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My research focus is the US policy towards Poland in the years 1977-1982. In this period Poland have experienced a significant economic crisis and made a first step toward political liberalisation. This period is eminent not only for Polish history, it is also an important point in time for the Cold War.
In this context many questions have been risen concerning the US policy objectives. Diverse discussions refer to President Jimmy Carter’s decision to support credit flow to Poland even when economy of this country unambiguously showed no chances for repayment. The inquests mostly concern details of the US long term policy plan for preventing the economic breakdown in Poland and the US motivation, correlated with either, the human rights programme or the political pressure of Polish staff members. Another significant argument applies to Ronald Reagan’s policy in relation to the possible USSR invasion of Poland in 1981. Debate remains open over the US goals. It is argued that the US administration was aware that the invasion was highly improbable due to the USSR forces engagement in the Middle East. Different sources dispute that the US had not used all the means available to diminish the threat of an invasion, as such would have weakened the USSR. The same question of motivation relates to the economic embargo imposed on Poland in 1981. Was the US administration fully aware of the outcomes of the embargo for, the already recessed, polish economy? If yes, was the embargo aimed to indirectly weaken the USSR, or was it only an expression of a strong disapproval toward the implementation of the martial law in Poland? Most of the literature relating to this period is focused on the US economical support for Poland and Jimmy Carter’s human rights programme, as well as Ronald Reagan’s verbal support for Polish opposition. There has not been much written on the US actual long term intents and structure of the decision making process at the time. Using the available literature and recently declassified archives, I am planning to present a full analysis of the US policy towards Poland in late 70’s and early 80’s. My study falls in the category of Combined Methods Research.