Friday 18 December 2009

Afghanistan, Russia and Energy Security

The Third Way between reliance on Russian energy supplies and participation in US Energy Imperalist wars such as Iraq and Afghanistan - is quite simply BRITISH NATIONAL ENERGY INDEPENDENCE.

We build a British 100 % energy independent production and supply network to fulfill all our national energy needs, and to also export any surplus energy for profit into Europe.

We must re-open the coal mines and build gas liquefaction plants next door to them that pump electricity straight into the national network, invest in offshore and onshore Green Energy projects, build new national industrial facilities to supply the plant and machinery to our new integrated national energy network, invest in wind power, wave power and localised energy plants - and a build national model of industry based on Hard Goods (durable commodities as opposed to consumerist commodities) and investment in public work projects based on increasing energy efficiency and productivity and transportation infrastructure.

The real stakes in the Afghan war

France and Germany are wary of sending more troops, but failure in Afghanistan would have wide ramifications for Europe

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o Chris Luenen
o, Thursday 10 December 2009 17.00 GMT
o Article history

About 25 countries have promised to send more troops to Afghanistan in response to President Obama's call for extra support from Nato members. But France and Germany, the two European powers who could make a real difference, remain as hesitant as ever.

French and German leaders now face a painful choice. Should they finally embrace Nato's efforts in Afghanistan more wholeheartedly – which would mean accepting significantly more human and material sacrifices? Or should they or conclude that the war has already been lost, or that "success" does not merit the cost, and abandon the mission altogether?

For their own good, they should choose the first option. They should remember that unlike the war in Iraq, which they strongly opposed from the outset, all Nato member states, including themselves, unanimously and unambiguously sanctioned the war effort in Afghanistan in 2001. But aside from the need to fulfil their alliance duties – and in fact even more important – they have clear national interests at stake in this strategically located central Asian state.

This is not about just about pre-empting future terrorist attacks on European capitals by stopping the Taliban from retaking the country. At stake in Afghanistan is the survival of the transatlantic alliance, Europe's energy security and independence, and whether the deepening ties between Europe – especially Germany – and Russia, will eventually lead to the western integration of Russia, or instead, to it gaining a stranglehold over European energy security. In Afghanistan all three issues are interlinked. This fact remains largely ignored.

Let me explain: Afghanistan is a crucial energy transit corridor in central Asia, potentially connecting the energy-rich central Asian republics with the Arabian Sea and/or the Indian Ocean. Stabilising Afghanistan – not just temporarily to justify withdrawal, but for good – is crucial for the anticipated Trans-Afghanistan pipeline from Turkmenistan to India (known as Tapi) to be built and its security to be guaranteed.

The construction of Tapi is essential for Europe to diversify its energy supplies and reduce its dependence on oil and gas imports from the Gulf and Russia. Failure in Afghanistan, and by extension in Pakistan, would mean abandoning the construction of Tapi and in turn, pave the way for Russia to reassert its former hegemony in the region.

Should this transpire, European dependence on Russian-controlled energy supplies would increase hugely, giving Russia unprecedented leverage over Europe, both economically and politically. A Russia-dependent Europe would damage the transatlantic relationship beyond repair, wean the Europeans away from their former American partner, and split the west into two.

On the other hand, should the mission in Afghanistan succeed and Tapi be built, Europe could continue to deepen its economic and political ties with Russia without running the risk of falling hostage to Russia's geostrategic ambitions (which are still very much alive); it would allow Europe to progressively integrate Russia into a united west.

Despite the emphasis in public on the need for more military assistance, the US knows that France and Germany will not be able to raise troop levels to any meaningful level. President Obama's plea should rather be understood as a more general call for Europeans to do more – namely, to significantly increase their financial support and to bring their technical knowhow and nation-building expertise to bear. But most importantly, the US wants Europe to unmistakably embrace the US and Nato mission in Afghanistan publicly, in order to demonstrate revived western unity and strength.

Maybe the time has now come for French and German leaders to realise that the interests at stake in Afghanistan far outweigh the costs involved in pursuing them, and ensure that in a few years down the line the newspaper headlines will read "Mission accomplished" rather than "Afghanistan: where the west went to die – and did".

With the Lisbon treaty finally having staggered into life, potentially endowing the EU with the political clout in the international arena it has long sought, both France and Germany are now hard-pressed to prove that they can live up to the responsibilities that great power entails.

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1 comment:

odin said...

fuck them