As the United States cobbles together a coalition to undo Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, six US officers are trapped in Iraq with intelligence that could ruin Operation Desert Storm if it is obtained by the brutal Iraqi dictator. Desperate, the CIA asks Poland, a longtime Cold War foe famed for its excellent spies, for help.
The exfiltration [from Baghdad], complete with disguises (as Polish engineers), false passports and cartons of Marlboros to ease their way through roadblocks, is the dramatic centerpiece of From Warsaw With Love, and author John Pomfret makes the most of it ... Pomfret’s book is eye-opening in the best sense. We learn things we didn’t know. Pomfret, a former Beijing bureau chief of The Washington Post and the author of a history of the U.S.-China relationship, talked to a lot of people who had stories to tell — and, this being the secret world, they’re often colorful ... Pomfret is always alert to the human factor, the personal quirks of the individuals who made this special relationship happen ... As Polish politician Radoslaw Sikorski said, being allied with the United States is like marrying a hippo. At first, it’s warm and cuddly. Then the hippo turns, crushes you and doesn’t even notice. The most valuable thing about this informative book is that it might make the hippo take notice.
... fascinating ... It's a suspenseful tale of an almost insanely difficult exfiltration ... well worth picking up—an engaging story of how spies on opposite sides of the Cold War came together, with plenty of riveting detail from participants in the events.
In his revealing behind-the-scenes account, Pomfret conveys the comity and respect each country’s intelligence community had for the other even in the middle of the Cold War ...Pomfret draws strong portraits of principal spies and diplomats on both sides, and recounts significant events ... All in all, an important contribution to the study of U.S.-European relations.