Is The Idea That US Sabotaged Nord Stream Pipelines Really 'Outrageous'?

Swarajya Staff

Oct 07, 2022, 02:02 PM | Updated 02:51 PM IST

 Nord Stream pipelines disaster.
Nord Stream pipelines disaster.
  • The US has for decades aggressively opposed, both covertly and overtly, Western European projects to receive Russian energy.
  • Who sabotaged the Nord Stream pipelines? This is the question whose answer many people around the world would like to know.

    One way to approach this question is too ask who'll gain from this sabotage?

    US and countries like Poland or Russia? Currently, in the public sphere, there is a stigma against suggesting that the US might have a hand in it.

    'Conspiracy theorist, Russian propagandist..' etc. The purpose of these labels is to deter anyone from suggesting that the US might have something to do with the sabotage.

    When people in the public sphere stop mentioning this possibility, people at large stop considering it.

    We reach a place where we start to believe that the Russians must have done it, because, who else? Russia is the only nation that is being held responsible in our world's public sphere.

    As a result of some ideas vanishing from the public sphere, the idea that Russia sabotaged its own pipelines to teach an apparent lesson to Europe becomes more plausible than the US sabotaging the pipeline to ensure Europe becomes permanently dependent on the US for energy and stops considering backing out from the Ukraine war.

    American media wants everyone to believe that Russia blew up the pipelines, the very same pipelines for whose construction Russia spent billions of dollars. €23 billion to be precise.

    Occasionally, someone dares to break the unwritten rules of the public sphere. Professor Jefferey Sachs of Columbia University, a Democrat voter by the way, is one such person.

    Will the US really sabotage energy pipelines between Russia and Germany? Isn't that an action against Germany? Germany, a nation which is an ally of the United States.

    Yes, it is. No one knows for certain who did it, other than the people who did it and people who green lighted it.

    The point of this piece isn't that the US did it, but merely that - pretending the US can never do such an act and anyone who suggests US involvement is Russian propagandist, conspiracy theorist, is inaccurate and unhelpful.

    Will the US really commit an act that undermines its ally Germany? In such instances, observing past behaviour of nation states is helpful.

    Has the US ever done anything that has undermined its ally Germany? The answer to that is an unequivocal yes.

    The US, after all, spied on numerous European allies. The US spied on Germany's chancellor - Angela Merkel. Surely, spying on an allied nation's leader is no small matter but it served American interests so Americans went ahead with it.

    "As the world’s premier foreign intelligence agency, the work we do at CIA is vital to U.S. national security. We collect and analyse foreign intelligence and conduct covert action," reads the CIA's website.

    Spying on Germany, an ally nation's leader, is one way to collect foreign intelligence.

    Many more such instances can be discovered if one searches from it. Observing US' past behaviour reveals that the US doesn't hesitate to act against its allies when such actions can serve American interests.

    Spying on Angela Merkel explains the 'we collect and analyse foreign intelligence' part. There is one other responsibility the CIA is tasked with, according to its own website, which is - 'We conduct covert action' when it serves American national interest.

    US has for long publicly stated that Europe, especially Germany's dependence on Russia for its energy needs is something that Washington DC is worried about.

    The US has for decades aggressively opposed, both covertly and overtly, Western European projects to receive Russian energy.

    US wants Germany to depend on US for its energy needs. The question that arises now is 'wasn't Germany already weaning itself off dependence on Russia after the war broke out?'

    The answer is yes, it was, but, the presence of Nord Stream pipelines meant that Germany always had an option on the table, that option being - when Germany discovers it cannot support its manufacturing industry without cheap Russian energy it backs out from the war in Ukraine and normalises its relationship with Russia again.

    Now that the Nord Stream pipelines have been sabotaged, that option no longer exists on the table. Germany is now dependent on US for energy.

    But is that really a bad thing for Germany?

    Well, is paying more for energy a bad thing? Yes, one presumes. This isn't conjecture. Germany’s Economy Minister recently accused the U.S. and other “friendly” gas supplier states of astronomical prices for their supplies.

    It is also worth flagging that the US is widely considered a leader in underwater drone innovation.

    According to reports, in mid-June this year NATO conducted its annual maritime-focused BALTOPS exercise near the coast of Denmark.

    The US Navy used the exercise as an opportunity to "test emerging technology, in particular the latest advancements in unmanned underwater vehicle mine hunting technology and demonstrate the vehicle’s effectiveness in operational scenarios."

    The exercises were being conducted quite close to the location where Nord Stream strings are located, the location where the recent explosions occurred.

    The CIA has already targeted pipelines in the past.

    • In January 1982, President Ronald Reagan approved a CIA plan to sabotage the economy of the Soviet Union through covert transfers of technology that contained hidden malfunctions, including software that later triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian natural gas pipeline, according to a memoir by a Reagan White House official.

    • Thomas C. Reed, a former Air Force secretary who was serving in the National Security Council at the time, writes in his book "At the Abyss: An Insider's History of the Cold War," that the pipeline explosion was just one example of "cold-eyed economic warfare" against the USSR that the CIA carried out under Director William J. Casey during the final years of the Cold War.

    This was also the same time period when the US was trying to block Western Europe from importing Soviet natural gas to undermine Soviet Union's hard currency earnings from the West.

    Will we ever know who was behind the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines? Probably a decade or two later when someone writes another book.

    As of now, the damage to Germany's manufacturing sector is turning out to be an opportunity for America.

    Also Read: Ukraine War: Who Gains From The Nord Stream Pipelines Disaster?

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