During the Cold War, the KGB had an uncanny knack for identifying CIA agents in the field. This success was primarily due to the CIA’s flawed recruitment process, which favoured candidates from elite universities with easily recognisable profiles. The KGB could easily spot these agents by their backgrounds and behaviours. The CIA’s reliance on polygraph tests also played into the KGB’s hands. These tests were not foolproof and could be manipulated by trained individuals.

Furthermore, the CIA’s insistence on using its own employees for covert operations, rather than recruiting foreign nationals, made it easier for the KGB to track them. The CIA’s use of outdated methods, such as dead drops and brush passes, also contributed to the KGB’s success. The CIA was slow to adapt to technological advancements, unlike the KGB, which embraced new technologies for surveillance and communication.

The KGB’s success was not just due to the CIA’s mistakes. The Soviet agency was highly competent, with a dedicated team of professionals who were well-trained in surveillance and counterintelligence. They were also highly motivated, with a strong belief in their cause. This combination of CIA blunders and KGB competence led to the Soviet agency’s remarkable success in identifying CIA agents during the Cold War.

Go to source article: http://www.salon.com/2015/09/26/how_to_explain_the_kgbs_amazing_success_identifying_cia_agents_in_the_field/