Science and Technology - On scientific intelligence



"Historically, the major responsibility for intelligence in the United States, both during war and peace, has rested upon the military agencies of the government. Since World War II, intelligence has assumed a far greater peacetime role than heretofore and has had an increasing influence upon foreign policy decisions.

"In the overall utilization of intelligence in the policy making areas of the Department [of State], there appears to be too little recognition of the enormous present and future importance of scientific intelligence. In the past, military and political factors, and more recently economic considerations, have been the controlling elements in estimating the capabilities and intentions of foreign powers. Now, however, an increasingly important consideration in any such assessment is the scientific progress of the country concerned. For example, the determining factor in a decision by the U.S.S.R. either to make war or to resort to international political blackmail may well be the state of its scientific and technological development in weapons of mass destruction. It is therefore imperative that, in the Department, the scientific potential and technical achievements of the Soviet Union and their implications be integrated with the other elements of a balanced intelligence estimate for foreign policy determination."

—Lloyd Berkner, Report of the International Science Policy Survey Group (Secret), 18 April 1950 (declassified 22 July 1998)—



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