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”The Polish Political Drama”: Strategic Intelligence Assessments of the situation in Poland in 1981 and 1982
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [sv]

”The Polish Political Drama”

Strategic Intelligence Assessments of the situation in Poland in 1981 and 1982

 

Detta arbete undersöker amerikanskt underrättelsematerials uppfattning av läget i Polen under krisen åren 1981 och 1982 genom att granska två underrättelsedokument, nämligen:

SNIE 12.6-81, 30 January 1981: Poland’s Prospects Over the Next Six Months – Special National Intelligence Estimate

SNIE 12.6-82, 1 September 1982: Poland’s Prospects Over the Next 12 to 18 Months – Special National Intelligence Estimate

Jag undersöker vilket värde underrättelsematerial kan ha för ämnet historia och vad det kan tillföra studiet av kalla kriget. Jag utför en kvalitativ läsning av mitt material och använder mig av en problemdriven innehållsanalys. Mina frågor är:

1 Hur utvärderar dokumenten situationen i Polen?

2 Inträffar någon förändring i analysen mellan 1981 och 1982?

3 Vilka aspekter inkluderas i analysen?

4 Ges vissa aspekter mer tyngd än andra?

Mina resultat visar att såväl synen på vilka parter som deltar i konflikten som synen på parterna själva ändras. Det inträffar ett perspektivskifte där man går från att se saker och ting ur regimens perspektiv till att se saker och ting ur folkets perspektiv. Det första dokumentet har tydlig fokus på Sovjet och den militära aspekten och upplevs mer som det strategiska dokument det är jämfört med det andra dokumentet som mer fokuserar på det polska folket och situationen i sig. Värdet denna typ av dokument kan ha för studiet av kalla kriget och för ämnet historia i allmänhet är att de kan ge oss en inblick i bakomliggande faktorer till beslut, handlingar etc. Underrättelsematerial kan ligga till grund för en mer allsidig bild av såväl kalla kriget som andra områden inom ämnet historia där sådant material finns att tillgå.

Abstract [en]

”The Polish Political Drama”

Strategic Intelligence Assessments of the situation in Poland in 1981 and 1982

 

The present study examines two examples, or products of Cold War strategic intelligence relating to the crisis situation that occurred in Poland at the beginning of the 1980s, namely:

SNIE 12.6-81, 30 January 1981: Poland’s Prospects Over the Next Six Months – Special National Intelligence Estimate

SNIE 12.6-82, 1 September 1982: Poland’s Prospects Over the Next 12 to 18 Months – Special National Intelligence Estimate

I analyse the Special National Intelligence Estimates from 1981 and 1982 which assess Poland’s Prospects and investigate what the documents might tell us about this fragment of the Cold War and I assess the documents’ value as historical source material. I hope to bring to light the value of intelligence documents in historical research which I believe could enable a better understanding of not only the Cold War but potentially any fragment of history to which such documents might exist. The methodology in this study is a qualitative problem-driven content analysis. My operative questions are:

1. How do the Special National Intelligence Estimates assess, perceive and describe the situation in Poland?

2. Is there any change or development in the interpretation of the situation between 1981 and 1982?

As I look at the documents’ value as historical sources and investigate what knowledge they can provide the study of history my auxiliary questions are:

3. What aspects are included in the analysis of the situation?

4. Are some aspects given more importance than others?

My results show that there is a change in the interpretation between the two Estimates. The conflict and its participants are not entirely the same nor is the perspective on the conflict and its participants the same. SNIE 12.6-81 is focused on Soviet and the regime and their perspectives whereas SNIE 12.6-82 is more focused on the population and Jaruzelski. I perceive a change in sympathy and also how both Solidarity, society and the regime are perceived. In the first SNIE Solidarity and the Polish people are perceived as a threat to public order whereas in the second SNIE the sympathies are with Solidarity and the Polish people who suffer under a strict regime.

The documents provide us with information about what would have been perceived as urgent and significant enough to be investigated. They can also provide us with information about the reasoning behind policies, decisions and responses at the time. What the documents can give us access to is part of the blueprint behind the outcome which is essential for a more complete picture of any fragment of history.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , p. 37
Keywords [en]
Strategic Intelligence, Intelligence Assessments, Poland in 1981 and 1982, Cold War, intelligence, National Intelligence Estimate
National Category
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-232113OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-232113DiVA, id: diva2:746539
Subject / course
History (HGO)
Educational program
Freestanding course
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2014-09-15 Created: 2014-09-12 Last updated: 2014-09-15Bibliographically approved

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