Christopher Andrew

Christopher Andrew is Senior Tutor of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. His most recent book, Secret Service: The Making of the British Intelligence Community, was published last year.


Christopher Andrew, 22 January 1987

The vast Soviet-bloc intelligence operation in the West is commonly supposed to consist mainly of running illegals, moles and other agents. In fact, the KGB probably spends more of its time reading the newspapers. Much of the intelligence which can be obtained only by covert means in the East is freely available through open sources in the West. A KGB officer in Washington might begin an average day by reading articles on defence and defence contractors in the Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal, then move on to more detailed scrutiny of Aviation Week and Space Technology, technical magazines and trade publications. By lunchtime the information he has acquired would be sufficient to provoke an espionage trial if gathered in the Soviet Union, where even the telephone directories are classified.

Mirror Images

Christopher Andrew, 3 April 1986

While writing World of Secrets, Walter Laqueur had discussions with the present and all surviving past directors of the Central Intelligence Agency save one, as well as with other senior Intelligence official and their main customers. Such goings-on would be unthinkable, or at the very least unavowable, in Britain. At the height of the Westland saga the Prime Minister’s press secretary, Bernard Ingham, found time to denounce publicly those journalists who had dared to print the name of the head of MI6, Christopher Curwen. The heads of the CIA and the KGB, William Casey and Victor Chebrikov, are of course public figures. But that, as Mr Ingham would say, is not the point. What the point is remains obscure.

Other People’s Mail: MI5

Bernard Porter, 19 November 2009

It seems to be widely acknowledged today that states need secret intelligence services. It is generally accepted, so long as those states are thought to be legitimate, trustworthy, and to...

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Where their real face was known

John Lloyd, 6 December 1990

Most of the institutions of the Soviet state had their finest hour under Stalin. More than anyone else, Mikhail Gorbachev has made this clear: his efforts to force the Stalin period to act as a...

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Dummy and Biffy

Noël Annan, 17 October 1985

No wonder people think of the secret services as farce or fiction. What is one to make of an organisation whose leaders have names like Dummy Oliver, Blinker Hall, Biffy Dunderdale, Lousy Payne,...

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Making things happen

R.W. Johnson, 6 September 1984

As for his secret Spials, which he did employ both at home and abroad, by them to discover what Practices and Conspiracies were against him, surely his Case required it: He had such Moles...

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