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"A Covert Action" By Seth G. Jones


This is an encore presentation, originally broadcast in November, 2019.

In the waning days of 1981, the Polish government, run by a Kremlin-backed prime minster, declared martial law in the country. An early test of a new administration, President Reagan wrote in his diary that this test would signify “the last chance in our lifetime to see a change in the Soviet Empire’s colonial policy regarding Eastern Europe.”



In his book, A Covert Action: Reagan, the CIA, and the Cold War Struggle in Poland, Seth G. Jones reveals the little-known story of the CIA’s operations in Poland to rollback the Soviet influence in Eastern Europe. The resulting action proved to be a landmark victory for democracy and the Reagan White House during the Cold War. 

Seth G. Jones is a former civilian representative in U.S. Special Operations Command and director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation. His previous books include In the Graveyard of Empires: America’s War in Afghanistan and Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of Al Qa’ida since 9/11. Jones is currently the Harold Brown Chair and Director of the Transnational Threats Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

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