Radek Sikorski

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Radek Sikorski is a Polish politician and former Executive Director of the American Enterprise Institute's New Atlantic Initiative which grew out of the Heritage Foundation funded Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies.[1]


Sikorski was born in Northern Poland in 1963.[2]He is the son of Teresa Anna and Jan Sikorski of Dwor Ciobielin, Poland. His father was an architect, and his mother was an architect for the City of Bydgoszcz, Poland.[3] Some reports have suggested the Sikorski is a 'vague relation' of the famous Polish general Wladyslaw Sikorski.[4]Others have stated that they are not related.[5]


Sikorski was a student leader of the Polish Solidarity movement.[6]

I met Walesa in March 1981 during a crisis in my home city of Bydgoszcz which he agrees was the turning point in the existence of Solidarnosc. It was then that the authorities started compiling the arrest list of union activists. At that time we regarded him as the man who foiled an opportunity to mobilise the country and take on the authorities. Now we know that Walesa was right: the revelations of Col. Kuklinsky, a member of the Polish General Staff who has since defected to the United States, have confirmed that the Soviets would have invaded if the Polish communists could not cope.[7]

Worthington also noted that “Sikorski was a student leader in the Polish Solidarity movement before attending Oxford and becoming a sort of Diogenes of modern journalism”, and presented him as a ‘freelance’ journalist who argued that the Soviet withdrawal "will be because they understand the language of guerrilla Kalashnikov assault rifles and Stinger missiles, not of half-baked editorials."

Sikorski fled to Britain shortly before the imposition of martial law.[8]He was granted political asylum in 1982.[9]


Sikorski studied at Pembroke College, Oxford.

Arriving there to read History, he failed his first year exams, although he did go on to get a degree.
'I'm staggered by the news,' Professor Norman Stone, Oxford's Professor of Modern History, tells me. 'But it's a pity there's no likelihood of war in that country as, like me, he's a born militarist.'
Toby Young, the energetic editor of The Modern Review, preferred to discuss Sikorski, a vague relative of the Polish wartime leader General Sikorski, in these terms. 'He's like some Ruritanian Duke in a 1930s movie who, just at the point of marrying Greta Garbo, is exposed as an encyclopedia salesman from Seattle.' And he should know.[10]

According to another account, Sikorski studied political science at the college, and was a friend of Darius Guppy.[11] During his time at Oxford, Sikorski was a member of the Bullingdon Club.[12]


Sikorski travelled to Afghanistan to report on the conflict, and with the initial intention of joining the Mujahideen.[13]According to one report, he did indeed fight as a volunteer.[14] As Sunday Telegraph correspondent in Afghanistan in 1986, Sikorski observed the Mujahideen firing Stinger missiles, confirming the existence of the first US shipment into he country, and that American experts (the CIA) were training rebels to use the missiles at a secret camp near the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. [15][16] Sikorski visited Herat in the spring of 1987.[17] Sikorski criticised the BBC for refusing to give him official credentials:

A year or so ago when the BBC asked freelance journalist/author Radek Sikorski to do reports when he was in Afghanistan with Mujahedin guerrillas, Sikorski asked for a letter confirming he was on assignment for the BBC.
The BBC refused, saying that if he was caught by the Soviets entering the country illegally, it would embarrass the BBC and might jeopardize its Moscow correspondent.
Sikorski tells of this incident in Encounter magazine, and uses it to illustrate how abysmally the eight-year war in Afghanistan was covered by the Western media.[18]In 1988. Sikorski wrote the (1987) Moscow's Afghan War: Soviet Motives and Western Interests, for the IEDSS.

National Review

In 1989, National Review appointed Sikorski as a "roving correspondent" dispatched to "international hot spots," beginning with Afghanistan.[19]

The Washington Post, February 28, 1989, noted that Ronald Reagan had agreed to lend his name to the National Review, as a member of the magazine's board of directors. Described as "the formalization of an informal relationship," Reagan and [William] Buckley had been friends for years. Previously the advisory board had been a group of “’businessmen’ and other informal advisers not even listed on the magazine's masthead”. Buckley had turned many of his editorial chores over to a new editor, the IEDSS’ John O'Sullivan, and the National Review also hired several other IEDSS members and had become something of a house journal for the far-right since the early 1960s.


In August 1989, following a visit to UNITA-held territory in Angola, Sikorski wrote a National Review article attacking Jonas Savimbi's 'despotic instincts' and 'Leninist' methods, and said: "He is no more a democrat than Mao or Castro." At the time Savimbi, a darling of the cold war right, had reneged on a ceasefire deal supported by the Bush administration.[20]

Return to Poland

From 1988 to 1992, Sikorski was the representative of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation in Europe.[21]His early attempts to start a television station and buy publications on Murdoch's behalf did not bear fruit.[22] Sikorski was appointed deputy defence minister in 1992. This decision led to criticism from President Lech Walesa, opposition figures and the press, because of Sikorski's British citizenship.[23] The Defence Minister at the time was his friend, Jan Parys.[24] Sikorski appointment led the Polish media to investigate alleged anachronisms in his CV and questioned the fact that Sikorski had lectured on military topics at renowned colleges in the US and Britain:

"I have a fax in front of me in which the press spokesman for Carlisle Barracks in the U.S. says that neither the U.S. Military Academy nor the Institute of Ministry History across the street, have traces of Radek Sikorski's staying or lecturing there," Brzeski said.
Brzeski said that it is not true that Sikorski has lectured at Cambridge University Institute of European Defence and Strategic Studies. No such institute exists at Cambridge.
"Sikorski did stay at Cambridge University," Brzeski said, "but the vice-chancellor's office says that he visited the university to share his impressions from Afghanistan during two single-day conferences organised by the University Centre of International Studies."
The Soviet Studies Centre, in which Sikorski has lectured, has nothing to do with the famous British Royal Military Academy, as was claimed in the version of Sikorski's curriculum vitae published by the Rzeczpospolita daily. The only link between the two institutions is that they are located in the same town, Sandhurst.[25]

A month after Sikorski's appointment, millionaire car dealer Matthew Leeming hosted a reception for him in London. Guests included Sikorski's then fiance Anne Applebaum, Dominic Lawson and Darius Guppy.[26]

Sikorski married Applebaum, who is also connected to the New Atlantic initiative, when she was the Warsaw correspondent for the Economist, and when he was a correspondent for the National Review, Applebaum, was a graduate of Yale University, and the London School of Economics (a Marshall scholar), and Oxford University. Her father, Harvey, is a partner in the Washington law firm of Covington & Burling. Dean Acheson was hired as an associate, two years after the company formed in 1919 according to the firm’s web site. As secretary of state from 1949-53, Acheson was a principal architect of US foreign policy at the start of the Cold War and instrumental in creating the NATO alliance, the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan and in developing America's postwar policy towards Germany, the Soviet Union, and China.[27]

When Sikorski was appointed vice minister of National defence in Poland, amid some speculation that Lech Walesa had influenced the decision, the Polish News Bulletin, February 18, 1992, described him as:

“a Polish-English journalist. He studied in Oxford and fought in Afghanistan on the side of the anti-Communist guerrillas. [...] [He is also an agent of press magnate Rupert Murdoch for Poland, other papers wrote].

The Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper, quoted in the Independent, February 27, 1992, described Sikorski as:

A citizen of Great Britain representing the interests of big international capital has been appointed to one of the most crucial positions — deputy minister of national defence.

This also noted that Sikorski represented Rupert Murdoch in projects to create a private television station and buy Polish publications, in 1990. Neal Ascherson in the newly created Independent, July 12, 1992, stated:

The political melodrama in Warsaw over recent weeks shows that Polish political life is in trouble. Radek Sikorski, an energetic young man of white-hot anti-Communist zeal, has written (comically and misleadingly) in the Spectator of how he resigned after 100 days as deputy defence minister. He and his colleagues burst into office convinced that Poland and President Walesa were in the grip of unreformed Communist spooks and bureaucrats, conspiring to wean Poland from Western influence and restore her to the Eastern option. After a few weeks spent sacking everyone in sight, Radek and his colleagues were sacked themselves by Walesa. He attributes this to Communist machination, and warns: We lost this round, but there will be another.

Several commentators have noted a certain Felix Krull element to Sikorski’s rise, such as the quote by Toby Young, and the Bullingdon Club network seems to exploit its connections in the press to influence and distract public opinion: Sikorski's friend the disgraced Jewel thief Darius Guppy, is a case in point here. The Evening Standard, February 18, 1993, noted the mysterious forces that promote Sikorski. An article under the pseudonym of 'Veronica Lodge' in the Spectator, defended Guppy and attacked even reporting of his trial for fraud. The Standard argued that this had been written by Anne Applebaum, Sikorski wife, with the support of Dominic Lawson, long rumoured to have MI6 affiliations.[28]




  1. Scholars & Fellows - Radek Sikorski, American Enterprise Institute, accessed 8 November 2008.
  2. Walesa to challenge top job for Solidarity Briton, Daily Mail, 27 February 1992.
  3. Anne E. Applebaum to Wed in June, New York Times, * December 1991.
  4. Boy for the Job, Evening Standard, 27 February 1992.
  5. Briton's defence role angers Poles, by Patricia Clough, The Independent, 27 February 1992.
  6. Important wars the media choose to ignore, by Peter Worthington, Financial Post (Toronto, Canada), 8 August 1988.
  7. Books: The Pole who could / Review of 'A Path of Hope' by Lech Walesa, by Radek Sikorski, The Guardian, 11 December 1987.
  8. Briton's defence role angers Poles, by Patricia Clough, The Independent, 27 February 1992.
  9. Walesa to challenge top job for Solidarity Briton, Daily Mail, 27 February 1992.
  10. Briton's defence role angers Poles, by Patricia Clough, The Independent, 27 February 1992.
  11. Walesa to challenge top job for Solidarity Briton, Daily Mail, 27 February 1992.
  12. Denis Macshane: Britain can help to shape a new Europe, The Independent, 6 June 2006.
  13. Afghanistan; A Pole reports; DUST OF THE SAINTS. By Radek Sikorski. The Economist, 2 December 1989.
  15. Afghans get Stinger missiles, Sydney Morning Herald, 3 November 1986.
  16. Afghanistan: bleak scene for mujahideen, by Edward Girardet, Christian Science Monitor, 22 December 1986.
  17. Afghanistan; A Pole reports; DUST OF THE SAINTS. By Radek Sikorski. The Economist, 2 December 1989.
  18. Important wars the media choose to ignore, by Peter Worthington, Financial Post, 8 August 1988.
  19. Reagan Joins Board Of National Review; Journal's Directors to Help Set Conservative Agenda, by Charles Truehart, The Washington Post, 28 February 1989.
  20. Abroad at Home; The Savimbi Smear, by Anthony Lewis, New York Times, 5 October 1989.
  21. Scholars & Fellows - Radek Sikorski, American Enterprise Institute, accessed 8 November 2008.
  22. Briton's defence role angers Poles, by Patricia Clough, The Independent, 27 February 1992.
  23. Briton's defence role angers Poles, by Patricia Clough, The Independent, 27 February 1992.
  24. Briton's defence role angers Poles, by Patricia Clough, The Independent, 27 February 1992.
  25. Rafal Brzeski, The Career of Radek Sikorski, Polish News Bulletin, 4 March 1992. The confusion over the Institute of European Defence and Strategic Studies is interesting given its extensive intelligence and propaganda activities and Atlanticist orientation, including work in Poland. Brzeski, the London correspondent of Polish Radio's Programme Three, added that "Programme Three originally planned to broadcast Brzeski's report on to accompany a conversation with Sikorski. But, after listening to the report in the studio before the broadcast, Sikorski said he would not appear in the programme, according to Monika Olejnik of Programme Three: "He was very nervous.”"
  26. Warsaw Pact, Evening Standard, 21 April 1992.
  27. Covington & Burling Firm History accessed April 1 2009. Its clients include Halliburton and Philip Morris, see Politicalbase.com, Covington & Burling, 2008. Covington has an important strategic alliance with McLarty Associates, see their website section, A Strategic Alliance this includes former Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte and the company was formerly known as Kissinger McLarty Associates, as such it is a key player in world affairs.
  28. BBC (1998) Curriculum Vitae: Dominic Lawson. December 18. This states:
    Labour MP, Brian Sedgemore, has used parliamentary privlege to name Mr Lawson as an MI6 agent. "I would hope we could have some time... to look at the claim that Dominic Lawson... has been recruited as a paid MI6 agent. It would be very damaging for the press if it were true," he said. The allegations centre on the time Mr Lawson was the editor of the Spectator between 1990 and 1995.