A belief that U.S. universities are expanding their participation in such research areas, particularly in process technologies.
A forecast that, as the government tightens its controls on other domestic sources of information and works with its allies to reduce third-country losses, foreign acquisition efforts will be increasingly redirected toward research institutions.
The Panel does not believe that it is yet possible to draw conclusions about this view. Even accepting the observation that Soviet collection efforts are being focused on the science underlying high-technology military applications, it does not follow that this is necessarily damaging to the United States. The concentration on basic science means that the military benefits to the Soviet Union would be long-range benefits that could become available to them from non-U.S. sources anyway. If the government succeeds in tightening the controls over loss mechanisms other than those associated with scientific communication in the United States, the loss through U.S. research institutions may become more significant. However, these other loss mechanisms are highly varied, and current Western control mechanisms, although improving, have far to go. Some of these inadequacies are structural, such as the limited membership and coverage of the Coordinating Committee (COCOM), an informal international organizaion for the coordination of national export controls; others have to do with the difficulties in preventing Soviet collection of information from nonaligned nations; and still others are due to limited resources and divided organizational responsibility.
For these reasons the Panel does not believe that a useful forecast can be made at present concerning the future proportion of leakage to the Soviet bloc through scientific communication.