Mils Hills

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Hills, in a picture taken from his Facebook page
Mils Hills is a propaganda operative who claims he was the first Anthropologist to join the Ministry of Defence and then the Cabinet Office. His background is in Information Operations and at the Cabinet Office he helped to set up the Civil Contingencies Secretariat in the aftermath of September 11 2001. Since 2005 Hills has run a research consultancy called Analytic Red, where he has capitalised on contacts made while in government to carry out contracts for 10 Downing Street, the Governor of the Bank of England and his Executive Team, Scottish Government, QinetiQ, Home Office, FCO, DEFRA, DSTL (MoD).[1]
Hills outside 10 Downing St, a picture taken from his LinkedIn profile

A biographical note reads:

Having read for a doctorate in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St. Andrews, Mils joined the Centre for Human Sciences of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) of the UK Ministry of Defence in 1998. Initially contributing technical input to Information Operations research, he rapidly came to be deployed on a range of research and consultancy activies across the organisation. In 2000 Mils was appointed Task Manager and in the following year Capability Group Leader as DERA moved towards privatisation (as QinetiQ). Mils left QinetiQ in 2002, and joined DERA's successor organisation the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL). At the same time, Mils was seconded to the Civil Contingencies Secretariat of the Cabinet Office.
Mils has also served as a member of the Department of Trade and Industry Taskforce on Future Society and Crime and Secretary of a Defence Scientific Advisory Committee Working Party on Information Operations and Information Technology.[2]

Education

  • University of St. Andrews PhD, Social Anthropology, 1995 — 1998
  • University of St. Andrews MA (Hons) - First Class, Social Anthropology, 1991 — 1995[3]

QinetiQ / DERA 1998-2001

Hills claims that he was the '1st Anthropologist at the Ministry of Defence'(October 1998 — December 2001), when he worked at DERA, which was privatised and became Qinetiq while he was there. His role included:

Technical and project management for an interdisciplinary team conducting leading-edge research in Information Operations (IO), Psy Ops and other domains including anthropological expertise.
Development of first Info Ops monitoring software.
Urgent Operational support to the military and intel customer.
Consultancy to encryption, procurement and related projects.[4]

Ministry of Defence 2002-2003

Hills writes that his role at the MoD was in 'Info Ops ('Info Warfare')' (January 2002 — March 2003) and that he:

Co-designed the Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS) at the Cabinet Office, following the fuel crisis, firefighters' strike, flooding, FMD etc.. This structure described by the then Cabinet Secretary as the most significant change to government in 200 years.
Capability Group Leader for Information Operations in the Human Sciences Team of the Ministry of Defence's DSTL.
Programme management and consultancy on asymmetric warfare and other topics.[5]

Cabinet Office 2003-2005

According to Hills his role at the Cabinet Office (March 2003 — February 2005) was as follows:

Together with Jas Mahrra - the co-founder of Analytic Red - Mils formed the UK Government’s only dedicated team discreetly developing and testing plans and policies at the highest strategic levels. We delivered exercises and scenario-planning events for senior players across sensitive and classified areas of Government. Novel techniques were used to effectively build strategic resilience in business continuity, crisis management & crisis communications.
Scenario-planning approaches were employed to generate foreign and domestic policy options at speed & to develop the Civil Contingencies Bill.
Work was specifically commissioned by:

Into consultancy - Analytic Red

Since 2005 Hills has been at Analytic Red] a consultancy founded with former colleague at the Cabinet Office. According too Hills:

Analytic Red has built unparalleled exposure and experience from working with high profile organisations to test and enhance their resilience to risk. For example:
  • Continuity of Government: No 10, the Houses of Parliament, the Royal Household, all relevant Permanent Secretaries, Agencies
  • Unconventional Terrorist Attack: Governor of the Bank of England
  • Operational Disruption: an international technology company
  • Insider Attack on the Critical National Infrastructure: National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre & commercial partners
  • Disaster Recovery: financial trade association
  • Specific Emergency Plans: UK Devolved Administration
In particular, we focus on the ability of soft (people) and hard (IT) systems to make the best possible quality of decisions appropriate to the client's risk appetite and under stress.[7]

Views

Hills is somewhat sceptical about those arguments which value truth and authenticity over simulacra and simulation. While at the Cabinet Office Hills reviewed a book about Japanese cultural displays:

Fascinating questions are raised as to the nature of experience, and why it is that it is so easy and conventional for the West to privilege the real over the faithfully authentic. If we as visitors to any attraction or cultural site (museum, theatre, mall) can extract meaning, enjoyment, and reaction from it, then the issue of associating any authenticity with an originary real is essentially nonsensical. So much of history is comprised of ‘mights’ (Shakespeare might have eaten here) that the replication – or cloning! – of Shakespeare’s birthplace in Japan ensures that the experience that a Japanese visitor has in Japan’s replica is at least as authentic as that in Stratford.[8]

Publications

Cyberwar 3.0: Hills co-wrote a chapter with Jamie Macintosh
  • Managing Island Life edited by Jonathan Skinner and Mils Hills (Dundee: University of Abertay Press, 2006).
  • Command Post Infrastructure: Equipping the decision-maker (with R Holloway) Command Post of the Future II: Future Command HQ, The Hatton, London, 20th November 2002.
  • Info Ops, Asymmetry & Learning: Some Practical Concepts to Address the Challenge Information Operations Course, RAF Chicksands, 18 October 2002
  • Competing the particular dreads of chemicals National Focus for Chemical Incidents, Cardiff 3rd October 2002
  • The Formal and Informal Management of Diversity in Mauritius Social Identities, Volume 8, No. 2, June 2002
  • Competing to Control the Media in an Age of Asymmetric Warfare (with Rachel Holloway) Jane's Intelligence Review, May 2002 Abstract, Extract
  • Competing Against A Particular Dread: Novel ideas to counter panic generation NATO-Russia Advanced Scientific Workshop on Social and Psychological Consequences of Chemical and Biological Terrorism, March 27 2002 NATO HQ: Brussels
  • Fighting the Future: Social Science Contributions to the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence Conference on Contemporary Research on Terrorism and Political Violence, Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, St Andrews 28-29 November 2000
  • The Psychology of Future Warfare: Asymmetric Risk and Decision-taking (with JP MacIntosh) Cyberwar 3.0, AFCEA International Press, January 2001[9]

Contact

Mphills AT dstl.gov.uk Mils.hills AT cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk

Notes

  1. Dr. Mils Hills, LinkedIn, accessed 29 May 2009
  2. Applications of Anthropology: An Exotic Input to the Defence and Security Community Dr Mils Hills, The Cabinet Office, Ministry of Defence, University of Loughborough, Abstracts, accessed 28 May 2009
  3. Dr. Mils Hills, LinkedIn, accessed 29 May 2009
  4. Dr. Mils Hills, LinkedIn, accessed 29 May 2009
  5. Dr. Mils Hills, LinkedIn, accessed 29 May 2009
  6. Dr. Mils Hills, LinkedIn, accessed 29 May 2009
  7. Dr. Mils Hills, LinkedIn, accessed 29 May 2009
  8. Mils Hills (2002) Review of Joy Hendry. 2000. The Orient Strikes Back: A Global View of Cultural Display. Materializing Culture. Oxford: Berg. Anthropological Theory, Vol 2(3): 3675-376
  9. Applications of Anthropology: An Exotic Input to the Defence and Security Community Dr Mils Hills, The Cabinet Office, Ministry of Defence, University of Loughborough, Abstracts, accessed 28 May 2009