Russian Spies, like US
It seems passé, Russians spying from operations in Canada. Why do nations spy on one another?
In 1996, The CATO Institute published a report criticizing the Clinton Administration for using the spy machine for economic espionage instead of focusing on terrorism, for instance. In hindsight that report was on the money.
“When President Clinton took office, his administration made several assumptions about foreign policy. First, that the Cold War was over. Second, that during the Cold War Washington had allowed its political-military allies to take advantage of the United States in international trade. Third, that because of that American indulgence, as well as the traditional American aversion to any sort of government guidance of the economy, the United States was losing its international competitiveness.”
Well, Clinton was right about the USA loosing competitiveness, but then went ahead with NAFTA for instance. We have been sliding downhill ever since with acceleration during the Bush years. We’re still sliding.
So, why are the Russians spying? Because we remain a vulnerable competitor, I suspect. And likewise, we are surely spying on them.
The Uses and Misuses of Intelligence
by Stanley Kober
Stanley Kober is a research fellow in foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute.
America's intelligence agencies should devote their resources to the most serious security threats, principally international terrorism and adverse political trends. Instead, the Clinton administration has diverted the intelligence community to economic espionage.
The economic espionage mission is based on faulty assumptions and damages relations with governments whose cooperation we may need in dealing with significant security threats. Indeed, Washington's use of the Central Intelligence Agency for economic spying has already led to ugly incidents with Japan and France. The focus on commercial espionage also creates a myopic perspective from which developments such as massive corruption in another country are seen as merely economic factors, rather than harbingers of political instability.”
“The U.S. law enforcement official said investigators had no choice but to move on the suspects.
"Something happened that was going to affect them all," the official said, without elaborating. He added that the arrests were ordered "to protect the cases."”
“FBI spent nearly decade pursuing spy suspects in bid to gain counterintelligence
The alleged spies are not thought to have had direct access to highly sensitive government information. In that sense, their cases are different from that of Aldrich H. Ames, the onetime CIA officer whose disclosures led to the deaths of 10 Soviets working as agents for the United States, or that of Robert P. Hanssen, the former FBI counterterrorism specialist who passed highly secret materials to the Russians in return for $600,000.
Any such recruitment planning by Moscow would have been brought to a sudden halt this week. The entire espionage operation would have been brought to an end with the arrest of the four couples (the fourth was Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills of Arlington County), plus two other people, Anna Chapman and Mikhail Semenko. One suspect, Christopher Metsos, was arrested in Cyprus but disappeared after being released on bail.”