312. Memorandum From Director of Central Intelligence Turner to President Carter, Vice President Mondale, Secretary of State Muskie, Secretary of Defense Brown, and the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • Plans for Warsaw Pact Intervention in Poland

1. The following information was received [1 line not declassified] The date of the information is 4 December.

a. Moscow has developed a plan for intervention in Poland which was delivered to the Polish General Staff and agreed to by Polish military leaders. The intervention is to take place under the pretext of joint Soviet, East German and Czechoslovak exercises in Poland. Readiness to cross the Polish frontiers was set for 8 December.

b. The plan calls for forces to include three armies comprising 15 Soviet divisions, and one army comprising two Czechoslovak divisions and an army staff and one division from East Germany. Altogether, the intervention forces in the first phase will comprise 18 divisions. An additional four divisions will be attached to the Czechoslovak and East German armies. [less than 1 line not declassified] these are four Polish divisions located along the border with East Germany.)

c. Warsaw Pact officers in civilian dress are currently surveying the march routes and areas where future actions are contemplated. The [Page 917] Czechoslovaks and East Germans are to operate in Western Poland and the Soviets in Central and Eastern Poland.

d. The operational scenario calls for a regrouping of the Warsaw Pact troops in all the main training areas of the Polish forces, where live-fire exercises will be carried out. Then, depending upon how the situation develops, all major and industrial cities in Poland will be put under blockade.

e. [less than 1 line not declassified] the political decision to intervene was taken some time ago, and there appears to have been no resistance to it from Party leader Kania and Polish Defense Minister Jaruzelski.2 Elsewhere in the Polish military establishment, however, there has been determined high-level opposition to the plan. As a result, an alternative (Polish) plan has been worked out which calls for using only the Polish armed forces to establish internal security in Poland. The key part of this plan is a program of harsh measures against Solidarity and opposition groups by forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. This plan will be presented to the Soviets on 7 December with an accompanying proposal that the introduction of the Warsaw Pact intervention forces be put off until the actions of Poland’s own forces have proven to be ineffective. [less than 1 line not declassified] not believe that the Soviets will go along with this alternative or even that the Polish leadership will be forceful in presenting it.

2. [less than 1 line not declassified] is consistent with information provided [less than 1 line not declassified] earlier this week that Soviet forces in East Germany had been placed on alert pending orders to move to the Polish border area and be in position to attack by the weekend of 7 December.

3. The invasion scenario described also is generally consistent with the military preparations we have been observing for the past few weeks. Three Soviet armies in the Western USSR have appeared in the Soviet General Staff communications link between Moscow and Rembertow (near Warsaw) throughout most of the Polish crisis. Additionally, the mobilization activity we have seen has involved these three armies. The Soviets have two divisions permanently based in Poland, however, and these almost certainly would also play a role.

4. Various sources report the convening today in Moscow of a Warsaw Pact Summit, apparently attended by Party 1st Secretaries and Foreign Ministers. Poland appears to be represented by First Secretary Kania and Politburo member Stefan Olszowksi. The single agenda item for the meeting is said to be Poland.

Stansfield Turner3
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 65, Poland: 11/80–1/81. Top Secret.
  2. Wojciech Jaruzelski.
  3. Turner signed “Stan Turner” above this typed signature.