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You mentioned the U.S. Army and the way you have used Soviet defectors over the years in Germany. Are there a number of these kinds of scholars that could teach in similar Russian study institutes, or are you using most of them? In other words, if you have 15 over there now, are there many of the those people available, or is there a limited supply?
a General ODOM. I think you can find three or four or five or six or ten times that many who would be competent to do that. There are a surprising number of people with the talents that could be used in that kind of teaching environment.
Senator Nunn. So if universities in the country were interested in expanding an existing Russian studies program, would this kind of individual coming in, perhaps full-time or part-time, you think the supply of these kinds of individuals is pretty wide?
General ODOM. The supply is wide, but the problem in the universities is that quite rightly, they have academic standards and boards appearing to judge and select who will be allowed to teach, and many of these people who can do a first-rate job in the Army Russian Institute do not have the academic credentials to be accepted on faculties in our universities.
That seems to be the major problem in that regard.
Senator Nunn. So you don't have those requirements in the Army history?
General ODOM. There are no academic requirements. In other words, you do not have to have a Master's degree or a Ph.D. to teach. You have to be a native Russian speaker, Soviet Russian, and you have to have some general experience in the Soviet Union.
Senator NUNN. Could universities utilize these talents by parttime or consultant-type activities?
General Odom. There are ways, I am sure, that can be done. I have not considered in depth how one might structure programs in that regard, but if funds were not constrained, I am sure they would find ways to use them in research projects and research assistance; in language instructions; in coaching or teaching certain subjects outside the classroom.
Senator Nunn. Do you agree with the staff finding that we have a vacuum in the way we really treat so many of these people that have talents that aren't fully utilized? If you agree with it, do you have any suggestions yourself about what we, we being both the United States government and the private sector, can do?
General Odom. I agree with that. As I was going to sum up, I think the answer to that question is in what I was going to say before you had me read my own statement. I think that the statement, you realize there is a great diversity of people out there who will want the advantage of any program that is set up, and they will have a lot to offer.
But the difficulties in dealing with it are enormous: resources, and a sophisticated staff to handle the social and political tensions that go along with bringing them in.
The projects or the recommendations that Mr. Sopko offered here strike me as good ones. I think we can improve considerably the opportunities for these people. I am less sanguine about being able to take care of everyone in every case, but it seems to me there is such a space between what we are doing now and what we could do that with some fairly modest rsesources and some new institutional responsibilities, perhaps-I haven't thought about that in detail-a considerable stride forward in the exploitation of what they have to offer is possible.
Senator Nunn. Putting on your intelligence cap, now, I think we have heard from Russian scholar capacity, which is considerable. What about the defectors? Do you have the same definition of defector that we heard from Director Webster in the terms of the limited definition of only those that could basically be of intelligence assistance? General ODOM.
Speaking as the Director of my Agency, we don't deal with them. Therefore, it is not a technical problem for us, but as a member of the intelligence community and former head of Army Intelligence, I think there is a process of evaluating acrossthe-board anyone, and as Director Webster said, who comes to our attention, trying to assess whether to bring him under the umbrella of intelligence or defector status and then spend the resources that are essential to carry that program through successfully.
That number is very, very small, and as was made clear, I think, by some of the members of the subcommittee and by the answers of Mr. Sopko and the Director, there is a large ambiguous category which is very close to having something that is worth the intelligence community's attention but being outside the range of what we might have resources or intense interest in going after, and yet, could benefit enormously both general and open intelligence activities—I say open; that is unclassified knowledge and materials and resources about the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact area-that is not fully or even marginally exploited
Senator Nunn. As a member of the intelligence community, not being CIA but a member of the intelligence community, are you involved in decisions as to how to improve the way the intelligence community handles the ones that truly are defectors in Director Webster's definition? Or is that strictly CIA?
General Odom. It is primarily CIA. If I chose to become involved, I am sure Director Webster would welcome that participation. We have a free exchange of discussions and cooperation on those kinds of points as we feel the need for them. I have not taken up that initiative. I have not made any overtures in his direction on this point.
Senator Nunn. You haven't gotten involved after the Yurchenko case or any of that?
General ODOM. I have not.
Senator NUNN. You mentioned the Catch-22 situation regarding the emigres who are teaching in the Army Institute in Germany. Could you tell us a little bit more about that and whether there is any change in the law that could alleviate that?
Generai Odom. My technical knowledge of this may be inadequate to get it right legally, but the practical consequence is as follows: A member of the faculty may serve very well for several years, do good service for the United States, and have a considerable exposure to Americans who are students and the managers of the Institute. They don't have citizenship; they gain no years residence in the United States which are required to achieve citizenship or be qualified for citizenship.
It puts them in a difficult position. They have to give up their job to come to the United States if they want to meet those citizenship requirements. That is the Catch-22. We don't want them to come to the states and leave their jobs; we would rather have them there. I think the concern is whether a dispensation in law could be provided to take care of a very specific and very small number of individuals who have done long and faithful service and performed greatly for us, whether they could be allowed to get credit for residency without living here.
Senator COHEN. Did you talk to the FBI about this?
Senator Nunn. Do they spend a long number of years there? I mean, are you talking about a useful life in that particular job that is limited because of being away from the Soviet Union, or is there an unlimited period of tenure that they can be effective?
General ODOM. When the institute started, we had no idea where it would go. We just kept people as long as they wanted to stay or were healthy enough to work. My memory may be a little inaccurate, but I think the last member or the staff member who dates back to the early fifties or the late forties has either died or retired, but the group under which I studied, almost all had joined the Institute between 1946 and 1953, and they remained for a decade or two afterwards. There was little turnover for a considerable period.
Then as they passed on, we had to reestablish a new staff there.
Senator Nunn. Is this Russian study course something that is sought after by people in the Army? Is it part of a career progression or is it a very narrow type slot for more academic types?
General ODOM. It is under the Army's Foreign Area Officer Program, which as you may know, covers area specialty training for regions not only in the Soviet Union but for the rest of the world. This is a fairly large program. If you are familiar with the specialty codes that officers have in the Army, it is specialty code 48.
This program is the in-country or area equivalent exposure for preparation to become a fully qualified speciality code 48 officer. The Soviet is a fairly significant number of people when one considers all areas of specialty. That it is part of the total Foreign Area Program. It is a fairly small set of officers when one considers
a them in the context of the whole Army.
The competition to get into school has varied over decades. Today, I think it is more sought after than it was in earlier times, and I think in past decades the overall quality of the officer recuited there has gone up.
Senator Nunn. Senator Cohen?
General Odom, would you reach the same conclusion about preBolshevik emigres coming to this country? Would they have had the same types of problems that recent emigres have?
General Odom. They did have, and, I think, would have a lot of the same problems with regard to adjustment, particularly the example you gave of finding Russian kinds of friends in the United States. Those kinds of sociological differences were there earlier.
I think the big difference for the pre-revolutionary period was that they just, they knew—the U.S. government wasn't interested. We weren't interested seriously and centrally in the Executive Branch or the Legislative Branch in Russia, so it never came up in the same way that it has come up in the post-war period.
Senator COHEN. I was curious, because we have, for example, Asian refugees who come from similarly repressive types of societies, and yet they tend to congregate together in specific locations. They have perhaps a greater sense of community and reliance upon families and friends and do rather well economically and do rather well in terms of their academic accomplishment overcoming the language barriers and so forth.
Is there something that is peculiarly indigneous to the Russian mind, as such, that separates Russian emigres and defectors from others?
General ODOM. I can only give you a very tenative answer on that. One, I draw from some limited knowledge of American emigration history. There is a fair amount of work on the emigration patterns of various groups that come in, and indeed, the Russians have been a special case, and they have their own dynamics.
The Poles, of course, have their own communities in the United States. They do look after themselves. You talk about the driver, the limo driver. Remember, the Italians, for a long time, dominated the sanitation department in New York City. The Swedes came in and were in charge of the construction business. The Irish had a pattern of getting ahold of city hall. It has been my observation, and I saw these patterns when I look at the third wave because like you, I have the same experience. I practice my Russian and conversational abilities not with the cab drivers in New York City, but in Boston. I notice they have really come to monopolize the cab driver industry in both Boston and in New York.
The Asian emigrant does bring with him social, cultural support system. The nationality problem, fragmented and of somewhat centrifugal nature in terms of both Russian and Soviet politics, does seem to me to beset the emigration community here.
From my first experiences with emigres, almost without exception, they told me, "Don't trust any other emigres.” They don't trust each other, and I commend to you "Under Western Eyes" and you can see why. But one has to find a way to get on with the orderly business of life and transact the passage of knowledge from one to the other, in spite of these peculiarities that come from that region of the world.
Senator COHEN. Would it be a fair statement on my part to say that we tend to concentrate on military intelligence information that comes from either defectors or emigres without being interested in affecting policy other than through the threat of force or confrontation?
General Odom. I am glad you asked the question, because in my statement, I probably did not give enough very fair attention to a lot of the good scholarship that is being done in American universities based on questionnairs, interviews with emigres as a new source of evidence.
There is a very healthy and broad awareness in the academic community of the information available from emigres which would affect our views not only on military policy, in fact, least of all military policy, but on all other aspects of Soviet internal politics and their attitudes toward Soviet foreign policy.
So my remarks about the difficulties emigres have in universities should not be taken to overlook that good work. Some of the best understanding-
Senator COHEN. I am talking about from a governmental point of view, not from an academic point of view. I am talking about from the government's point of view.
For example, I am always intrigued to see the so-called new “Russian” or Soviet-let me use them synonymously for the time being-diplomat who might come here. One who strikes me that comes to mind is Vitali Churkin, I believe is his name, not cut from the old mold, not with the baggy suit, not with the heavy accent, but rather dresses like, looks like, sounds like, speaks like, uses the same idioms, the same jokes that any American might use. He is on “Nightline” more than we are. [Laughter.]
That has a significant political dimension to it, namely, that you have these bright young people who are able to utilize our words and our techniques in order to convey a political message, thereby influencing and helping to shape American policy vis-a-vis the Soviet Union.
That was the context in which I mentioned it. We don't seem to have a Barthoff, a USA-Canada Institute, for example. We don't seem to be as concerned about looking into the mind of the Soviet or the Russian soul, as such, as they are in ours and trying to affect policy.
We tend to do it through arms control, confrontation, and assertion of superpower status, without seeking other ways in which to influence public behavior and thus influencing their policies.
General ODOM. I think that falls under 12333 as special activities. If you are Vitaly Yurchenko at the bottom line, the problem there is that you can't travel in the Soviet Union and get on public television there. So that kind of gambit is not open to us. There are other kinds of gambits that are open to us.
Senator Cohen. Some of that is changing. For example, we can, in fact, exact reciprocity saying, “Look, we have had your folks on television. We would like to have the same opportunity under glasnost." I think it is pehaps an opportunity to do that.
General ODOM. True, yes.
Senator COHEN. Shouldn't we, in fact, be concentrating on trying to understand more about the Soviet mind, as much to influence their public behavior, as well as their public policy.
General Odom. I share that sentiment fully, that we should understand. I mean, the military can only be a small sector of it, In fact, in the army program, we don't go to the military early. That is the last part of the program. In fact, it is politics, history, sociology, economics before we deal with the military at all.
I would also like to make a point which you reminded my or provoked me to think about, with Soviets appearing on television here in the United States. Why can't some of our more illustrious emigres be their counterparts? I have often wondered why the networks do not seek them rather than someone who does not understand the Soviet mindset to debate with them, and it would be in