Motivations of a Spy

Topics: Motivation, KGB, Espionage Pages: 3 (800 words) Published: March 14, 2014
1. What might motivate a spy?
For many spies, the primary motivating factor is the prospect of financial gain. Spies may simply seek to supplement whatever income they already receive, or may be driven to spy due to financial difficulties. Sometimes, these spies are detected due to extravagant spending of the money they receive. John Anthony Walker is an example of a spy who worked for money. 2. Ideology, patriotism, or religion

Sometimes, a person will become a spy simply because of their beliefs. These can include their political opinions, their national allegiances, or their cultural or religious beliefs. This was particularly true during the Cold War, when many spies were motivated by support for the ideological positions of either the Western world or the Communist bloc. Examples of spies with ideological motivations include Kim Philby and Klaus Fuchs (communist), Fritz Kolbe and Juan Pujol (anti-Nazi), Nathan Hale (pro-American independence), Harriet Tubman (anti-slavery), Ana Montes (pro-Cuban) 3. Coercion

Not all spies enter into service willingly—sometimes, a person can be threatened into providing secret information to another country.

Threats of injury or death are the most direct form of coercion. For example, Mathilde Carré, a member of the French Resistance, was captured by the Nazis and threatened with torture unless she became a double agent. Threats can also be made against family or friends of the target—Svetlana Tumanova was told by the KGB that her family in the Soviet Union would be harmed if she did not co-operate, and Ronald Humphrey said that he had helped North Vietnam in order to obtain the release of his Vietnamese wife.

A more subtle form of coercion is blackmail, with a government threatening to release embarrassing information about a person's activities unless that person provides them with secret information. A wide range of material can be used for blackmail—extramarital affairs, homosexuality, and undiscovered...
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