David Forden

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David Warner Forden (September 11, 1930 – February 12, 2019)[1] was an operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He helped Ryszard Kukliński, a colonel in the Polish People's Army, pass along sensitive information on nations in the Warsaw Pact to the United States.

Forden had a three-year assignment in Mexico City from 1965 through 1967.[2] He was assigned by the CIA to Warsaw as a station chief. He returned to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia as the chief of the Soviet-Eastern European division.[3]

After Ryszard Kukliński, a colonel on the general staff of the Polish People's Army who also served as a liaison with the Soviet Union, reached out to the United States, Forden, who was fluent in Polish, was assigned from 1973 through 1981. As a result, the United States learned of the Soviet Union's intention to invade Poland and the Polish governments intention to declare martial law in order to end the Solidarity movement. Through diplomatic pressure and covert funding, the United States prevented these outcomes. In the 1980s, Forden was assigned to Athens as a station chief. Forden retired in 1988, and received the Distinguished Intelligence Medal.[3]

His interactions with Kukliński were portrayed by Patrick Wilson in the 2015 Polish film Jack Strong.[4]

Forden died on February 12, 2019, in Alexandria, Virginia, from Alzheimer's disease.[3]


  1. ^ Hoffman, David E. (February 13, 2019). "David Forden, CIA case officer who handled pivotal Cold War operation, dies at 88". Washington Post. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  2. ^ "David Forden: płk Kukliński nie był jedyny - WP Wiadomości". Wiadomosci.wp.pl. February 7, 2014. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "David Forden, C.I.A. Handler in Cold War Intrigue, Dies at 88". The New York Times. February 13, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  4. ^ Rechtshaffen, Michael. "'Jack Strong' brings true Cold War thriller to life". latimes.com.