SpyCast 11.21.23
Ep 612 | 11.21.23

“British Defence Attaché, U.S.A.” – with Rear Admiral Tim Woods

Show Notes


Rear Admiral Tim Woods (Biography) joins Andrew (TwitterLinkedIn) to discuss his role as Britain’s Defence Attaché to the United States. Tim previously served as the British Defence Attaché in Kyiv, Ukraine. 

What You’ll Learn


  • What does a Defense Attaché do
  • How intelligence impacts military strategy
  • Admiral Woods’ experience of the 2021 Russian invasion of Ukraine
  • What it’s like to constantly be surveilled


  • The power of relationships and connections 
  • Sacrificing personal privacy for national security

And much, much more …

Episode Notes

This week on SpyCast, Andrew was joined by Real Admiral Tim Woods, the Defence Attaché at the British Embassy in Washington. Tim has served over three decades in the Royal Navy, with posts including the British Defence Attaché to Ukraine and Head of the British Defence Staff in Eastern Europe, as well as active duty in Afghanistan. 

In this episode, Andrew and Tim discuss the role of Defence Attaché and the importance of intelligence within the job. They also discuss Tim’s experience living and working in Kyiv in the months prior to Russia’s invasion of the country in 2021. What it was like to be under constant surveillance, how he dealt with the looming threat of Russian invasion, and what he felt when he heard the inevitable news. Tune in to hear more. 


Outside of the British Embassy here in Washington, D.C., you’ll find a statue of Sir Winston Churchill making his iconic “V for Victory” sign. Notice how Churchill’s statue seems to be walking, stepping one foot in American soil while keeping the other planted on British soil. The symbolism there is twofold: The partnership between the United States and Great Britian, and Churchill’s dual British-American ancestry! 

Quotes of the Week

“The role of a Defense Attaché – It is persistent defense engagement in time of peace to prepare for time of crisis and war so that we've got the connective tissue in place when crisis happens.” – Rear Admiral Tim Woods.




*Beginner Resources*



  • The Secret History of the Five Eyes: The untold story of the shadowy international spy network, R. Kerbaj (Blink Publishing, 2022)
  • The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine, S. Plokhy (Basic Books, 2017)
  • Defense of the West, S. Sloan (Manchester University Press, 2016)



Primary Sources 

*Wildcard Resource*

  • Midway (1976) 
  • A (dramatic) retelling of the 1942 Battle of Midway, one of the most critical naval battles of the Second World War – A battle that perfectly exhibits the importance of intelligence in a time of war.