History of Polish Intelligence Services - 1989–present


After the changes of 1989 the Służba Bezpieczeństwa was disbanded by the first free government under the prime minister, Tadeusz Mazowiecki. A new agency, called the State Protection Office (Urząd Ochrony Państwa, or UOP) was formed and staffed mainly by the former SB officers who successfully passed a verification procedure. Its mission was primarily general espionage and intelligence gathering as well as counter-espionage and fighting against high ranked organized crime. It was commanded by a career intelligence officer but was directly supervised by a civilian government official, Coordinator for the Special Services.

Most of the time the agency evaded public attention, although it was dragged into political fighting over appointments of its chiefs, lustration and some perceived failures with organized crime cases. In 2002 the new, post-communist left-wing government reorganized the special services by dividing them into two agencies; the Internal Security Agency (Agencja Bezpieczeństwa Wewnętrznego) and Intelligence Agency (Agencja Wywiadu). The move was widely perceived as a way of cleansing the higher ranks of the officers appointed by previous right-wing governments.

The military intelligence continued to function under a slightly altered name (Wojskowe Służby Informacyjne- Military Information Services) and without much organizational change; at least none that was visible to the general public. The new Polish conservative government declared dissolution of the WSI and creating new services in October 2005, since the agency skipped serious external reforms after the collapse of communism in 1989. Throughout the transformation the WSI were allegedly involved in dubious operations, arms sales to UN-sanctioned states and corruption scandals. In 2006 the WSI was split into Służba Kontrwywiadu Wojskowego and Służba Wywiadu Wojskowego.

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