espionage

Then-U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, right, leaves the Russian Foreign Ministry headquarters in Moscow on May 15, 2013. (AFP/Getty Images)

McFaul: Whelan’s Arrest Is ‘Very Strange’

The former U.S. ambassador to Russia says the former Marine's detention doesn’t fit the pattern of previous ones.

David Whelan, the brother of Paul Whelan, in his house in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, on Jan. 5. (Jorge Uzon/AFP/Getty Images)

Paul Whelan’s Brother: Family Knew Little About His Interest in Russia

They learned about the Marine’s dishonorable discharge from media.

Donald Trump speaks during the presidential debate in Hempstead, New York, on Sept. 26, 2016. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Why Isn’t Trump Talking About the American Jailed in Russia?

A president who takes pride in freeing U.S. detainees abroad has been strangely silent about Paul Whelan.

Paul Whelan, an American detained by Russian authorities and accused of espionage. (Photo courtesy of the Whelan family)

U.S. Citizen Held in Moscow Not Likely a Spy

Arrest could be retaliation for U.S. conviction of Russian national in influence operation.

The logo of Chinese electronics company Huawei on Sept. 2, 2015 in Berlin. (John Macdougal/AFP/Getty Images)

Germany Is Soft on Chinese Spying

Huawei has deep ties to the Chinese government. Berlin might let it build the country’s next generation of communications infrastructure anyway.

U.S. Marines land in Stordal, Norway, on Jan. 16, 2017. (Ned Alley/AFP/Getty Images)

A New Cold Front in Russia’s Information War

As NATO’s footprint grows in Norway, Moscow may be using an espionage case to inflame the country’s internal divisions.

In this handout photo issued by the London Metropolitan Police, poisoning suspects Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov are shown on CCTV in Salisbury on March 4. (Metropolitan Police via Getty Images)

Russia’s Military Intelligence Agency Isn’t Stupid

Don’t let the reporting on the suspected Skripal attackers fool you: Moscow got what it wanted.

Illustration by Kotryna Zukauskaite for Foreign Policy

Botched CIA Communications System Helped Blow Cover of Chinese Agents

The number of informants executed in the debacle is higher than initially thought.

Russian President  Vladimir Putin enters a hall to meet with other candidates a day after the presidential election, at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 19, 2018.

How Not to Pressure Putin

Britain needs strategic patience, not shrill denunciations, to keep Russia in check.

Specialist officers in protective suits secure the police forensic tent that had been blown over by the wind and is covering the bench where Sergei Skripal was found ill with his daughter on March 4. Matt Cardy/Getty Images

A Brief History of Attempted Russian Assassinations by Poison

Russian security services appear to be increasingly targeting dissidents and renegade spies for death by poison.

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission delivers a speech at the 2018 Munich Security Conference on Feb. 17, in Munich, Germany. (Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)

Spy Chiefs Descend on Munich Confab in Record Numbers

An annual security gathering in Munich has become the new hot spot for top intelligence officials meeting in the shadows of a public event.

A bird sitting on the head of a white rhino at Kruger National Park in South Africa on June 22, 2010.   (PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

Size Doesn’t Matter for Spies Anymore

In the era of cyber-espionage, even the smallest countries can play on the biggest stage.

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The Secret History of the Russian Consulate in San Francisco

Overflights, mapping fiber-optic networks, "strange activities." Moscow's West Coast spies were busy.

The fictional Red October, while modified, would look quite similar to this Typhoon-class ballistic missile submarine. (Bellona Foundation via Wikimedia Commons)

Fiction: We often use it to make the strange more familiar, as in spy novels

Spy novels introduce us to unusual or technical information, potentially confusing events, and unfamiliar social or professional customs.

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Apocalypse, Soon: New Books on War, Plague, Famine, Demagogues, and the End of the World as They Knew It

FP staffers learn what really killed the Romans and why the 1930s should scare us to death.

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 18:  Donald Trump Jr. arrives at Trump Tower on January 18, 2017 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump is to be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Could Trump Jr., Kushner, or Manafort Be Charged Under the Espionage Act?

If the meeting at Trump Tower feels to you like treason, that's probably because it may actually be espionage.

ENFIELD, CT - MAY 03:  Television news features Donald Trump over a prisoner's bunk at the Veterans Unit of the Cybulski Rehabilitation Center on May 3, 2016 in Enfield, Connecticut. Connecticut is one of only four states where voting rights are restored to convicted criminals immediately upon completion of their prison and parole time. The Veterans Unit houses some 110 inmates, all U.S. military veterans convicted of crimes ranging from petty larceny to murder. Prisoners at the unit typically have less than two years left on their sentences. The unit is part of a Connecticut Department of Correction program to turn some prisons into reintegration centers to prepare inmates for successful re-entry into society. Criminal justice and prison reforms are taking hold with bi-partisan support nationwide in an effort to reduce prison populations and recidivism. The state's criminal justice reforms fall under Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy's "Second Chance Society" legislation.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

If Donald Trump Is a Crook, What Kind Is He?

Conservatives are right that collusion with foreign spies isn’t necessarily a crime. But prosecutors have plenty of other options.

LANGLEY, UNITED STATES:  A janitor mops the floor at the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency 03 March, 2005 in Langley, Virginia.  AFP PHOTO/ Brendan SMIALOWSKI  (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Bumbling Ex-CIA Officer Charged With Selling Secrets to China

A prestigious Chinese think tank provided cover for the intelligence operation that ensnared Kevin Mallory.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 27:  British Prime Minister Theresa May with U.S. President Donald Trump walk along The Colonnade at The White House on January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. British Prime Minister Theresa May is on a two-day visit to the United States and will be the first world leader to meet with President Donald Trump.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

This Is How Five Eyes Dies

Looking back from 2019, the collapse of Western intelligence sharing under Trump was inevitable.

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State Department Official Took ‘Tens of Thousands’ in Gifts From Chinese Spies

Candace Marie Claiborne alleged received tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts from Chinese agents she knew to be spies.

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