The Moscow Rules is a set of tenuously factual rules of engagement used by either British MI6 or American CIA operatives working in Moscow during the Cold War. Most likely the product of some sort of collective spy novel consciousness shared by writers and fans of the genre, the list is nevertheless interesting, and could probably come in handy during your next black op.

The unofficial list:

  • Assume nothing.
  • Murphy is right.
  • Never go against your gut; it is your operational antenna.
  • Don't look back; you are never completely alone.
  • Everyone is potentially under opposition control.
  • Go with the flow, blend in.
  • Vary your pattern and stay within your cover.
  • Any operation can be aborted. If it feels wrong, it is wrong.
  • Maintain a natural pace.
  • Lull them into a sense of complacency.
  • Build in opportunity, but use it sparingly.
  • Don't harass the opposition.
  • There is no limit to a human being's ability to rationalize the truth.
  • Technology will always let you down.
  • Pick the time and place for action.
  • Keep your options open.
  • Once is an accident. Twice is coincidence. Three times is an enemy action.

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