Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Look beyond the Spyglass View of Russia

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Look beyond the Spyglass View of Russia

Article excerpt

The editorial "Post-Cold-War Spying," Feb. 24, observes correctly: "The need for intelligence gathering is one of the sad realities of a wicked world." The end of the cold war has not resulted in a decrease in the amount of intelligence gathering by the United States and Russia. Both countries reoriented their intelligence collection priorities to reflect the end of open hostility and the beginning of limited cooperation.

To expect Russia to cooperate with the US in the damage assessment of the results of Aldrich Ames's alleged spying and to suggest that friendly powers don't spy on one another - as the Clinton administration did - is naive and hypocritical. The US maintains a highly developed intelligence gathering system to obtain necessary information on Russia and other world powers. In the past the US has cautioned at least two friendly powers against aggressive intelligence targeting.

The timing and subsequent spin given to the Ames affair made it seem more important and urgent than the central issue of the present US-Russian relationship: the evolution of Russia, with US and international assistance, into a politically and socially stable, economically viable nation.

As devastating as the high-level penetration of the CIA by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service and KGB has been, it is time for the Clinton administration to be realistic about the culture and craft of intelligence and to concentrate on delivering support to the Russian institutions, political parties, and policies (not personalities) that are committed to long-term progress. William F. Dunkelberger, Randolph, Vt. Look Beyond the Spyglass View of Russia

The article "Russia Urges the US to Try to Stay Calm About CIA Spy Case," Feb. 24, gives much insight into the post-cold-war relations between the United States and Russia. This case must not go by without quick and proper action. Despite the end of the cold war we must not let our guard down or become even a little laid back when it comes to our nation's security.

While maintaining this tight national security we must improve relations with our neighbors: It is a delicate balance of trust. …

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