From Warsaw with Love: Polish Spies, the CIA, and the Forging of an Unlikely Alliance

Holt. Oct. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9781250296054. $29.99. HIST
Pomfret (The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom), a former foreign correspondent in Warsaw with the Washington Post, writes a history of United States–Poland diplomacy and espionage spanning the 1950s through today. He says that during the Cold War, Poland ran one of the best intelligence operations in the world, and Polish agents in the United States and Japan stole technology that was then used to manufacture products that drove Poland’s economy. All the while, the U.S. and Poland maintained a somewhat positive relationship that transitioned into an alliance following the fall of the Soviet Bloc. Polish intelligence then collaborated with the CIA during Operation Desert Storm and later the post-9/11 military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq; Poland even agreed to allow the interrogation of Taliban and Al Qaeda suspects on Polish soil. Pomfret writes that in recent years, Poland’s right-wing government has turned on many retired Polish intelligence officers and drastically cut their pensions. Pomfret’s book is based largely on interviews with Polish and American diplomats, former intelligence personnel, and government officials; many are mentioned in the book’s vignettes of interactions between Polish and Western agents.
VERDICT A decent foray into post–World War II intelligence that should appeal to readers interested in Cold War espionage or 20th-century Polish history.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing