It was in Afghanistan where Shebarshin and I unwittingly competed head to head. I managed the CIA's massive covert action against the Soviet occupation, running supplies to the mujahideen from neighboring Pakistan; Shebarshin oversaw the KGB effort from Moscow or, often enough, in Afghanistan itself. Although there was always a degree of desperation during that ruthless conflict, there were lighter moments too, as we learned when we compared notes long afterward.
Late one evening in August 1988, to take one example, I received an animated phone call from a Pakistani intelligence officer advising that a Soviet ground-attack fighter, an Su-25, had been shot down in Paktia province just inside Afghanistan on the border with Pakistan. The aircraft was mostly intact, the caller said, and the Afghan militia leader who had secured the crash site would make the Su-25 a personal gift to me, should I choose to send him 10 Toyota Hilux pickup trucks -- painted white, with red pinstripes -- and an equal number of BM-12 rocket launchers. I agreed, but insisted the site be closed off to the usual "souvenir hunters" who would strip the aircraft of its valuable weapons systems and electronics and sell them to the highest bidder.
Almost as an afterthought, the Pakistani intelligence officer told me that the same militia group had also captured the pilot of the Su-25, a white-haired colonel.