The Cold War came to its celebrated end with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the old Soviet Union. But as the Edward Snowden affair revealed, the United States is still in the spy game — both at home and abroad.
And a secret struggle between the United States and Russia continues to burst out into the open with the highly publicized exposures of secret agents on both sides, like the Anna Chapman ring three years ago and Ryan Fogle last May.
From a New York Times report about Fogle's arrest by a Russian agent he was supposedly trying to recruit: "The report also showed items the Russian intelligence service said it had seized from Mr. Fogle, including two wigs, a compass, a large amount of cash and written instructions for the would-be recruit explaining how to contact his American handlers. Russia Today, also known as RT, provided an English translation of the written instructions supposedly found on Mr. Fogle."
If the United States and Russia are still engaged in the old Spy vs. Spy routine, what form does it take? Does it still use dead drops, double agents and handlers? What's fact and what's fiction in the life of the modern spy?
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MODERN SPY TRADE:
• The Moscow Rules Still Rule
The arrest of the American diplomat, Ryan Fogle, in Moscow late Monday, May 13, was a journey to an earlier era, a throwback to a quarter century ago when these Cold War cloak and dagger spy games were painfully regular, as the United States and the Soviet Union played out the final act of a long and deadly contest. About the only difference in the handling of the ambush of Fogle by the Russian security service was that the photographic record of his arrest was in sharp, digital color, rather than grainy black and white. It was a textbook takedown. (Foreign Policy)