Americans are known for our humor and skepticism, and it can be a great strength, but it can also cause us to make light of situations that deserve more serious attention. Consider, for example, the response to the discovery back in 2010 of 10 deep cover Russian operatives in our midst. (The FBI released video of their espionage just a month ago.) They had been in the country since the 1990s. But they were likeable suburbanites and socialites. Media commentators had fun with the incident. Yet, I couldn’t help but notice how the Russians were fêted as heroes when they returned home. I suspect that was not just political theater.
For those who doubt that Russia would still be up to its old tricks, I suggest you read Comrade J by Pete Earley. It is a tell-all confessional from a high-ranking SVR (formerly KGB) agent whose job it was to gather intelligence and recruit operatives in the United States from 1995 to 2000, a time that spans the end of the Cold War and the period during which Russia presumably became a U.S. ally.
(To continue reading "Credible Threats or Incredibly Overblown?," from our December 2011 issue, please click here)
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