I believe that public-policy making is benefited by studying history— that decision-makers can be assisted by understanding historical analogies, similarities, and differences. Helping to run the Applied History Project at Harvard’s Kennedy School, I engage widely with the public and policy-makers. Through commentary, and by contributing to broadcast programs, my work brings historical perspectives to present-day intelligence and national security affairs.

Interviews & Film

Featured Video

New book "Spies" chronicles war of espionage between U.S. and Russia

For decades, the U.S. and Russia have been locked in a war of espionage and compelling new details about the stealth operations between the two countries are coming to light. Geoff Bennett asked author Calder Walton about those revelations in his new book, "Spies: The Epic Intelligence War Between East and West." (Jul 5 2023)

"Concorde: The Race for Supersonic" Channel 4 (November 25 2023)

"China’s intelligence collection poses a ‘formidable adversary’ to the US as a world power" FOX News (July 23 2023)

"Spy Ops: Operation Pimlico" Netflix (September 8 2023)

"New book "Spies" chronicles war of espionage between U.S. and Russia" PBS Newshour (July 4 2023)

"Putin’s lacklustre KGB career has led to ‘failures’ in Russian intelligence" Times Radio (August 23 2023)

""Bombshell book reveals Putin's unsuccessful assassination plot on US soil"" CNN (June 23 2023)

Print & Digital Commentary

Research-based analysis of the history of intelligence and international affairs. Specializing in the secret histories of great power conflicts and their impact on global security today.

Why Putin is not the spymaster he claims to be

Since coming to power in 2000, Putin has cultivated the image of Russia's intelligence services as highly professional. In reality, they are criminals.

"The Best of Books 2023" Foreign Affairs (December 17 2023)

"China is Using Every Trick for World Domination" The Times UK (September 17 2023)

“Why Putin is not the spymaster he claims to be” The Times UK (August 19 2023)

“Lessons for today’s Cold War 2.0 with Russia, China” The Harvard Gazette (August 9 2023)

“State secrets and lies: SPIES Review” TLS (August 4 2023)

"Calder Walton’s 'Spies' is a riveting history of espionage" The Economist (July 20 2023)

"The New Spy Ways" Foreign Affairs (July 19 2023)

"The Best National Security Beach Reads of the Summer" The Cipher Brief (July 4 2023)

"New book ‘Spies’ chronicles war of espionage between U.S. and Russia" PBS News Hour (July 4 2023)

"Calder Walton on Recent Developments in Russia and President Putin's Future" CSPAN's Washington Journal (July 2 2023)

"100 Years of East-West Espionage" RealClear Defense (June 23 2023)

“China’s intelligence collection poses a ‘formidable adversary’ to the US as a world power” Fox News (June 23 2023)

"‘Spies’ Review: War in the Shadows" Wall Street Journal (June 23 2023)

“Explosive book reveals Putin's plan to assassinate CIA informant” CNN (June 22 2023)

“Did the Cold War Really End? 100 Years of Espionage with Calder Walton” RealClear Politics (June 21 2023)

“Russia Sought to Assassinate an Informant in the U.S.” New York Times (June 19 2023)

“What Comes After Putin's Rule in Russia. The West Should Beware” RealClear Defense (June 6 2023)

“Spies: The Epic Intelligence War Between East and West” The Cipher Brief (June 6 2023)

“About That Beluga Whale Spy...” SpyTalk (June 3 2023)

“What Comes After Putin's Rule in Russia. The West Should Beware” TIME (June 2 2023)

“Russia’s State-Sponsored Hostage Taking Reaps Rewards for the Kremlin” The Cipher Brief (April 10 2023)

“China Has Been Waging a Decades-Long, All-Out Spy War” Foreign Policy (March 28 2023)

“Soviet Espionage Under the Cover of Diplomacy” The Cipher Brief (March 16 2022)

“Can intelligence tell how far Putin will go?” War on the Rocks (February 28 2022)

“False Flag Invasions are a Russian Speciality” Foreign Policy (February 4 2022)

With Christopher Andrew “Traitorous Blake Motivated by Cold War Convictions” Engelsberg Ideas (Jan 15 2021)

“What Spies Really Think About John le Carré” Foreign Policy (Dec 26 2020)

“Britain Is Botching This Cold War Just Like the Last One” Foreign Policy (July 29 2020)

“China Will Use Huawei to Spy Because So Would You” Foreign Policy (July 14 2020)

“The Deadly Fallout of Disinformation” The Washington Post (July 8 2020)

“Spies Are Fighting a Shadow War Against the Coronavirus” Foreign Policy (April 3 2020)

“Bodyguard of Lies: British Intelligence and D-Day” The Cipher Brief (June 6 2019)

“The Spies Who Came in from the Continent” Foreign Policy (Spring 2019)

“Trump May Not Have Been Found Guilty of Collusion—But He’s Not off the Hook Yet” Prospect (March 29 2019)

“Russia has a long history of eliminating ‘enemies of the state'” Washington Post (March 13 2018)

“Trump, Nunes and the Politicisation of Intelligence” Prospect (Feb 7 2018)

“Coat Bomb and Explosive Prosthesis: British Intel Files Reveal How the Zionist Stern Gang Terrorized London” Haaretz (Dec 2 2017)

“Dreaming spies: the inside story of the KGB at Oxford” Prospect (Dec 1 2017)

“The unbelievable story of how the CIA helped to foil a Russian spy ring in London” Politico (Nov 27 2017)

“Has Trump just experienced the beginning of Watergate 2.0?” Prospect (Nov 1 2017)

“‘Lies, Plain and Simple’: How James Comey Became Trump’s Meddlesome Priest” Prospect (June 9 2017)

“The Manchester Attack Revealed Crucial Differences in How the British and American Press Operate” Prospect (May 30 2017)

“That Time the Soviets Bugged Congress, and Other Spy Tales” Politico (May 22 2017)

“America’s Leaker-in-chief: Trump and Russia” Prospect (May 19 2017)

“Trump Risks Making Stalin’s Disastrous Mistake On Intelligence Analysis” Huffington Post (May 4 2017)

“Spies, Lies and Wiretaps” Prospect (March 27 2017)

“Michael Flynn’s Downfall: The Russia House” Prospect (January 16 2017)

“Is Trump’s Rage at US Intelligence Unprecedented?” Prospect (January 12 2017)

“Why Obama Was Smart to Kick Out Russian Spies” Politico (January 7 2017)

“‘Active Measures’: A History of Russian Interference in US Elections” Prospect (December 23 2016)

Podcasts & Radio

"The Audacity of Chinese Spies" China in Context (November 28 2023)

“From Russia with Love” The Times Radio (July 17 2020)

“Getting Smart on Pandemics: Intelligence in the Wake of COVID-19” War on the Rocks (April 17 2020)

“Calder Walton on Office Hours Podcast” Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School (October 3 2018)

“Out in the Cold” BBC Radio 4 Document (July 14 2015)

“SPIES: The Epic Intelligence War Between East and West” Foreign Office with Michael Weiss (August 3 2023)

“What was the KGB?” Stuff You Should Know Podcast (July 7 2020)

“Spying: Hiding in Plain Sight” Trailblazers (Walter Isaacson’s podcast) (March 11 2020)

“Disinformation: A User’s Guide” Archive on Four BBC Radio 4 (March 17 2018)

“Why Russia Arrested an American Report” Vox: Today, Explained (April 10 2023)

“Coronavirus: Intelligence Failure” Dan Snow’s History Hit (May 26 2020)

“Russian Interference in Elections” Dan Snow’s History Hit (November 1 2018)

“The KGB: Secrets and Lies” The Forum BBC World Service (March 28 2017)