The crisis in Poland in 1980–1981 imposed great demands on the U.S. intelligence community. On the one hand, U.S. intelligence analysts sought to determine whether the Soviet Union might send troops into Poland to crush the Solidarity movement. On the other hand, a small group of senior intelligence and national security officials who were privy to reports from Colonel Ryszard Kukliński, a senior officer on the Polish General Staff who was secretly working for the United States, had to decide how best to use the enormously valuable information the colonel was providing. These issues and others pertaining to the activities of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during the Polish crisis are examined in a new book by Douglas J. MacEachin, a former CIA deputy director who oversaw the agency's efforts vis-à-vis Poland and the Soviet Union. MacEachin's book, as this essay shows, provides an astute and refreshingly candid evaluation of the CIA's performance.

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