By Barbara Starr
Top U.S. and Russian military officials on Tuesday discussed the potential for the United States to share high-tech equipment to counter any use of improvised explosives by terrorists during the Sochi Olympics, a U.S. official told CNN.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey and his Russian counterpart, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, met in Brussels, Dempsey spokesman Col. Edward Thomas said.
"It did come up in discussions on an exploratory level. It's one of those things we have developed an expertise in," Thomas said.
A U.S. official with knowledge of the discussions said they centered around what IED detection and jamming equipment the United States might be able to offer the Russians for the Olympics. Military staff from both countries will now look at whether the technology is even compatible with Russian systems.
The development was reported earlier in the day by the New York Times.
Dempsey said, according to the Times, that the technology was “something we have become familiar with,” after more than a decade of American military engagement in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Dempsey said technical experts from both countries would need to make sure the American technology could be effectively integrated into the elaborate communication networks being set up by the Russian government in support of the Games, the Times said.
“If you’re not careful, you can actually degrade capability, not enhance it,” Dempsey said, according to the paper.
Russian security forces are working to clamp down on potential threats ahead of the Games next month in the Black Sea resort. Russia has been battling a low-level Islamist insurgency in Dagestan and the North Caucasus region for more than a decade, and militants have vowed to strike at the Games.