News you may have missed #383 (Russian spy ring edition IV)

  • Analysis: Why Russia and the US still spy. The sensationalist media coverage of the FBI’s recent bust of a Russian spy ring in the US has failed to examine this development in light of the post-Cold War relations between Russia and the United States. The fact is that espionage will continue, even as the United States and Russia work out a new post-Cold War modus vivendi, says Peter Earnest, a 35-year CIA veteran.
  • Analysis: The lure of the SVR. For most Russians, getting a job in the country’s vast bureaucracy is a happy career step. Even more glamorous is the FSB, Russia’s ubiquitous domestic intelligence service. But the most prestigious agency of all is still the SVR, Russia’s equivalent of MI6, which is responsible for all foreign intelligence operations abroad, including the long-term, deep cover espionage ring just busted by the FBI. The Cold War may be over, but the SVR still offers a globe-trotting career for a small, elite group of ambitious graduates with the right connections.
  • Analysis: Was the Russian spy operation worth the trouble? The FBI has alleged no espionage or loss of classified materials as a result of the operations of the 11-member Russian spy ring. Indeed, much of what it maintains the Russians were seeking could be gleaned from a Google search. So the wider ramifications of the spy arrests may turn out to be primarily political rather than cloak-and-dagger.

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