Trump’s ex-Russia expert predicts big changes in ‘international order’
Fiona Hill, the one-time Russia guru in US President Donald Trump’s administration, has posited that the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Israel portend seismic geopolitical shifts that Moscow sees working in its favor.
“These could be global-system-shifting wars, something like World War I and World War II, which reflected and produced major changes in the international order,” Hill said in a Los Angeles Times interview published on Sunday. “In a sense, the Hamas attack on Israel was a kind of Pearl Harbor moment. It opened a second front.”
The first front in today’s geopolitical conflagration was the Russia-Ukraine conflict. With the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel triggering a new war in the Middle East, the situation became more complicated. Hill did not spell out how she sees the two conflicts changing the international order, but she said Russian President Vladimir Putin sees “everything trending in his favor.”
“This helps Putin,” Hill said of the Israel-Hamas war. “It’s going to distract the United States and European supporters of Ukraine.”
Hill argued that the US and other Ukraine backers “put too much weight” on the foundering Ukrainian counteroffensive that began in June. “This is going to be a long war,” she said. “Putin thinks we will give up if he holds on long enough.”
The Russian leader also is waiting for the 2024 US election, which could result in Washington cutting off aid for Ukraine if Trump wins back the presidency, Hill suggested. She added that the US presidential race is worrying for US allies: “If the rest of the world thinks every time a new government comes along, we are going to tear up agreements we just made, we won’t be looked at as a very reliable partner.”
Russia, China and Iran are aligned against Ukraine and against Israel, Hill said, and the conflicts have brought Beijing and Moscow closer together. US President Joe Biden’s administration should counter that troubling trend by mending ties with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government, she suggested. “We’re not going to have any hope of curtailing Russia’s options and getting the Middle East to calm down if we have a super-antagonistic relationship with China,” she said.
Hill, who testified against Trump during the then president’s 2019 impeachment inquiry, previously advised former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Washington and its Western allies have been fighting World War III against Russia “for a long time,” without being aware of it, she said last month in a New Yorker magazine interview.