The US Cuts off European Allies from Affordable Energy—Now What?

Geopolitical Short Papers

The US Cuts off European Allies from Affordable Energy—Now What?

Tue January 30, 20245:09 PM EST5 Minute Read

Last Updated: Thu February 29, 20243:31 PM EST

The US Cuts off Europe

The United States’ foreign policy planners have successfully separated their European allies from affordable energy sources by rapidly moving NATO eastward encircling all of the oil and natural gas pipelines emanating from Russia. As explained in the previous three articles in this series, the goal is to prevent Russia from infrastructurally integrating with Germany and, following the PMESII/DIME/SWOT analysis explained in a previous article, to prevent Germany from allying with Russia economically, diplomatically, and potentially militarily.

The US foreign policy planners have successfully replaced affordable Russian oil and natural gas delivered by overland pipeline with 30% costlier LNG shipped overseas. Since energy costs are in every step of the manufacturing and delivery of consumer goods and services, the US has successfully driven up the costs of all goods and services yielding inflation, deindustrialization, job loss, and a decline in the standard of living of Europe. The problem that the US policy planners now face is replacing the cheap Russian oil and gas delivered by pipeline with something that is equally affordable prior to the next election cycle in the US and Europe.

If the Europeans elect politicians to repair and re-certify the Nord Stream pipelines and tender new bilateral contracts in rubles, then the last 30 years of Neoconservative efforts, along with the hundreds of thousands of dead and maimed Ukrainian soldiers, will have backfired tremendously, as the Purpose of NATO is to keep the US in Europe, to keep Germany down in Europe, and to keep Russia out of Europe. 

If the Alternative for Deutschland party rises to power in Germany and repairs the Nord Stream pipelines to full capacity, then this policy path could completely reverse Kennan’s Five Industrial Power Center strategy and solidify Russia in Europe, unite the German World and Slavic World in Europe, and push the US out of Europe. This would constitute a total foreign policy failure and absolute disaster for the Neocons whose goal is ensuring the US remains the sole global superpower.

The US foreign policy planners are acutely aware of this and are now desperately scrambling for solutions faster than the journalists and politicians can make sense of them. To echo Professor Mearsheimer’s sentiment that the US has had the “reverse Midas touch” since the Vietnam War, the effect has continued through the Global War on Terror (GWOT) to the current situation.

Since GWOT, US policy planners have a recent history of: (1) Destabilizing Iraq and essentially leaving Iran in charge; (2) Destabilizing Syria and strengthening the position of Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon and Southern Syria; (3) Destabilizing Libya with no solutions to restabilize it; (4) Destabilizing Afghanistan by leaving $80 billion of weapons and training to the Taliban; and (5) effectively returning to the regime change-destabilization strategies associated with Zbigniew Brzezinski’s and Stansfield Turner’s Operation Cyclone of the late 1970s, whose intent was to disrupt Russian and Chinese infrastructure integration in Central and South Asia as a continuation of the Great Game.

The Neocon war hawks in Washington and London have recently been calling for Israel to attack Iran. The underlying significance is that invading Iran would offer a convenient means of rerouting the gas-rich Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea regions away from China’s Silk Road network westward through Armenia and Georgia instead. An invasion of Iran would offer a means of moving oil and natural gas affordably through pipelines, (a) avoiding Russian territory and (b) moving it away from China, (c) in order to solve the post-Nord Stream European energy problem in a few years’ time. However, time is running short as election cycles are already underway with Donald Trump ahead in the US polls and the Alternative for Deutschland party rising in the German polls, increasing the threat of a reopened Nord Stream and accelerated integration with Russia, as mentioned in the previous article.

Will US Strategy Backfire?

Two things are significant in Europe that are of concern for the US policy planners: First, the twin evils of inflation and deindustrialization will continue to rise in Western Europe and fuel mass protests; and secondly, LNG by tanker is a seapower coping strategy, as opposed to a land power advantage. When understood in terms of post-Mahan and Mackinder sea power-versus-land power geopolitical strategies, the coping strategy of shipping LNG rather than delivering gas via pipeline is untenable as a permanent solution for the German industrial world—it is simply not cost-competitive.

Sooner or later the Europeans will deduce that inflation is rising steadily and their fiat currencies are losing value as their countries deindustrialize, all while job losses mount and living standards fall. Europe is in the fast lane on Hayek’s “road to serfdom,” and the middle-class strains as its monthly heating, transportation, and grocery bills rise month over month. Due to that, the US’s course of action to cut off its Western European allies from cheap Russian oil and natural gas by pipeline to prevent DIME integration is not likely to avoid the loss of allies. If anything, moving the EU and NATO eastward to surround Russia and Belarus to cut Germany off from affordable energy supplies will more than likely accelerate the US’s loss of allies instead.

If the Alternative for Deutschland Party comes to power in Germany, the US-NATO alliance could essentially be finished. The natural gas-by-pipeline domino effect will become a runaway problem for the US as soon as the Nord Stream is repaired and re-certified and natural gas starts maximizing the margins of German automobile, petrochemical, and agricultural industries once again. An analysis of the various courses of action and political constraints will be discussed in the next article.

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