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    If one was to bypass Berlin, where would the best modern city be to set "Spione 2008"? Where do all the ambitious spies want to get posted nowadays?

    New York (United Nations HQ)?
    Washington, DC?
    Baghdad (or maybe Dubai, as the key Middle Eastern hub)?

    Or maybe it's still Berlin?


    I have no idea what's in the minds and/or training of modern spies, but if I were to guess the main city areas of most active CIA ops and spy desks, based on the news, they'd be Tbilisi, Islamabad, and Ankara. Japan is a big deal too, although where the spies are based, Okinawa or in one of the big cities, I don't know. Lebanon continues to be a hive of God knows how much skullduggery, although I suspect the CIA proper isn't keen on being there; maybe they rely wholly on Mossad and the rather effective Syrian agency these days, I don't know. I wonder whether the Gulf States harbor their own little hive-centers of CIA officers; in fact, it seems likely.

    I should also point out that the spy and ops activities of other parts of our government are ramped 'way up higher than they used to be, and the CIA proper is much diminished. Particularly since the State Department now harbors such humans as Elliott Abrams, and so our diplomatic desks are probably more like the old Plans desks back in the 1950s. The Pentagon practically has a whole new Pentagon layered into its upper hierarchy since 2001-2002, and I betcha some of it is basically old CIA-Ops 'ported directly over. Add to that the insane amount of money apparently devoted to privatized "security" and "information" agencies, generally run and/or managed by ex-spooks like Cofer Black, and the picture looks more like a crazy mosaic of spy-ops everywhere.

    Related to my mention of Mossad, the old situation of the CIA and other U.S. agencies sitting back and letting "friendly" agencies do the real work is still happening too; specifically Turkey, Israel, and Pakistan. Despite Syria being on Bush's verbal shit-list, it's clear that they've been more than cooperative with intelligence-sharing and prisons for rendered captives since 9-11. Interestingly, the Italian government sacked the heads of all three of its spy agencies after it became clear they'd colluded with the run-up to the Iraq War, and it's possible that that particular sixty-year-old spook alliance has come to its end.

    All of this is, again, pure speculation based on the readily available news.

    Best, Ron


    Duh! Typical me, focusing only on eastern Europe and the non-African Middle East ...

    A moment's thought also places Bogotá, Cairo, and Dubai as prime candidates, again, as places for desks to be centered, for whoever-whatever agencies.

    Best, Ron