Wednesday, November 27, 2013

American Spies: Espionage Against The U.S. From The Cold War To The Present

Veteran journalist and author Joseph C. Goulden offers a good review of retired CIA official Michael J. Sulick's American Spies: Espionage Against the United States From the Cold War to the Present.

As a bibliophile who devours several lineal feet of books on espionage and intelligence each month, both for review and for pleasure, I find it delightful to encounter a volume written by a professional who has walked the ground about which he writes. Michael J. Sulick spent 28 years with the CIA, including stints as chief of counterintelligence and then head of covert operations of the clandestine service.

His book deals with Americans who spied for our adversaries since the end of the Cold War. Albeit scholarly, it brims with details of spying that make for enjoyable reading. In a series of case studies, he focuses on the fundamental elements of espionage: the motivations that drove Americans to spying; their access and the secret they betrayed; the tradecraft of the foreign services that controlled them; the punishment meted out when they were caught; and the damage inflicted on our national security.

Mr. Sulick drives home, again and again, an important point: The demise of the old Soviet Union did not mark the end of spying against the United States (even by the old USSR, for that matter: one of Vladimir Putin’s first statements upon becoming president of Russia was that “the potential of the special services will not just be maintained, but increased.”) Thus, we suffered the treason of superspies Aldrich Ames of the CIA and Robert Hanssen of the FBI.

The Russians were not alone, though. In 2007, John Brenner, then the head of the National Counterintelligence Executive estimated that about 140 foreign intelligence services sought to penetrate the United States or U.S. organizations abroad. By 2010, Mr. Brenner wrote, “Chinese espionage had eclipsed Russian spying in the United States.”

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

I interviewed Michael Sulick about espionage and his previous book for Counterterrorism magazine a while back. You can read the interview via the below link:

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