With the benefit of historical perspective and recently declassified documents, it is now possible to learn the full extent of how powerful movements combined to drive the Soviet Union out of Poland. The discreet and then combined roles of President Reagan's leadership, CIA covert coordination, trade union mobilization, the Catholic Church-a martyred priest-the Pope, and the aid of expat Polish communities around the world all converged to create a dynamic and unstoppable resistance force. The events that led the Soviets to confront the fact that Poland could not be controlled also served to undermine Soviet confidence in suppressing other latent popular movements.
All this and more is dissected and analyzed by Dr. Seth Jones (Director of the Transnational Threats Project at Center for Strategic and International Studies) in his book, A Covert Action: Reagan, the CIA, and the Cold War Struggle in Poland. Jones was interviewed by Reagan State Department and National Security Council advisor, Dr. Michael Ledeen for this insightful Federalist Society Teleforum. Ledeen adds fascinating insight of his own as the two converse about the tactics utilized by the CIA and how political aid when combined with visionary leadership potentially provides far more leverage in driving out intransigent, oppressive regimes than direct military intervention.