The world of spies and secret agents is thrilling but laced with danger. An example of a superspy is the agent James Bond created by the writer Ian Fleming. He is supposed to be the man with the license to kill.Many films on the subject have come from Hollywood.

There is a flip side to this story, and when an agent becomes a traitor and betrays his country and runs away to a friendly country, the former country will like to punish him as an example to others. BBC has reported that Sergei Skripal a double agent who reportedly betrayed tens of Russian agents in Europe was poisoned by a nerve gas on the orders of the Kremlin.

Accusations

The British foreign secretary Boris Johnson has gone one step further and said the poisoning of the double spy was probably on orders of the Russian President Vladimir Putin. There is no evidence to corroborate his accusation, but it is within the realm of possibility that the Russian secret police may have had a hand in eliminating Skripal so as to make him an example to other agents, who may be thinking of defecting to the west.

War of words

A war of words has erupted between Britain and Russia, and both countries have expelled diplomat from each other's embassies. The British reaction looks a little strange and is perhaps an attempt to deflect from their failure to give security to an agent who had defected to them. It was incumbent on the British Intelligence and government to safeguard the Russian spy who defected.Unfortunately, they failed, and the Russian spy was poisoned with a rare gas and most likely may not survive.

His daughter who was with him has also suffered the same fate.

The CIA and British intelligence have also acted in a similar fashion and people who have betrayed the British have been jailed for life. Many of the British agents escaped to Russia when their cover was blown. Similarly, Russian agents have fled after they were discovered. Reports suggest that Skripal betrayed many secret agents operating in Europe and the UK. He was thus a marked man, and the British knew that the Russians would be after him.

British failure

It is not understood why he was not given protective custody or may be sent across to the United States.Spies look romantic and macho, but in real term, they are just ordinary humans. Many of them are caught in a web of circumstances over which they have no control, and many are forced to become double agents for no fault of theirs.

A spy who works for an enemy is never forgiven, and this should have been the guiding principle for British intelligence. That they failed will remain a black mark on them.