The specialist techniques used by intelligence professionals to conduct clandestine operations. Tradecraft procedures are used universally. They include the use of safe houses, dead drops, brush contacts, burst transmitters, surveillance countermeasures, the deployment of decoys, and other covert procedures.
Tradecraft will vary, depending on the local security environment in which it is to be employed, and during the Cold War the challenging conditions prevailing in the Soviet Union led the Central Intelligence Agency to prepare a course, known as “pipeliners,” for personnel assigned to operate in denied areas. The objective was to strike a balance between behavior that would identify an individual as an intelligence professional and the need to equip agents with gadgetry, either concealment devices or communications equipment, that would not instantly betray the owner upon discovery. Famously Boris Yuzhin was nearly compromised when he mislaid his cigarette lighter during a meeting in the San Francisco referentura, and it was found by a KGB colleague who, as the rezidentura’s technical expert, recognized it as an ingenious concealment device, thereby indicating to him that there was a spy in the building.