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Word Count: 786
Our obsession with spies goes way back Even years before the Cold War brought terms like KGB and CIA into our lexicon military campaigns throughout history have relied on the daring work and unique skills of spies and double agents to facilitate the efforts against so-called enemies In conventional conflicts countries take sides and their armies engage in war But there is very little that is conventional about spies After all a spy is a hero to some and a traitor to others -- Benedict Arnold being a prime example Even to this day as the Cold War has thawed and a new conflict interests us news of spies makes for headlines on television in newspapers and on the airwaves The recent disclosure that high-ranked American Robert Hanssen was feeding information to the Soviet Union shook the USs perceived safety net and reiterated our insatiable appetite for all things relating to the world of spies But the KGB and CIA were far from the first to master the art of spying Throughout American history the work of spies helped pave the way for great victories A century and a half later during World War I Mata Hari was a dancer who became synonymous with the seductive female spy Her sultry ways turned out to be her downfall however the French shot her on charges of spying for the Germans It was not that she was necessarily a spy but the perception that her treasonous work hurt France was enough to lead to her demise With time individual spy work was not sufficient especially during the Cold War With the Soviet-American build-up came the conflict between the KGB and the CIA The KGB is the Russian acronym for Committee for State Security and emerged as a powerful secret police organization between 1954 and 1995 Aliases included Cheka and NKVD and today it goes by the name of the Federal Security Service On the other side
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