In This Review

Soviet And American Signalling In The Polish Crisis
Soviet And American Signalling In The Polish Crisis
By Thomas M. Cynkin
St. Martin's, 1988, 270 pp
Purchase

Cynkin, an operations officer in the State Department, has written a full case study in crisis management, showing how both the U.S.S.R. and the United States pursued their respective aims in Poland in 1980-81 by sending both public and confidential "signals" to each other and to various factions in Poland. He shows how Moscow, by concentrating on manipulation of the internal situation in Poland, was consistently successful while Washington, which feared a Soviet invasion, used its carrots and sticks without much effect; but the Soviets, of course, had all the geostrategic and political factors in their favor. The method is a little too mechanical: every article in Pravda is taken as an important signal. But on the whole this is a job well done, with important lessons for the future.