European Energy security exposed by events in Georgia - and winter is 2/3 months away - UK decades of delay ...
Robert Gates the US Secretary of Defence made a speech to NATO about NATO in February this year ... as things start to boil in Georgia it might be worth recalling a few things he said ..
The Alliance must put aside any theology that attempts clearly to divide civilian and military operations. It is unrealistic. We must live in the real world. As we noted as far back as 1991, in the real world, security has economic, political, and social dimensions. And vice versa. The E.U. and NATO need to find ways to work together better, to share certain roles – neither excluding NATO from civilian operations nor barring the E.U. from military missions. In short, I agree entirely with Secretary General de Hoop Scheffer and Minister Morin’s comments yesterday that there must be a “complimentarity” between the E.U. and NATO.
He also recalled the Berlin airlift in 1948 ...
In January of that year, Ernest Bevin, the British foreign secretary, went before parliament to discuss the Soviet Union and other threats to the United Kingdom. Between all the “kindred souls of the West,” he said, “there should be an effective understanding bound together by common ideals for which the Western Powers have twice in one generation shed their blood.”
Less than two months later, President Harry Truman stood in the United States Congress and echoed that sentiment. He said: “The time has come when the free men and women of the world must face the threat to their liberty squarely and courageously . . . Unity of purpose, unity of effort, and unity of spirit are essential to accomplish the task before us.”
That unity held for decades through ups and downs. It held despite divisions and discord, stresses and strains, and through several crises where another war in Europe loomed. Alexis de Tocqueville once warned that democracies, when it comes to foreign affairs, were ill-suited to pursue a “great undertaking” and “follow it [through] with determination.” But the democracies of the West did just that – for more than 40 years. And they can do so once more today.
This was sometime after Aneurin (Nye) Bevan said in a speech at Blackpool..
This island is made mainly of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish at the same time. Daily Herald, 25 May 1945
Yet Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana at Riga gave a keynote speech to the German Marshall Fund conference on Monday, November 27, 2006 in advance of the NATO summit , which it is well worth re-visiting ..
The Centrality of Energy
NATO’s challenges continue to come in new formations. We have to understand not only the military configuration of threats before us, but also the likely basis for future conflict. The NATO alliance has been successful, not because it fought wars, but because it prevented them. If the NATO alliance is to be fully relevant to the security of its members, it must expand beyond the mission of military defense and begin to think about how to prevent the conditions that will lead to war.
In the coming decades, the most likely source of armed conflict in the European theater and the surrounding regions will be energy scarcity and manipulation. It would be irresponsible for NATO to decline involvement in energy security, when it is abundantly apparent that the jobs, health, and security of our modern economies and societies depend on the sufficiency and timely availability of diverse energy resources.
We all hope that the economics of supply and pricing surrounding energy transactions will be rational and transparent. We hope that nations with abundant oil and natural gas will reliably supply these resources in normal market transactions to those who need them. We hope that pipelines, sea lanes, and other means of transmission will be safe. We hope that energy cartels will not be formed to limit available supplies and manipulate markets. We hope that energy rich nations will not exclude or confiscate productive foreign energy investments in the name of nationalism. And we hope that vast energy wealth will not be a source of corruption within nations that desperately ask their governments to develop and deliver the benefits of this wealth broadly to society.
"We hope that energy rich nations will not exclude or confiscate productive foreign energy investments in the name of nationalism" .. well what has happened with TNK-BP .
What is happening to the BTC pipeline as you read this ?
What is happening to European energy security ?
Are we FCUKED ? See The Oil Drum for Forum on events in Georgia and the BTC pipeline - ecellent well informed comments.
Read both of the speeches , go to the Lugar Energy initiative and reflect on what has happened over the last 3 decades in Europe and especially the UK to secure our energy security.