The senior consular officer of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow resigned from the Foreign Service yesterday and offered to join the Republican presidential campaign this fall because "the Carter administration doesn't have a clue how to conduct foreign policy."
Thomas R. Hutson, 40, who served as U.S. consul in Moscow for the last 18 months, said in a telephone interviewfrom his home in Omaha, Neb., that "I will do everything I can" to see President Carter defeated next November.
Saying he concluded that "we have no policy toward the Soviet Union," Hutson accused the top officials of theadministration of failing to understand how to use American power or how to employ the professionalism of those who know.
"We have a bunch of amateurs running foreign poicy . . . .We can't afford another amateur hour that extends for four years," Hutson charged.
While saying that he has offered to work "in any capacity" for the Republicans or the Committee on the Present Danger -- a security-oriented private group -- Hutson said "i shudder" to think of the "amateurism" of the foreign policy advisers currently in thecampaign of the GOP front-runner Ronald Reagan.
Among other things, Hutson said he objected strongly to Washington's failure to use its Moscow embassy as a central transmission point for communication with the Soviet Union. Recent administrations have preferred Washington embassy of the Soviet Union.
U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union Thomas J. Watson is being told "very little" by authorities in Washington, Hutson said. In these circumstances, he added, "we don't need a U.S. ambassador in Moscow . . . because he has nothing to do."
Hutson also accused the administration of failing to back up Watson and in fact, undermining him by "carping at him" from afar. Saying Watson is amateur at diplomacy, Hutson said he should be supported by Washington once he was chosen for the job.
Hutson, who spent 12 years in the Foreign Service, said he sent a telegram of resignation to Secretary ofState Cyrus R. Vance after going public with his complaints in an interview yesterday with his hometown newspaper, the Omaha World-Heral, while on home leave from Moscow.
He characterized Vance as "a decent man and a fine lawyer who doesn't have the guts to fight through the bureaucratic maze to control foreign policy."
As for the president, Hutson praisedaspects of Carter's human rights policy, but said that overall, "sometimes he zigs with Zbig [presidential assistant Zbigniew Brzezinski] and sometimes he goes with Cy" Vance.
Hutson, who is ranked among the senior officials in the Moscow embassy, said that a final blow to his confidenceon returning home was to learn that the Carter administration "lacks the leadership capacity" to convince American athletes to boycott the Moscow Olympics this summer. Yet "that is the only way the Soviets can be hurt in the short run" as a penalty for their invasion of Afghanistan, he said.
The Soviets play by a different set of rules' in enforcing their decisions on society an exercising power, Hutson said. In diplomacy "they are professionals and we are amateurs," he charged.
A State Department spokesman had noimmediate comment last night on Hutson's statements or his reported telegram of resignation.