Georgia - Putin and "Mineral Natural Resources In The Development Strategy For The Russian Economy." just another brick in the wall
Keith Johnson at Wall Street Journal Bloggers poses the question today - is the stand off in Georgia a "wake up call" ? Will it wake the dozy people in Washington to "get real" about energy security in a piece today , From Russia With Love: Could Georgia Fight Boost Global Energy Supply?
Conventional wisdom (an idea of JK Galbraith whose son was US Ambassador to Yugolsavia and was a silent but successful proponent of Serbian ethnic cleansing by General Gotovina and then the 79 days of bombing of Belgrade and it's environs by Wesley Clark etc.,) says that Russia's military incursion into Georgia was an extension of their “energy imperialism” - leaving out as everyone armchair generalist seems to, the symbolic capture of the birthplace of the Father of all the Russias ol 'Uncle Joe. Tuesday, November 21, 2006 Russian gas supply problems loom over Europe.... Sunday, November 19, 2006 Gazprom / LUKoil - Russian energy gets to grips with Europe
This conventional wisdom says the Russkis don't like challenges to their energy hegemony. Such as the BTC pipeline . Their muscular response is said to end any Western hopes of expecting other Central Asian countries to stand up to Moscow. see Wednesday, August 15, 2007 Russia / China join in Anti-American Summit and Wargames, Bishkek
Johnson poses the idea that Russian tanks (whom we saw riding roughshod over Georgian Police vehicles blocking their path on the TV news tonight) , their Black Sea gunships, their ballbreaking diplomacy could galvanize the West into seriously getting their act together on a plan for energy security?
Europe has woken up to a growing dependence on Russian gas. The “Nabucco,” pipeline from the Caspian to Austria is yet another project to be argued over, dithered about, funding sought .....
Italy and Spain and to some extent France get a lot of gas from Algeria where the Russians have effectively won a lot of control and influence ..Looking further to Libya they will find Gazprom is one step ahead , muscling in with long term deals on Tripoli. Putin visited Tripoli in April this year with Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller - Gadaffi got his debt written off, cocked a snook at the Yanquis and has a deal to ship his 1.49 trillion cubic metres of natural gas, lifting up production (and income) from current annual production of just 7 billion cublic metres.. plus lots of other deals, railways and ..er... arms modernization and new weapons programme.. see Kommersant Aug 1st for the cordial relations Putin/Gadaffi ***
Where Gazprom isn't, Vagit Alekperov of LUKoil has been stitching up an empire for Mother Russia (see posts ad nauseum since March 2003 when we marched to Baghdad) see Sunday, March 18, 2007 Russian Roulette in the Middle East - Putin stirs up the hornet's nest
The Georgian conflict could mean redoubling support for Nabucco from Washington stiffening the spine of wavering allies.
The Putin game plan was no secret, is no secret, it was his Doctorate thesis - "Mineral Natural Resources In The Development Strategy For The Russian Economy." Step by step it has been allowed to take place. see Friday, January 18, 2008 Putin and his gang extend energy interests and ownership . People like Senator Lugar at Riga over 18 months ago gave a wake up call, but he was perhaps not blowing hard enough on his trumpet.
Far from a "wake up call", more of a lullaby for the Pentagon planners.
...get ready Europe, to be paying more for your gas this winter.
If anyone in Washington requires a belated wake up call they can usefully examine a post over 2 1/2 years ago Thursday, February 16, 2006 Putin's team consolidates which ended...
Marx's pamphlet the "Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte" demonstrates how the class struggle in France forced Napoleon to create himself as head of a state run by the security organs and the bureaucracy.Read it to see how we have got where we are ... how Europe and the West get out of it ... well that is another story.
"Bonapartism" has been used to describe a government that forms when a military, police, and state bureaucracy intervenes to establish order.
Putin is forming a Board of Directors composed of friends and work colleagues, who set the agenda for Russian energy policy and in fact control the country's vast energy resources.
Their influence should not be underestimated.
Their activities should be carefully observed in the West. The recent spat over Ukraine gas supplies emphasises that these guys play hardball.
**** Gazprom also have plans to ship Nigerian gas northward across the Sahara to a port terminal in Algeria, or Libya. Nigeria has an estimated 5 trillion cm in gas reserves, and currently ships by sea to Europe and the US. It might be said by some observers that the seemingly ageless Gadaffi and youthful Putin make a formidable combination with their mailed fist on the tap of southern Europe's gas supply.
UPDATE : 1 .Popular search term used on Putin's interests here
2. NATO Meet today to ...well.. meet .. to er discuss what they might say about the situation in Georgia. ..Daily Telegraph "Condoleezza Rice to hold emergency Nato meeting over Russia's stance on Georgia" ...Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former national security advisor, has described Russia's invasion as "a very sad commentary on eight years of self-delusion in the White House regarding Putin and his regime". John Tusa remembers the "Prague Spring"