Friday, November 01, 2019

The unwise hegemon

The wise hegemon doesn't require of its vassals what they simply cannot deliver.

"Denmark removes final hurdle for Russian gas pipeline to Europe".

"Trump Loses More Than Just The Battle Over Nordstream 2" (Luongo):
"In the end, the Trump administration likely spent more money opposing this project than it cost Gazprom to build it, when you factor in all the other moves made to counter Russia in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria and across Europe.
And the goal here was always to stop Nordstream 2 to retain some leverage over Russia by Ukraine in their negotiations of a new gas transit contract which expires at the end of 2019.
The same time that Nordstream 2 was supposed to be completed. U.S. pressure delayed this by a couple of months here as the pipeline won’t be ready on January 1st, but now that the permit has been granted there is no real leverage to play against Russia in Ukraine talks.
The gambit was to stop Nordstream 2 and then lambaste publicly, if not sue, Gazprom for not meeting its contracted volumes for delivery. This would bind the company down for years in more frivolous lawsuits within the EU while the U.S. stepped in, like the white knight, to keep Europeans from freezing to death.
Fortunately, for the world, that plan failed."
and:
"If Nordstream 2 wasn’t the optimal solution to Europe’s needs blame the U.S. and the EU itself for forcing Russia to scuttle South Stream in 2014 and fomenting a coup and the subsequent failed state known today as Ukraine then as well.
We broke what didn’t need fixing. But the U.S./U.K. obsessions with blunting the rise of China and enacting revenge on Russia for not becoming a vassal state to Wall St. and City of London under Putin wouldn’t be appeased.
There had to be one last major push for central Asian chaos and Nordstream 2 was only of those major offensives, like Syria, the war against the Donbass, the invasion of Yemen and the isolation of Iran.
All of those projects are coming to their very rapid conclusion now. And the geopolitical map will be forever changed.
Nordstream 2 going forward means now that Ukrainian President Zelensky will come to a quick decision on a transit contract with Gazprom. He’s already accepted the ‘Steinmeyer Formula’ for settling the conflict in the Donbass.
He’ll meet with Putin and risk a coup by the Banderists to get this done. He has to or Ukraine will not survive.
After four plus years of stalemate on these issues, like Brexit, when crunch time happens, everyone folds their hands and cuts a deal.
Had somehow Poroshenko remained in power Ukraine would continue to sink into irrelevance as the U.S. would keep them on the same ruinous path out of spite and the vain hope of success in the future.
So the future of Nordstream 2 was written in stone years ago, as Poroshenko’s approval sank into the abyss.
Moreover, Trump has lost the whip hand over Merkel on energy which means a quick reversal of foreign policy positions with respect to Russia. Once the Donbass is solved and a gas transit contract signed/extended and Nordstream 2 completed, expect the EU to lift sanctions on Russia and resume normal trade relations.
The first two things will likely happen now before the end of the year. Sanctions will be lifted in 2020.
Had Nordstream 2 failed, none of these outstanding issues would resolve themselves in the next five years.
This is how important Nordstream 2 was to the future of Europe and it proves that a pipeline and mutually beneficial trade, more so any political union, is a more powerful weapon than all the tanks in the world."
"Ukraine plans more troop withdrawals in east ahead of peace talks" (Rothschild).  "Ukraine and separatist troops begin withdrawal from Luhansk town".

The hegemon never has a Plan B, as threats of war or economic devastation are always assumed to be enough.  Then that rascal Putin pops up again with that incomprehensible thing called 'diplomacy', and the hegemon has no answer to that (except more war).  In fact, I doubt there is a soul in the State Department who has the slightest idea of what diplomacy is.
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