"Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN
Fareed speaks with Matthew Dunn, a field operative in MI6 and now the author of The Spy Catcher novels and Edward Lucas, the international editor of The Economist, about the recent expulsion from Russia of a U.S. diplomat.
So, Matthew, the wig, the cash – do spies really move around like this? The whole thing seems unbelievable.
Dunn: Yes, they do. I mean when I was deployed overseas, I've used wigs. Some props that were found, admittedly, in the case of Fogle, when they're laid out on a table it can look quite amateurish and somewhat bizarre.
But they are the props of the trade, and typically they work 99.9 percent of the time.
You've also written a book on Russia. So is there something interesting about this story, about it being Russia? I mean are we just playing out the Cold War or is there a particular reason this is happening in Russia?
Lucas: Well, I think the really interesting thing about this is not that America spies on Russia, it's not that the CIA has offices at the American Embassy in Moscow. It's not that they try and recruit Russians. That's their job. It’s not even that surprising they get caught, because espionage is about taking risks. And when something works, it looks brilliant. When it goes wrong, it always looks like a terrible bungle.
What's really surprising about this is the fuss the Russians made about it. They didn’t need to go down this public humiliation route. They named the CIA station chief in Moscow. That’s a really big breach of diplomatic protocol. They had this public humiliation on television, which looked like something out of the Cold War.
I remember when Michael Sellers, a CIA guy in Moscow in 1986, was caught. And he was paraded in just the same way, also with the wigs in hand.
This shows to me that the temperature is dropping sharply in American-Russian relations. And it’s dropping sharply because Russia wants it to drop. They need this anti-Western narrative because it's something they feed to their own people.