Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Georgian - South Ossetian Fallout

The Telegraph article by Rafael Kandiyoti linked here begins:
There are increasing reports from Georgia that Russian troops are systematically destroying oil transportation links. If confirmed, the tales of destruction may provide the best evidence that they do indeed intend to withdraw. From the beginning, oil and gas transmission has been at the centre of this conflict.
Once again, military actions, which appear at first motivated by purely political concerns, reveal their true energy-based objectives. Europe is in greater peril from the current Georgian crisis, but all of this factors into DOD (and in this case, NATO) thinking about energy protection missions, as well as energy efficiency and alternative energy gains ... gains that will eventually reduce Russia's economic and political, if not military, clout. But don't hold your breath.

Map from CIA World Factbook