During the last four decades modern technology has become one of the primary sources of national power, prosperity and strategy. Technology's impact on international relations has in fact been paradoxical: it has at once fostered interdependence and cooperation and sharply divided nations by heightening national comper tition and enabling greater global projection of power. 1 As we enter the last two decades of the century, the U.S. stands at a strategic crossroads in its relationship with the Soviet bloc. It is clear that technology plays a decisive role in this relationship. For one full decade, from approximately 1969 to 1979, U.S. relations with the Soviet Union were premised on the concept of detente. In the broader context of East-West relations, this meant the opening of new channels of communications between Moscow and Washington and the expansion of trade contacts. With detente gone as a premise for East-West relations, export control policy is being reconsidered as part of a general rethinking of the premises of U.S. policy towards the Soviet bloc.