• Review: Fluorescent Foxes and Other Outrageous Projects of WWII Espionage

    Stanley Lovell, believed to the the inspiration for "Q" in the James Bond stories, was the mastermind of the most outrageous efforts at psychological warfare and deception for the precursor agency to the CIA – including painting foxes with radium to resemble kitsune, shinto harbingers of doom. 

  • What's Behind the Spy Balloon Hysteria?

    by Heather Cox Richardson

    The February 2023 Chinese Spy Balloon Incident will be remembered by historians—not for its international significance but for the over-the-top response of a Republican opposition detached from reality. 

  • At 75, the CIA is Back to Battling the Kremlin

    The common objectives and concerns that engaged the Central Intelligence Agency at its 1947 founding are familiar to the intelligence community today, showing the continuity of American involvement in other nations' affairs. 

  • East Berlin Stories: Gay Espionage in Cold War Berlin

    by Samuel Huneke

    The East German Stasi recruited gay Beriners as informants both because they believed they posed a security threat and because the secret police had difficulty penetrating the secrecy of gay social networks in the city. 

  • Can Intelligence (or History) Predict How Far Putin Might Go?

    by Calder Walton

    Despite the image of individual operatives, assembling reliable intelligence about Putin's invasion plans is a product of multiple coordinated capabilities, just like it was at the height of the cold war. 

  • The Man Who Conned the Confederacy

    Samuel Upham's trade in counterfeit Confederate bills started to cash in on the craze for war souvenirs. It's possible that the U.S. Government helped him improve his operation to destabilize the Confederate currency. 

  • Review: How Espionage Has Helped Win Wars

    A roundup of new books in the history of espionage covers Asian Americans in the WWII OSS, the early Cold War, and an examination of the roots of Putin's aggressiveness against dissidents.

  • The Ritchie Boys

    Stories from members of the Ritchie Boys, a secret U.S. WWII intelligence unit bolstered by German-born Jews.

  • The Spy Who Came in from the Carrel

    Two new books by Kathy Peiss and Richard Ovenden deal with the question of acquiring or destroying knowledege as an act of war, including the work of archivists in the OSS's "Chairborne Division" and the forced labor of Jewish scholars to identify major works of Judaica for Nazi Germany to purge. 

  • The Audacious Escape of George Blake

    by Steve Vogel

    George Blake was the most notorious double agent in Cold War Britain, which makes the story of his amateurish (but successful) escape from prison all the more remarkable. 

  • Jonathan Pollard: Revisiting a Still Sensitive Case

    The National Security Archive is republishing its trove of declassified documents related to Jonathan Pollard, a US Navy analyst convicted of spying for Israel in the 1980s. Pollard's parole recently ended.