Why Putin infiltrates spies and disruptors to America and why authorities struggle to catch them

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Last Thursday, speaking at the Spy Museum in Washington DC, FBI Director Christopher Wray complained that Russia continues to infiltrate large number of spies into the United States, despite the FBI’s efforts to kick them out. He warned that the traditional counterintelligence threat from Moscow still looms large,” as Russia, under President Vladimir Putin views the U.S. as an adversary, although the Cold War is over. 

As someone who spent my intelligence career monitoring threats coming from Russia, here’s why espionage remains the principal tool in Putin’s Playbook, targeting America, which presents a major challenge for the feds to disrupt.

Unlike the U.S. intelligence community, which drastically cut down its Russia resources after the collapse of the USSR – expecting the proverbial peace dividend – the Russians never decreased their intelligence posture against the U.S., which they characterize as the “main enemy”. As U.S. intelligence operatives moved on to chase ISIS and al Qaeda, in the aftermath of Sept 11th terrorist attacks, their Russian counterparts doubled down spying on America. 


Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his address to the nation in Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 26,

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