Russia's military-industrial complex may not be up to the task, Pike said. Before the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia's military technology was 10 years behind that of the United States; today, it is about 25 years behind, he said.
"I think they have made essentially no technological progress since the end of the Cold War," Pike said.
Mutual cooperation between Washington and Moscow goes beyond the countries' diplomatic corps. Even the spies, it seems, are talking to each other.
Russian and Western security agencies began working together on a limited basis after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, though there was a significant retreat by the mid-1990s. Efforts at cooperation expanded again after the Sept. 11 attacks, to include the sharing of information on suspected terrorist networks.
That could help explain why, in January, when the Russians said they caught four British diplomats trying to acquire military secrets by downloading data from a fake rock, Russian authorities did not expel the alleged spies.
Last month, Nikolai Patrushev, director of Russia's Federal Security Service, or FSB, told the Interfax news agency that Moscow, too, is awash in spies seeking military secrets.
"Their operations in Russia are becoming exceptionally daring," he said.
Western experts say the level of Western spying against Russia may have declined along with that nation's global and regional influence, and the diminished threat posed by its conventional military forces. One big question is how far Russia will go in abandoning efforts at democratic reform.
"Just five years ago, the Russian media was relatively free. There was some freedom in parliament and in the courts," Kalugin said. "But today that's all over. Russia is in a state of drift - and a drift toward the old days rather than forward."
Western governments are interested in Moscow's close commercial and diplomatic ties to North Korea and Iran. Last month, the Kremlin confirmed that it planned to sell $700 million worth of TOR-1 surface-to-air missiles to Iran, according to news reports.
Gerald B. Richards, a retired FBI counterintelligence agent who occasionally gives lectures at the Spy Museum in Washington, said some tourists are "absolutely amazed" when he tells them the Russians are still aggressively spying on the United States.
"I would be absolutely awed and amazed and mind-boggled if they weren't," Richards said. "Knowledge is power, and it's to their benefit to know everything that we're doing. We're the big cheese now. Everyone wants to spy on us."