Something happened on Nordstream 2 today.
Looks like Biden predicted as much. This stuff has been planned for some time. War is looking more like a move to isolate Germany as a western vassal, among other causes.
I wonder if Putin will counter with a similar scale mob hit on some US operated international energy structure. There are a few targets.
Anonymous German officials appear to acknowledge the strong possibility of American or NATO involvement
Yesterday evening, pressure in the undersea Nord Stream 2 pipeline suddenly collapsed, and gas could be seen bubbling to the surface of the Baltic Sea near the Danish island of Bornholm. Shortly afterwards, reports came of a total collapse in the pressure of our other major undersea pipeline connection to Russia, Nord Stream 1, indicating a further rupture.
Government officials assume that the damage is intentional, and the result of an attack by foreign forces:
Due to the timing, the fact that three separate pipelines were affected1, and the severe pressure losses in Nord Stream 1, officials expect the worst. “We can no longer imagine any scenario other than a targeted attack,” said a person privy to the assessment by the federal government and federal authorities. They added: “Everything speaks against a coincidence.”
Such an attack on the seabed would be anything but trivial; it would have to be carried out with special forces – for example, by navy divers or a submarine, people informed of initial assessments said.
With regard to responsibility for the alleged attacks, two possibilities are being discussed. First, according to initial speculation, Ukrainian or Ukrainian-affiliated forces could be responsible. With the temporary shutdown of the Nord Stream pipelines, gas deliveries from Russia to Germany and Central Europe would only be possible via the Yamal pipelinje running through Poland or the Ukrainian pipeline network.
The piece that I’ve bolded is of course a lightly disguised reference to the United States or NATO. This should surprise nobody: President Biden said in early February that in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, “there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2, we will bring an end to it.” It’s well within the realm of possibility that such an attack would’ve been carried out with the tacit approval (or even upon the request) of the Scholz government, to relieve them of political pressure to open Nord Stream 2 or seek terms for a restoration of supply to Nord Stream 1 as the economy continues to circle the drain. The Greens are in government here, and Green-adjacent journalists have gone so far as to demand the dismantling of the pipelines to hurt Putin, so this too is far from crazy.
The second scenario investigators are contemplating, according to the linked Tagesspiegel report, is of course a “‘false flag’ operation by Russia,” carried out to “drive up the price of gas,” “exacerbate the European energy crisis” and “fuel additional uncertainty.” Russia will surely be blamed for the attack as soon as it is confirmed, I have no doubt of that.
The pipeline attacks come as a few prominent German politicians have demanded the opening of Nord Stream 2, and the subject has attracted a growing protest movement. Neither pipeline was currently transporting gas; Gazprom cut off supply to Nord Stream 1 at the end of August, citing maintenance issues exacerbated by EU sanctions, while the Scholz government refused to certify Nord Stream 2 following its completion in November 2021.
UPDATES: Gonzalo Lira argues that the Americans have declared war on Europe; Noah Carl draws attention to an older piece he wrote on the “Nord Stream 2 theory” of the Ukraine war; hints of a possible method and an earlier, aborted attack on the pipeline are found in these stories about an underwater drone armed with explosives recovered near the pipeline construction site in 2015. Two Nord Stream 1 leaks have now been identified; like the Nord Stream 2 rupture, they’re near Bornholm. There are three ruptures in total.
MOAR UPDATES: Danish armed forces have published a brief statement on the gas leaks, together with some photos.
That circle of bubbling methane is apparently a kilometre in width. Nord Stream 1 was attacked in two places northeast of Bornholm, while one of the Nord Stream 2 pipes was breached off the southern tip of the island. This report from FAZ suggests the attacks happened at a depth of about 70 metres.
Ruling out sabotage, the Swedish military has successfully cleared a remote operated vehicle (drone) rigged with explosives found near Line 2 of the Nord Stream Natural Gas offshore pipeline system.
The vehicle was discovered during a routine survey operation as part of the annual integrity assessment of the Nord Stream pipeline. Since it was within the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) approximately 120 km away from the island of Gotland, the Swedes called on their armed forces to remove and ultimately disarm the object.
“We don't consider it to be dangerous to merchant vessels or the pipeline at this point,” Jesper Stolpe, Swedish Armed Forces spokesman, told Radio Sweden. According to Stolpe, the cable used to control the drone and to set off the explosive was cut off, so at the moment the vehicle is relatively harmless.
The national identity of the drone has not been verified so far, as many countries use Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) of a similar construction, Stolpe said
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had weeks ago warned Germany about possible attacks on gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, German magazine Spiegel said on Tuesday, after gas leaks in Russia pipelines to Germany were reported.
The German government received the CIA tip in summer, Spiegel reported, citing unnamed sources, adding that Berlin assumes a targeted attack on Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines.
In addition, why would Russia sabotage the pipeline in the given location, quite far from its own shore, when NATO is monitoring maritime activity at what are likely unprecedented levels? It makes no sense.
Remember that certain very outspoken figures in the GAE power structure have spoken about the need to ensure the center of European political influence shifts away from the traditional duet of France and Germany, towards much poorer client states like Poland.
If Russia loses the war, none of this matters, but the sabotage operation is more than likely a kind of "insurance policy" for the United States and these countries in the event that Russia wins.
You can't really expect these net-welfare recipient countries to become more powerful in their own right, so the only way to get the geopolitical transformation you're seeking is to ensure Germany in particular becomes a very, very, very weak country.
Fortunately, the government there is perhaps the most useless in Europe so will do nothing to defend itself from what are now very clearly anti-German policies, which cross the line into borderline warfare.
People were wondering "why is the Polish government demanding reparations from Germany at this time" (a completely clownish demand). Well, you will see soon enough just how de-fanged this country, once assumed to run the EU by itself (lol) really is.
Exempting a political transformation in Germany (which these people are probably very afraid of), she will be robbed blind, her productive population pauperized by an exploitative relationship managed by USG. Europe itself will become a kennel of jackals and scared rat terriers.
I firmly believe those who think GAE has no failsafe plan for if the Ukraine conflict turns against it are mistaken. These people are crafty, with many tools at their disposal. They will mitigate the ramifications of any potential loss to whatever extent possible.
Big question is if the European 'losers' in this game accept such a fate voluntarily; a drip feed of expensive LNG from US/Canada, disintegrating civil societies (a legacy from the social policies of 50 years), and generational capital flight. Dark times.