By John Helmer, Moscow
There is a Fiona Hill on each side of the Atlantic.
One is joint chief of staff for Prime Minister Theresa May in London. The other Fiona Hill (lead image, right) is also British. She was appointed this month to be senior director for Europe and Russia at the National Security Council (NSC) in Washington. Between 2006 and 2009 Hill was the Russia desk officer on the National Intelligence Council under President George Bush, then President Barack Obama.
The White House announced Hill’s appointment by an anonymous leak to Foreign Policy magazine on March 2. The leaker claimed Hill had been selected at least a fortnight earlier by the NSC’s chief of staff Keith Kellogg, a retired Army lieutenant-general, before Michael Flynn was forced to resign as the National Security Advisor on February 13; and before Lieutenant-General H.R. McMaster was put in Flynn’s place on February 17. The announcement of Hill sandbagged her position, but Hill was nervous about confirming it. “Hill did not immediately respond to a request for comment,” Foreign Policy reported.
Before Hill joined the US intelligence services, she held an operational post at the Eurasia Foundation; that is a State Department contractor for regime change operations in the former states of the Soviet Union. The State Department rationale for the Eurasia Foundation, its establishment documents show, was “to accelerate and broaden American engagement in the development of civil societies in the Commonwealth of Independent States.” At the Eurasia Foundation Hill was employed on assignments devised with the State Department’s Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs and the US Agency for International Development. Altogether, the foundation has received $327 million in State Department grants over the decade, 1993 to 2013. Hill spent 1999 to 2000 at the foundation, then moved to the Brookings Institution. Her salary at the think-tank has been paid by Stephen Friedman, a Goldman Sachs banker who was the chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Board (PFIAB) between 2005 and 2009.
This month, a few days before her NSC staff appointment was announced, Hill gave an interview to a New York periodical in which she declared war on Russia. “I think we are in a hot war with Russia, not a cold war. But we have to be careful about the analogy. It’s a more complex world. There is no set-piece confrontation. This is no holds barred. The Cold War was a more disciplined competition, aside from the near blowups in Berlin and Cuba, where we walked back from the brink. The Kremlin now is willing to jump over the abyss. They want to play for the asymmetry. They see themselves in a period of hot kinetic war. Also, this is not just two-way superpower. There is China, the rising powers. I almost see it as like the great power competition from the time before the Second World War.”
Hill’s work in stoking Kremlin regime change schemes during the Obama Administration and at Brookings with Strobe Talbott, Clifford Gaddy, and Robert Kagan (husband of Victoria Nuland), was reported here – click to open.