From testimony by former secretary of defense James Schlesinger before the Senate Budget Committee on June 29:

If we observe the customs of the countries, the Soviet Union has the opportunity to choose amongst a thousand construction firms in the United States of America, one which can best suit its own purposes here in constructing its new embassy building. And when the United States is obliged to choose amongst construction firms in the Soviet Union, it has a very narrow choice indeed. . . .

In past years, the Soviets were sufficiently behind us that we were able to detect penetrations, and neutralize them. That was the assumption in building this facility. We now face a rising curve of Soviet technology, with no gap between what the Soviets can do and what we can do; indeed, in some areas they have been ahead of us.

That should not be surprising. The Soviets work at these problems 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is a hard world out there, Mr. Chairman. If one permits the Soviets to precast concrete columns and beams off-site, the prime party to blame is not the Soviets, but ourselves. We have presented them with too much opportunity, too much temptation for them to resist. . . .

With respect to both embassy construction and operations, we have a lot to learn from the Soviets. . . . The Soviets have thought long and hard about how to design embassies for security, and they have thought long and hard about the construction process, under the watchful eye of the Soviet security services. It would not be embarrassing for the United States to learn from the Soviets, who have thought long and hard in this area.

The solution to our problems will be neither easy nor cheap. It will require major changes at the embassy complex; some might say radical changes.