Author Topic: Russian revanchism and energy  (Read 99 times)

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Offline pjohns

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Russian revanchism and energy
« on: March 26, 2014, 01:59:31 AM »
There is an excellent article by William Tucker in The American Spectator on the subject of Russian revanchism.

Here is a little of it:

So why is Putin feeling so resurgent that he feels ready to hit the “reset” button back to 1989? The answer is simple. Practically everything that led to the downfall of Soviet Communism has now been reversed. ...

The West’s unilateral disarmament over energy is reminiscent of nothing so much as the fatuous behavior of Western Europe during the interval between World Wars I and II. While Neville Chamberlain was excusing his people from entering “a quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing,” France was disintegrating under Leon Blum’s Popular Front where under that odd combination of proletariat obstinacy and aristocratic insouciance the country dithered over redistribution of income and inconsequential social issues until it was a shell of the nation that had resisted the Germans for four years in 1914. When Hitler invaded in 1940, it lasted less than six weeks.

Now Europe is repeating the pattern. By backing away from nuclear and refusing to frack, it leaves itself with no other choice than Russian gas. Japan, Korea, and Taiwan are also spooked on nuclear and are increasing their reliance on imports. Granted the United States — at least the middle part of the country — is in the midst of an energy renaissance. But sharing this bounty with our allies may be a different story. The Department of Energy is approving exports terminals at a glacial pace and there is opposition from Congressional Democrats who still haven’t absorbed David Ricardo’s 1817 Principals of Political Economy and Taxation — not to mention environmentalists, who, with their usual upside-down logic, are arguing that the best way to counter Putin in Europe is to keep the gas to ourselves. And of course we haven’t built a new reactor from the ground up in 30 years.

Russia and China, meanwhile, are rapidly pushing ahead with nuclear technology. Russia is mounting small modular reactors on barges to float into remote Siberian villages. China has 20 reactors under construction and is about to explore thorium — a nuclear fuel that most engineers believe to be superior to uranium. Within a short time, Russia and China could be building reactors all over the world — as Russia is currently doing in Iran. Ironically, this will leave the two countries leading the world in the best technology for reducing carbon emissions, nuclear energy. The energy gap is only likely to widen. ...

Things could get worse. The pipeline that feeds southern Europe runs right through Ukrainian territory. What if Ukrainian nationalists or uncontrollable guerrilla factions start sabotaging it? Will that give the Russians an excuse to invade the entire country? And what are we going to do about that?

The Crimean crisis is revealing what history has proven over and over again — a country that develops a powerful economy on a firm foundation of energy resources can push its weight around on the world stage, and a country that lets its economy languish can believe itself much more powerful than it really is.

Here is the link:  The Roots of Russia?s Revanchism ? Energy | The American Spectator

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