Spy Tips on Snipers, “Slicks”, Recruitment, and more
When you have to get information about an enemy position, you have a choice. You can watch from a distance, slow and safe. Or you can go inside and take a look, quick, but potentially fatal.
Most people think snipers like to shoot from ledges. The fact is, the best sniper position is inside a room through an open window. It hides the shooter, masks the report of the supersonic round, and makes the muzzle flash impossible to see.
It’s always a challenge hiding something sensitive that you might need quickly. Any hiding place involves a trade-off between security and access. Hiding something in a sewer main under your floor and it’s secure, but good luck getting to it. Hide something in your sock drawer, and it’s easy to get to but hard to secure. The best hiding places are easy to get to but tough to find. The do-it-yourself versions are known in the spy trade as “slicks”. Easy to slip something in, easy to slide it out.
When an operative recruits someone, he lets the target make the first move. He’ll dress like him, drink like him, move like him, but he won’t talk to him. He’ll wait to be approached.
When selling yourself as a traitor, you can’t be too eager. A good op will walk away from a recruitment that seems to good to be true.
Surveillance is the leading cause of weight gain among operatives. In a job that’s equal parts boredom and tension, eating is a way to pass time and calm nerves.
Facial recognition systems are often used to replace human guards since they’re cheap, they don’t sleep, and they can’t be bribed. They have a big weakness though. Unlike guards, computers can’t tell the difference between a photocopy of a face and a face.
When you search a spy’s room, you don’t waste time checking the safe. You have to assume they’re as creative as you are. “Slicks” come in all shapes and sizes.
There’s an art to drinking a lot without getting drunk. Start with a lot of ice to dilute the alcohol. Order a new round before you’re done so your half-full drink gets taken away. And, of course, spill.
A cover I.D. that involves drinking comes with a price. But the tactical advantages make the hangover worth it.
Operatives do a lot of body guard work. On any given day, the average commando is more likely to be watching a V.I.P. walk his dog than engaging the enemy in battle. Not glamorous, but part of the job.
Anybody who runs a few assets knows that some crack under the pressure. You have to be tough enough to keep them in line, supportive enough to keep them stable.
When someone turns you into an asset, their main weapon is fear. If you fear poverty or exposure or death, that’s what they use against you. Their worst nightmare then, is an asset with no fear.
Blowing an operation is a delicate business. You have to convince your opponent to abandon his plans, make a case that the smart move is to just pack up and go home. Problem is, even when you do your job well, people don’t always go with the smart move.
There’s a reason they call the spy trade the hall of mirrors. You can never know for sure whether you’re in control or you’re being played. But if you do it long enough, you learn to trust your instincts.
Unlike cars, motorcycles don’t have much of an aftermarket in stolen parts. So antitheft measure are outdated and easy to get around. The steering lock on a smaller bike breaks fairly easily. Then it’s just a matter of getting away.
When you’re tailed by multiple vehicles, you’re at a disadvantage. They can flank you, take alternative routes, box you in. It helps to have a team of your own.
The electronic stability program was originally developed to help keep cars from sliding on icy roads. But it’s a great tool for the precision driver. When you need to slide, you can simply turn it off. And turn it on again when you need to maneuver.
A semi, has about four feet of clearance under it. Sliding beneath it on a motorcycle is possible, but risky. Too low, and the pavement will grind you to a pulp. Too high, and any part of your body that hits the trailer will no longer be part of your body.