations and frustrations over restricted access to international economic resources are at the root of many disputes. Disruption of ecological systems due to pollution and to the ravaging of biological resources has been described by some scientists as a threat to survival of no less significance than major wars. The AIDS virus raises new concerns over the safety of national populations. And food shortages continue to dominate the survival agendas of many countries. How does this ever-broadening concept of national security relate to confidence building? Very simply, confidence must be instilled in many more parties than in the past. It is not enough simply for the generals or the intelligence services or even governments to be satisfied that they know what is happening throughout the world. The other parties which play a national security role must also have confidence in international intentions—the businessmen and financiers, the scientists and environmentalists, and even the farmers and doctors. The industrial base of a nation is of great importance from a national security viewpoint. Not only is the size of the base important, but the composition of the base (and particularly capabilities to produce dual-use technologies) is critical. While the size of the armed forces of the larger countries may be shrinking, the desire to equip the new forces with the most advanced technologies increases. If such technologies also undergird commercial developments as well, the nation benefits accordingly. As to the smaller countries, a high technology industrial sector can have profound implications, both economically and militarily. Finally, a word about the impact of the communications revolution on the way that nations interpret international developments. CNN can certainly help us focus on this topic. Dual-use technologies have made the information revolution possible. At the same time, the rapid dissemination of information can lead to better understanding of the way dual-use technologies are being employed. Unfortunately, fragmentary information can also give erroneous impressions of the potential use of such technologies. In short, the new capabilities to transmit information around the globe both simplify and complicate efforts to build confidence among nations. DEVELOPMENT AND DIFFUSION OF DUAL-USE TECHNOLOGIES In recent years many advanced technologies developed within a number of countries have supported both military and civilian activities, and more are in various
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Dual-Use Technologies and Export Administration in the Post-Cold War Era: Documents from a Joint Program of the National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences stages of development. Some of these technologies were initially developed for civilian programs and others for military programs. They were then adapted to serve dual purposes. Such dual-use technologies include (1) process technologies that are used in the manufacture of components for civilian and military systems; (2) technologies embodied in products that enhance the performance of military and civilian systems; and (3) know-how or applied knowledge that is necessary for the design, development, and manufacture of military and civilian products. High speed computers, electronic detection and control devices, plastic and ceramic materials, aircraft and space systems, navigation and positioning equipment, precision machine tools, and specialized fermentation and chemical synthesis techniques are but a few of the many categories of technologies that have supported both military and civilian tasks. More technologies are added to the dual-use list each year, and more nations are increasing their capabilities to acquire and utilize such technologies. Thus, concerns increase over the possibility of diversion, and particularly clandestine diversion, to military purposes of technologies which have been developed, produced, or sold on the assumption that they will be used only for civilian purposes. The United States and Russia have considerable experience in developing and applying advanced technologies for military systems, including many technologies which are also of current or potential civilian importance. At the same time the approaches to developing and controlling such technologies in the two countries have been very different. Indeed, the United States has been the leader in developing many advanced technologies that have been precluded by the west from export to the former USSR because of their applicability to military systems. Thus, discussions among experts from these two countries with very different perspectives on the control of dual-use technologies should help clarify practical steps that might be taken by individual countries with different political and economic systems and by the international community as well to discourage the diversion to military applications of technologies intended for civilian purposes. At an appropriate time (given the wide interest in this problem) such discussions might be broadened to include experts from other countries. But, as a point of departure, informal U.S.-Russian bilateral discussions can be helpful both in improving mutual understanding of past approaches of the two largest military powers and in shaping the agenda for broader international discussions. Realistically, many countries will continue and intensify their efforts to obtain advanced technologies both for military and civilian purposes. If military authorities identify a civilian technology of importance to them, they will attempt to acquire and use it. If civilian authorities become aware of a technology that will contribute to economic development, they will not willingly exclude the use of such technology simply because that technology might also have military applications. Radar systems are an excellent case in point. No country can be denied the opportunity to employ sophisticated radar
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Dual-Use Technologies and Export Administration in the Post-Cold War Era: Documents from a Joint Program of the National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences systems at civilian airports while, at the same time, every military air force relies on radar technologies for air defense purposes. However, it may be possible to develop steps to slow the unintended diffusion of civilian technologies to the military sector, or at least to alert the international community when such transfers are underway. Such alerts should help reduce surprises with destabilizing impacts. Also, if international trade in high technologies for civilian applications is to flourish, then building confidence among the many trading partners as to how the technologies will be used is very important. BUILDING CONFIDENCE AND AVOIDING SURPRISES AMONG NATIONS Nine discussion topics are being considered as a starting point for building confidence among American and Russian specialists concerning diffusion of dual-use technologies. These same topical areas might also be a useful starting point for engaging specialists from other countries in this type of dialogue. Movement of Technical Specialists Hundreds of thousands of scientists and engineers are involved in the design, production, and operation of high-technology systems throughout the world. Many of these specialists have skills that have been widely diffused throughout many countries and are regularly employed in the development and operation of civilian systems and low technology military systems. But a more limited number of specialists have unique knowledge and skills that are critical to the proper functioning of highly sophisticated military systems which are currently concentrated in only a few countries. The purpose of this activity is to begin to identify the types of specialists with these unique skills that only can be acquired through involvement in weapons programs and that are essential to the development and operation of advanced weapons systems. Recently, international attention has been directed to skills related to nuclear weapons, and more specifically to the possible migration of Russian nuclear weapons scientists to other countries attempting to develop their own nuclear capabilities. This activity also encompasses skills involved in the development of non-nuclear weapons of mass destruction, command and control systems, and high precision weapons. Once some of the most critical skills are identified, consideration can then be given to the mobility of personnel with these skills. Traditionally, a Soviet specialist has been committed to a single professional position for an entire career. The situation is different in the West, where specialists often move within and between the military and civilian sectors. The situation is changing, although slowly, in Russia. The key question
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Dual-Use Technologies and Export Administration in the Post-Cold War Era: Documents from a Joint Program of the National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences then will be whether systems can and should be developed to monitor the movement of critical personnel within or between countries. Encouraging Openness in Basic Research The greater the degree of openness of basic research, the less likelihood of surprises of discoveries with military significance. Of course many countries will continue to support classified military research programs, but classification should be directed primarily to the applied aspect of research. International cooperation provides an excellent vehicle for promoting openness in basic research, but even the results of research programs that do not involve international cooperation should be disseminated broadly both to benefit science and also to instill confidence in the peaceful motivations for basic research. Separation of Research for Civilian and for Military Purposes Most countries have separated classified research for military purposes from unclassified research for civilian purposes, and this pattern undoubtedly will continue. However, in the area of dual-use technology, separation of military and civilian research may not always be desirable since progress on one front can help progress on the other front. In some cases, separation may not even be feasible since military and civilian applications may require identical products, or military applications may simply require more stringent performance standards (based on tighter quality control) than the civilian applications. Nevertheless, separation of military and civilian applications, when possible, should simplify monitoring civilian activities in a way that builds confidence that these activities are peacefully oriented and not simply well springs for military exploitation. Clearly, international scrutiny of all unclassified applied research activities is not possible. It may be useful in this regard to identify technologies that are choke points for military systems, that is technologies that provide critical components in the functioning of systems which cannot easily be duplicated and without which the systems simply will not operate. Concentrating attention on these technologies might then be a useful orientation for international efforts designed to build confidence as to the motivation underlying applied research activities. Case Studies of Dual-use Technologies Case studies of very specific technologies, such as previous efforts to use fuel cells and current plans to develop organic semiconductors, can clarify many of the issues that will arise in trying to develop approaches that help build confidence concerning the uses of advanced technologies developed for civilian purposes. Different types of process
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Dual-Use Technologies and Export Administration in the Post-Cold War Era: Documents from a Joint Program of the National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences and product technologies which are at different stages in their development should be selected for the case studies. Reports by Industrial Enterprises All governments require industrial enterprises to file a variety of reports for tax, environmental, medical, and other purposes. Usually these reports take the form of statistical information and narrative descriptions of the activities within the enterprises. Also, in the West annual company reports are used for external public relations purposes as well as for business purposes. Within Russia, industrial reports designed for public consumption are gaining increasing popularity as secrecy requirements are relaxed and as companies move toward privatization and intensify their search for new markets both at home and abroad. Reports should be available to provide the public with a clear sense of the activities carried out within individual industrial enterprises. Even for classified activities, reports can be helpful in describing in general terms the types of activities within specific facilities. Such reports can be an important aspect, and indeed a starting point, in building international confidence concerning the use of technologies for civilian purposes. A degree of standardization in the types of information which are made available on a worldwide basis would be particularly helpful in this regard. Economic Aspects of Conversion If enterprises are to change from military to civilian production, they must replace their previous dependence on defense contracts with new approaches to financing, marketing, and profitability. Unless such a transition is successful and clear to all, international suspicions will linger that conversion has not really taken place and that technologies continue to be used for production of military products. At the same time, military authorities usually retain an interest in old military production facilities even as they begin conversion, lest changes in military requirements call for reconversion to meet new military demands: This tendency underscores the importance of persuasive economic evidence that conversion activities are genuine and permanent. The economic aspects of converting military production facilities to civilian oriented facilities are complicated even in the West, where a market economy is the way of life. In Russia, with no historical experience in operating within a market economy, conversion is being accompanied with the invention of new economic concepts and institutions, an extraordinarily difficult task. Successful conversion of those facilities with dual-use capability is critical to building confidence that technologies are not being diverted from civilian to military applications, and successful conversion is highly dependent on successful economic performance.
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Dual-Use Technologies and Export Administration in the Post-Cold War Era: Documents from a Joint Program of the National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences Detailed studies of enterprises in the process of conversion should be helpful in clarifying the difficulties which inhibit rapid progress, organizationally and technologically, and also in identifying indicators of the likelihood of economically viable conversion. Trends in Export Control Both the United States and the former USSR have had considerable experience in limiting the export of technologies considered important for military systems. The Soviet approach was to classify those technologies which were particularly sensitive, whereas the United States relied on a system of controlling exports of selected but unclassified dual-use technologies as well as on classification of particularly sensitive military technologies. In addition, COCOM served as a multilateral forum for coordinating policies of the western countries, whereas COMECON presumably played a less significant role in promulgation of policies of the former USSR related to the control of exports of militarily sensitive technologies. A review of past and current approaches of the former USSR and the United States to the control of exports of dual-use technologies should be helpful in identifying future opportunities and problems. A particularly important future consideration is the transfer of dual-use technologies among the former republics of the USSR and the policies of Russia in this regard. Also, consideration of the present and future role of COCOM and other international regimes established to address other non-proliferation concerns should be helpful in considering approaches to limit export of strategic technologies to the less developed countries as well as controlling selected technologies within an East-West context. Verification Schemes for Monitoring Dual-Use Technologies Innovative approaches to verifying that dual-use technologies intended for civilian applications are not being diverted to military activities should be considered. One priority might be to confirm the accuracy and completeness of information about research and industrial activities provided by participants in systems to control and/or monitor the diffusion of dual-use technologies. Since these technologies have so many civilian applications throughout industrialized economies, on-site verification schemes need to be carefully designed to avoid unacceptable intrusiveness. As previously noted, perhaps technological choke points or specialized technical skills can be identified and can serve as primary targets for verification activities.
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Dual-Use Technologies and Export Administration in the Post-Cold War Era: Documents from a Joint Program of the National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences Lists of Important Technologies For many years the United States and other Western countries have maintained a variety of lists of dual-use technologies that are considered to be militarily sensitive, and these lists have been important in determining export control regulations. The former USSR also presumably had lists of those technologies considered important for national security purposes. A joint review of existing national and international lists of technologies that are now considered to be militarily sensitive should be helpful in clarifying the concerns in the two countries and in reaching a common level of understanding of the types of technologies which are of special interest. SETTING THE STAGE FOR FUTURE ACTIVITIES Following discussions of the foregoing topics, specialists from the two countries should be in a much better position to determine the desirability and feasibility of more concerted national and international efforts to address the spread of high technology products developed for civilian purposes but with important military applications as well. Some technologies will continue to be used for military purposes, but others may not. In the latter case, international cooperation and trade should be able to thrive if not encumbered with suspicions and false allegations. Many other related efforts are underway, particularly with regard to preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology and to reducing the lists of technologies that are embargoed for export from West to East. This effort is intended to complement these other activities that are being pursued primarily through intergovernmental channels by emphasizing those technologies which are still in their early stages of development, international cooperation that encourages openness, and verification systems which rely on the monitoring of both economic and physical indicators of activities of concern.
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