Starting with Ian Fleming’s 1953 Casino Royale, and continuing today with Skyfall, out in North America, Mr. James Bond has been fighting and seducing his way across the planet, thwarting bad guy after bad guy in a bid to save the world from evil machinations with varying degrees of both evilness and complexity.
Over the years, some of Bond’s villains’ plans have been kind of outlandish. Others, though, haven’t been all that bad. Former CIA intelligence analyst Mark Stout and cold war historian Edward Geist point out to the CBC three examples of plans that might actually have worked, had Mr. Bond not interfered:
- On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: Bond stops the use of a crop-destroying bio-weapon. Stout says, “This is actually something that during the Cold War the United States worried about quite a bit — that the Soviets might do this to American crops.”
- Casino Royale: “ shady operator named Le Chiffre attempts to make a financial killing by short-selling his stock in a major airline before launching a terrorist attack on one of its planes. …Stout says that right after the 9/11 attacks, analysts noticed seemingly unusual trading activity with the stock of some of the airlines involved in that disaster.”
- Octopussy: “ rogue general in the Soviet military, schemes to detonate a nuclear bomb in West Germany, blame it on the Americans and use it as a pretext for the Soviets to invade Western Europe. …While Geist concedes “the Soviets were never really inclined to do something like that,” he says that carrying out General Orlov’s plot “would have seriously complicated NATO policy in that era.”
More from Smithsonian.com: