which assumed active attempts by agencies of the Soviet Union to divert sophisticated technology. Reliance on Soviet cooperation was minimal. In recent years, remarkable progress has been made diplomatically in recasting the relationship between the United States and the Newly Independent States from one that had been fundamentally confrontational to one that is more mutually beneficial. The cooperation of Russians can be a powerful factor in the export control equation. If the Russians can demonstrate their ability and willingness to work with Western governments, vendors, and users in keeping sophisticated technologies from being diverted to military uses or restricted destination countries, it is possible that the iron-clad controls of the past can be eased to the benefit of commerce, scientific progress, and Russian transition to a viable market economy.
In any relationship, including that between countries, the reduction of confrontation does not lead immediately to an establishment of trust. The latter can be accomplished only through the multilateral establishment of procedures and mechanisms to achieve the goals of non-diversion and non-proliferation and through a series of small and incremental steps taken over time in which both parties demonstrate trust, trustworthiness, and a willingness to work together in mutually beneficial ways. These tasks will necessarily involve an element of risk, since measures which give one party complete control over the actions of the other (e.g. iron-clad control over high-performance computer installations) give the latter no opportunity to demonstrate independent good faith and cooperation. Russians must be given the opportunity to demonstrate understanding of and respect for the national security concerns of the United States and cooperate in preventing the diversion and proliferation of sophisticated technology.
In the past, the Soviets' willingness to control diversion and proliferation was questioned, but their ability to do so was not. Strong, centralized political and military institutions effectively regulated sensitive technologies. Today, there are reasons to suspect that the willingness to cooperate has increased. However, it should be noted that the Russians' ability to control has decreased. Partly as a result, concerns about North-South proliferation of technologies to such countries as Iraq and Iran have grown. The Western community should acquire assurance that, under the current conditions of fragmentation and decentralization of lines of authority, the Russians have the ability to establish an effective, civilian, control regime.
This paper examines the present nature and inherent controllability of high-performance computing technologies. It discusses means of control in the context of broader efforts to create an environment in which the need for controls is reduced. Specifically, it sketches a three-track approach that focuses on application domains, institutional arrangements, and technologies and controls in order to building confidence without unduly compromising national security or economic interests.