« PreviousContinue »
REPORT TO CONGRESS ON SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND
U.S. FOREIGN POLICY
The international activities of the Government relating to science and technology are now so extensive that almost no department or agency is unaffected. With the widening number of agencies involved and the growing complexity of interaction, new problems relating to the consistency bet ween foreign policy and domestic science policy and resources have arisen.
There is, in fact, no sharp distinction between domestic and international aspects of science and technology. The National Science, Engineering, and Technology Policy and Priorities Act of 1976 lists as the first priority goal for U.S. science and technology,
"-fostering leadership in the quest for international peace and progress toward human freedom, dignity, and well-being by enlarging the contributions of American scientists and engineers to the knowledge of man and his universe, by making discoveries of basic science widely available at home and abroad, and by utilizing technology in support of U.S. national and foreign policy
gcals." Title Vof the Foreign Relations Authorization Act seeks to further these national objectives. The legislation sets forth certain responsibilities of the President and the Secretary of State in the interaction of science technology, and foreign policy: The Department of State's analysis of the provisions of title V concluded that their impact would be felt most strongly in three areas: -long-term planning related to the interaction of science, tech
nology, and foreign policy; ---procedures for interagency coordination of international scien
tific and technological activities; and ---procedures for recruiting, training, and motivating personnel
to carry out title V's objectives. This report deals separately with these three topics.
To strengthen its planning capabilities, the Department of State las established a policy assessment staff in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Science Affairs (OES). This staff began operations this month and will be the focus of the Department's long-range science and technology planning efforts. It will work with
the OES operating offices, the Department's policy planning staff (S/P), and the planning offices of the Department's regional and functional bureaus. In addition, the staff will be responsible for improving the flow of information on planning and long-term objectives between the Department of State, other agencies, the Congress, and the public.
The Department will make use of the Committee on International Science, Engineering, and Technology (CISET) of the Federal Coordination Council on Science, Engineering, and Technology (FCCSET) as a vehicle for the review and evaluation of long-range planning with interagency significance.
The Department of State plans to establish pilot programs with a few key domestic agencies whose programs affect foreign policy objectives, to explore joint long-range planning initiatives. The effort will identify current or potential agency programs with foreign policy implications and relate these to foreign policy objectives and priorities in a country and regional framework.
To improve the use of experts and ideas from outside the Government, the Department of State plans to establish, subject to approval in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, a Department of State Public Advisory Committee for Science and Technology. Discussions have begun with representatives of the academic, indus. trial, and other elements of the science and technological communities. The Department is also evaluating the adequacy of its research program in international science and technology.
Criteria and guidelines by which to measure the value of new science and technology initiatives both in terms of U.S. foreign policy and scientific and technical benefits will be established on a country, and where appropriate, regional basis. OES, in cooperation with technical agencies, will be responsible for developing such criteria.
A systematic interagency evaluation of U.S. Government international science and technology activities needs to be established. Provision for interim evaluations and periodic reviews should be built into international science and technology agreements.
OES will maintain close contact with the governmental and private sectors to identify new technologies and to assess their potential impact on foreign policy. The Department of State will explore with domestic agencies how they may strengthen the relations between those elements of their agencies engaged in technology development and those elements concerned with the planning of international programs. The Chairman of CISET will review the results of these discussions.
The information needs of the U.S. Government in this field will be periodically reviewed to insure that they fairly reflect priority requirements in the civil science and technology areas. OES will be the focal point for preparing, updating, and circulating reporting priorities to science counselors and attachés abroad with the concurrence of the geographic bureaus of the Department and in consultation with other agencies.
COORDINATION AND OVERSIGHT The growing importance and complexity of international activities involving science and technology has required adaptation of current coordinating relationships and mechanisms and the creation of new ones. These activities involve North-South problems and the impact
of global energy, environmental, and other issues on our economic, political and security relationships with other countries and international organizations. The report describes the principal modalities for executive branch coordination and oversight of these international activities and identifies the existing problems and opportunities to improve performance.
Communication must be improved between State and the technical agencies, between Washington and the field, and between the executive branch, the Congress, and the public. The Department of State plans to develop an information system to provide necessary data about the purpose, participants or organization, duration, cost and agency responsibilities for selected international activities. There will be a special emphasis on information on international agreements in science and technology. Stress will be placed on early notification of an intent to negotiate agreements. The Department will review requirements for information on foreign scientific and technological developments and will ask overseas missions for requisite reporting and analysis. OES will establish a science attaché support unit to coordinate this and related tasks with the geographic bureaus.
The Department of State will strengthen coordination between OES and the geographic and functional bureaus. Using CISET as a vehicle, and in coordination with OSTP and the technical agencies, State will be responsible for the preparation of the annual report called for in section 503(b), will ask agencies to designate a central contact point for international activities relating to science and technology and will designate OES staff members to serve as central contact points for each of the agencies with which it deals.
The Department of State believes that to carry out its responsibilities to coordinate and oversee the international science and technology activities of the Government both scientific and technical professionals and career Foreign Service personnel with background in foreign political and economic affairs will be required. The Director General's office in conjunction with OES is about to undertake a major survey to provide a detailed data base for future decisions on recruitment, training, and assignment of personnel in the science and technology area.
The adequacy of training resources has been the subject of several studies in recent years. There is a consensus that while existing training opportunities meet many of the needs of the Government, over the next several years present programs may need to be augmented. Increases in training programs should be introduced gradually, as resources permit and as career professionals become better motivated to acquire this training through a recognition of its relevance and a perception of career rewards in the field of science, technology, and foreign affairs.
Both in the Department of State and in a number of technical agencies there is support for an expansion of staff exchanges. Some 13 Foreign Service officers are currently working in such agencies as NASA, EPA, and the Council on Environmental Quality. Such programs offer Foreign Service personnel the opportunity to learn how major science and technology activities are planned and carried out.
The domestic agency, in turn, benefits from the foreign policy perspective that Department of State officers can provide, or which their employees can obtain from a Washington or foreign assignment with the Department of State. The Department of State is studying staffing requirements to support a program of interagency exchanges in international science and technology.
The Department of State is examining the establishment of a program to familiarize ambassadors and other senior officers with the scientific and technological subjects most relevant to their overseas mission.
RESOURCE REQUIREMENTS The recommendations contained in this report will be implemented in a phased way. In many cases they will be tested on a pilot basis. Thus, the initial stage of implementing the provisions of title V can be carried out within existing personnel and budgetary resources. Under current administration budget and employment policies, any additional resource needs would have to be accommodated within the current budget planning levels of the Department of State. In addition, the recently enacted "Leach amendment" to the Civil Service Reform Act mandates statutory limitations on the total number of civilian employees in the executive branch, with the result that September 30, 1979 employment will be about 20,000 below the level estimated in the President's 1979 budget. Therefore, in the period ahead even small increases in any area become difficult or impossible without additional resources.
The time available for the preparation of this report has not permitted the development of complete proposals for operating under the new mandate contained in the act. Therefore, we do not have a firm basis on which to project estimates of personnel and funding requirements. However, we have provided illustrative estimates which are not based on completed assessments of the scope of activities to be undertaken. As we gain experience and develop firm plans for implementing the provisions of title V, we will prepare the related estimates of resource requirements. These will be considered in the established executive branch budget review process and presented to the Congress in accordance with the regular authorization and appropriation procedures.
This report on science and technology in international affairs is submitted in accordance with section 501(c) of the Public Law 95-126, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1979, which calls for a report "on the implementation of the responsibilities of the Secretary under this title." These responsibilities include "coordination and oversight with respect to all major science or science and technology agreements and activities between the United States and foreign countries, international organizations, or commissions of which the United States and one or more foreign countries are members.” 1
1 large number of U.S. Government agencies take part in these agreements and carry out these activities. Consequently, this report
1 The full text of title V ("Science, Technology, and American Diplomacy") of the statute is contained in appendix A.
has been prepared with the participation of these agencies--see appendix B-using the Committee on International Science, Engineering and Technology of the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering and Technology as the mechanism for coordination.
In addition, the Department of State officials responsible for the drafting of the report have consulted Members of Congress, their staff, prominent members of the nongovernmental science and technology community, leaders of industry, and U.S. embassies abroad.2
The Department of State expresses its appreciation to all those who participated in the preparation of this report for their invaluable assistance.
The Department of State's analysis of the provisions of Public Law 9,44:26 relating to science, technology, and foreign policy indicated that the impact of this legislation would be most strongly felt in three principal areas:
Long-term planning related to the interaction of science, technology, and foreign policy;
The procedures and mechanisms for the interagency coordination of international scientific and technology activities of the U.S. Government; and
The types of training and personnel procedures needed to support the implementation of the legislation. The report is therefore divided into three sections, each dealing with one of the above topics. Each was felt to constitute a sufficiently well-defined cluster of issues to merit separate discussion in a separate mation of the report. This separate treatment of the three themes should not obscure the close and manifold linkages between them.
The Department recognizes the importance of the existing institutions and modalities which have already been established to coordinate U.S. Government activities in international science and technology. The overall approach of this report is to use existing institutions to the maximum extent possible and to avoid duplicating functions that are already well performed elsewhere in the Government. The Development Coordinating Committee, for example, represents a functioning mechanism for approaching the developmentTelated issues addressed in this report. Full utilization of such instiutions is vital to the effective discharge of the responsibilities set out in title V. Where new or revitalized mechanisms are needed, they should be introduced as part of a careful, phased approach initially concentrating on areas where foreign policy considerations are particularly important.
The emergence of science and technology as a major consideration of C.S. foreign policy is now widely acknowledged. Science and
* See appendix C for a summary of the views of selected U.S. embassies and missions on ise related to title V.
Neither the statute nor this report attempts to state precise definitions of "science" and "technology." The report covers both science and technology, as they are comunionly poderstood, The only areas which have been excluded are those relating to intelligence sources and methods (in accordance to section 503 (c) of Public Law 95-426) and those Iparing to specific military applications. The latter have been discussed in a number of reports to the Congress required by other legislation, including the August 1978 report on the impact of the transfer of military-related technology required by section 24 of the International Security Assistance Act of 1977.
It is recognized, however, that it is normally technology which is more closely linked with foreign policy. The maintenance of the historic commitment of the United States to the free exchange of scientific ideas and freedom of travel and expression for scientists is a basic assumption of this report.