To Catch a Spy

cover art
248 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781626166806 (1626166803)

May 2019


Table of Contents

To Catch a Spy
The Art of Counterintelligence
James M. Olson, Former Chief of CIA Counterintelligence

The United States is losing the counterintelligence war. Foreign intelligence services, particularly those of China, Russia, and Cuba, are recruiting spies in our midst and stealing our secrets and cutting-edge technologies. In To Catch a Spy: The Art of Counterintelligence, James M. Olson, former chief of CIA counterintelligence, offers a wake-up call for the American public and also a guide for how our country can do a better job of protecting its national security and trade secrets. Olson takes the reader into the arcane world of counterintelligence as he lived it during his thirty-year career in the CIA. After an overview of what the Chinese, Russian, and Cuban spy services are doing to the United States, Olson explains the nitty-gritty of the principles and methods of counterintelligence. Readers will learn about specific aspects of counterintelligence such as running double-agent operations and surveillance. The book also analyzes twelve actual case studies to illustrate why people spy against their country, the tradecraft of counterintelligence, and where counterintelligence breaks down or succeeds. A "lessons learned" section follows each case study.

James M. Olson served for over thirty years in the Directorate of Operations of the Central Intelligence Agency, mostly overseas in clandestine operations. In addition to several foreign assignments, he was chief of counterintelligence at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Currently, he is a Professor of the Practice at the Bush School of Government and Public Service of Texas A&M University. He is the author of Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying.

"A five-cloak, five-dagger read for anyone interested in intelligence."—The Washington Times

"A must-read for professionals in security and/or governmental affairs; it may also appeal to readers interested in foreign counterintelligence efforts and U.S. tactics."—Library Journal

"Fascinating, authoritative, full of juicy new disclosures. To Catch a Spy is destined to become the bible of the counterintelligence community and the real life spy world."—Ronald Kessler, author, The CIA at War and The Secrets of the FBI

"The author, America's counterintelligence guru, has crafted a remarkable, indispensable book rich in heartbreaking detail and sharp analysis — serving as a clarion call for a stronger response to the unrelenting, sophisticated, and successful foreign espionage assault on our nation."—Henry A. Crumpton, a twenty-four-year veteran of the CIA's Clandestine Service, author of The Art of Intelligence, and CEO of Crumpton Group LLC.,

"Olson has written a primer on the world of espionage that is so thoughtful and carefully laid out it makes you wonder how we got along without a book like this before. The lay reader will learn how spying really works. The intelligence professional will discover how to make it work better. What you read in the papers about espionage isn't necessarily wrong, it's just missing half the story. Here's the other half."—Joe Weisberg, Creator/Executive Producer, The Americans,

"Jim Olson has written an extraordinary book. It is impossible to put down - To Catch a Spy stands with the best of John le Carre. But it isn't fiction. Worried about Russian hacking and election interference? It's worse than you think. As a career Foreign Service Officer, I have had the privilege of working with the men and women of our intelligence community. There are no finer people or greater patriots. I know what risks they take and the price they sometimes pay. Jim Olson stands in that proud tradition."—Ryan Crocker, Former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon

"America is losing its secrets and technology to foreign intelligence services at an alarming rate. Our country's need for good counterintelligence has never been greater. Jim Olson is the real deal, a veteran CIA spy who describes the challenges and provides a clear path for how to do a better job of protecting America. To Catch a Spy is a rare insider's look into the world of spying. It will fascinate not only counterintelligence professionals, but also anyone interested in the murky world of espionage. Olson's book is destined to become the standard reference on U.S. counterintelligence."—Andrew H. Card, Jr. , Chief of Staff for President George W. Bush,

"Jim Olson has shared with us his accumulated wisdom, lessons learned, and roadmap for the future. To Catch a Spy is the new U.S. counterintelligence standard. It is a must read for serious professionals and anyone interested in the spy world. Jim has done a tremendous service, not only to our generation, but also to those of the next who choose to answer the call to join the counterintelligence battle."—Alex J. Vega IV, Joint Counterintelligence Training Activity (JCITA), Defense Intelligence Agency, and Former U.S. Army Attaché, U.S. Embassy, Moscow, Russia

"Impressively informed and informative, "To Catch a Spy: The Art of Counterintelligence" is an expertly written, organized and presented study that should be a part of every community, governmental, college, and university library National & International Security, Political Intelligence, and Espionage collection and supplemental curriculum studies lists."—Midwest Book Review

"[A] highly entertaining and captivating body of work exploring what Olson believes to be the major counterintelligence challenges and threats facing the US today."—Intelligence & National Security

Table of Contents
Chapter One: China
Chapter Two: Russia
Chapter Three: Cuba
Chapter Four: The Ten Commandments of Counterintelligence
Chapter Five: Workplace Counterintelligence
Chapter Six: Double-Agent Operations
Chapter Seven: Managing Double-Agent Operations
Chapter Eight: Counterintelligence Case Studies
Clayton Lonetree
Sharon Scranage
Clyde Lee Conrad
Earl Edwin Pitts
Chi Mak
Ana Montes
Richard Miller
Jim Nicholson
Glenn Michael Souther
Jonathan Pollard
Edward Lee Howard
Larry Wu-Tai Chin
Appendix: The Counterintelligence Officer's Bookshelf
About the Author