Consulting firms linked to the White House’s leading Ukraine policy architects – including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland – appear to be advising the Ukrainian government on its reconstruction efforts funded by U.S. taxpayers.
The unearthed connections come amidst over $110 billion being sent to the notoriously corrupt country, with staunch opposition to curtailing the flow of cash or even auditing where the funds are actually being spent. Strategy papers obtained from these White House-linked consulting firms appear to call for a “multi-decade” continuation of foreign aid to Ukraine, even admitting the war provided a “window of opportunity” to achieve changes that would have been “politically difficult to achieve.”
Nuland, currently a top State Department official believed to be behind U.S. efforts to orchestrate Ukraine’s 2014 Maidan Revolution, was a former Senior Counselor at the Albright Stonebridge Group, a global business strategy firm based in Washington, D.C. In addition to Nuland, Albright Stonebridge Group counts several high-ranking White House officials linked to Ukraine policy as its alumni: United Nations Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Richard Verma, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs James O’Brien.
Despite the robust conflict of interest, Albright Stonebridge appears to be involved in advising on the issue of Ukraine reconstruction. The firm published a white paper -“Land Value Capture Can Finance Ukraine’s Reconstruction, Reduce Corruption, And Boost Productivity” – outlining a variety of economic strategies for rebuilding Ukraine with foreign aid packages, predominantly underwritten by U.S. taxpayers.
The strategy paper strongly advocates for the use of Land Value Capture (LVC) – “collecting the increase in land value that results from public spending on infrastructure and other services” as outlined in the paper – as part of aid packages:
“The U.S., E.U., and international financial institutions like the World Bank and EBRD, can encourage the adoption of LVC as part of their support to Ukraine. For instance, some loans used for infrastructure finance could be conditional upon one or more of the LVC options discussed below. It might also encourage LVC to be part of agricultural land reform.”
The paper also stresses how the ongoing war provides a “window of opportunity” to rebuild Ukraine in a way that would be “politically difficult to achieve”:
“Immediately after the end of a conflict, a window of opportunity opens for a conflict-affected country and the international community to establish security, rebuild, and consolidate peace – or risk conflict relapse. This window also presents the opportunity to reform the distribution of rents from land and other natural resources in ways that would otherwise be politically difficult to achieve.”
WestExec Advisors, a White House-adjacent consulting firm that has been identified as “staffing the Biden administration,” is also involved in advising Ukraine’s reconstruction and foreign aid approach through WestExec Advisors’ co-founder Michele Flournoy. Posing a clear conflict of interest, the co-founder of the firm is Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Flournoy is part of the Working Group on International Security Guarantees for Ukraine, which recently published the Kyiv Security Compact calling for additional foreign aid for the country. The effort is directly linked to the Ukrainian government, as it’s co-chaired by Head of the Ukrainian President’s Office Andriy Yermark and former Danish Prime Minister and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
The paper calls for adopting the “Kyiv Security Compact,” described as a joint strategic partnership between Ukraine and Western nations including the U.S., holding them financially responsible for rebuilding the country. The working group explicitly admits to seeking to “mobilize the necessary political, financial, military, and diplomatic resource for Ukraine’s self-defense.”
“These guarantees should enable Ukraine’s self-defence both to deter an armed attack or act of aggression (deterrence by denial), and – in case an attack occurs – to protect the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security of Ukraine (deterrence by punishment). The Kyiv Security Compact will fulfil this purpose by mobilising the necessary political, financial, military, and diplomatic resources for Ukraine’s self-defense. The Compact will consist of a joint strategic partnership document co-signed by guarantor states and Ukraine (as well as bilateral agreements between Ukraine and guarantor states).”
Among the guarantees Ukraine would enjoy would be a “high-readiness force that can effectively and forcefully respond to a territorial breach”; a “massive training and joint manoeuvre programme of Ukrainian forces and partners on Ukrainian territory with international trainers and advisors”; “advanced defensive systems” and a continued stream of “financial aid and direct investments.”
Additionally, the paper outlines how the compact ” requires a multi-decade effort of sustained investment in Ukraine’s defense industrial base, scalable weapons transfers and intelligence support from allies, intensive training missions and joint exercises under the European Union and NATO flags.”
Flournoy has also been identified as advising her clients, including some of the world’s leading CEOs, on how to approach the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, celebrating how most corporations have adopted a publicly pro-Ukraine position during an interview with Business Insider:
“The business response has been surprisingly strong, stronger than almost anybody anticipated. I don’t think any of the CEOs we talked to bought Putin’s narrative. They don’t believe he has a just cause for military intervention in Ukraine. The second, and bigger, thing is the tactic of directly and relentlessly targeting civilians. It’s so horrifying. It’s not only illegal, but immoral, and just horrible to watch. I think there’s been a visceral reaction on the part of CEOs where they’re thinking, “I can’t be part of this. I can’t be seen as not caring about this or sanctioning it by association.”