In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Fiona Hill, a former Russia expert in President Donald Trump’s administration, suggested that the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Israel could have far-reaching geopolitical implications. According to Hill, these conflicts have the potential to be “system-shifting wars,” similar to World War I and World War II, which brought about major changes in the international order.
Hill pointed out that the situation became more complex when the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7 triggered a new war in the Middle East, opening a second front in the ongoing geopolitical conflagration. While she did not specify how she sees these conflicts reshaping the international order, Hill stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin sees everything trending in his favor.
The first front in this geopolitical struggle is the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Hill argued that the US and other supporters of Ukraine put too much emphasis on the foundering Ukrainian counteroffensive that began in June. She believes that Putin is counting on the war dragging on for an extended period, as he believes that the US and its allies will eventually give up if he holds on long enough. Furthermore, Hill suggested that Putin is also waiting for the 2024 US election, which could result in Washington cutting off aid for Ukraine if Trump regains the presidency. This uncertainty surrounding US support for Ukraine is a cause for concern among US allies, as it raises questions about America’s reliability as a partner.
Hill also highlighted that Russia, China, and Iran are aligned against Ukraine and Israel, with these conflicts bringing Beijing and Moscow closer together. To counter this trend, she urged the Biden administration to mend ties with China and avoid a super-antagonistic relationship. According to Hill, an antagonistic relationship with China would hamper efforts to curtail Russia’s options and bring stability to the Middle East.
Fiona Hill’s insights are based on her extensive experience and expertise in Russian affairs. She previously advised Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and testified against President Trump during his impeachment inquiry in 2019. In a recent interview with the New Yorker, she argued that the West has been unwittingly engaged in a “World War III” with Russia for a long time. These comments underscore the significance of the conflicts in Ukraine and Israel and their potential to reshape the global order.
In conclusion, Fiona Hill’s assessment of the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Israel as “system-shifting wars” reflects the potential for these conflicts to have profound geopolitical implications. These conflicts have already brought Russia, China, and Iran closer together and raised questions about US support for its allies. It is crucial for the Biden administration to navigate these challenges and work towards stabilizing the region while mending ties with China to counterbalance the growing alignment between Russia and China. The outcomes of these conflicts will undoubtedly shape the future international order.