Soldiers deployed in Poland are a kind of warning to the Kremlin. – Source: GazetaPrawna.pl
My interview on Trump’s announced US troop draw downs from Germany and partial reassignment to Poland appeared in the Polish economic press Gazeta Prawna on 25 June 2020 by the Polish journalist Artur Ciechanowicz. You can read it (a) in ENGLISH below (via Google Translate, with minor fixes) or (b) in the POLISH original at this link.
O’Donnell: Soldiers at the borders of Russia are a signal to the Kremlin [INTERVIEW]
From a military point of view, deploying too many troops too close to the border with a potential enemy is dangerous because there is a risk that they can be overrun rapidly – says Dr. Thomas O’Donnell, energy and international affairs analyst, and adjunct faculty at Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.
Question: US President Donald Trump has decided to increase the US military presence in Poland, while also reducing the contingent in Germany. Where do these decisions come from?
On the one hand, they logically result from the American National Security Strategy (NSS) of December 2017. Work on it began during Barack Obama’s term of office and was completed by the Donald Trump administration. According to the NSS, the US priority is no longer the war on terror and the situation in the Middle East, but competition with China and Russia. It is therefore quite natural that the United States moves its troops and increases its military presence in countries closer to Russia – the Baltic States, Poland and Romania. The second factor that led to these decisions was the personal involvement of Donald Trump, who is running his election campaign.
Poland’s security will increase?
As a rule, increasing the US military presence in Poland is of course good news. The Pentagon’s activities have been moving in this direction for some time, although the US military is of the opinion that this should be done a little slower and not at the expense of Germany. From a military point of view, deploying too much of the army too close to the border with a potential enemy is dangerous because there is a risk that it will be overrun too soon. There is therefore a tactical reason to keep some of the army a little further from the Russian border. Therefore, the rapid relocation of a significant number of soldiers to Poland is viewed skeptically by some American commanders. Remember, soldiers deployed in Poland are a kind of warning against the Kremlin. There are enough of them for Vladimir Putin to think twice before doing anything. However, not enough – even after increasing the quota – to stop the first strike. The rule is simple here: if Russia decided to attack Poland and American soldiers would die, it would mean a war with all the power of the US. Neither any president nor Congress would hesitate a single moment.
Some American commanders are opposed to the permanent presence of US troops in Poland. Why? Continue reading
Posted in Energy and Geopolitics, Energy and Geostrategy, Euroepen Union, geopolitics, Germany, international relations, LNG, Military, NATO, Nord Stream, Obama, Poland, Putin, Russia, Sanctions, The USA, Trump, Uncategorized, US Foreign Policy
Tagged Germany, Military, NATO, Poland, Russia, Trump, USA
“”The chances of changing the sanction policy are small, as long as the current government exists (German government – ed.). If Vladimir Putin offered significant concessions to Ukraine, there would be great pressure in Berlin and Paris to lift certain sanctions” – emphasizes Thomas O’Donnell Foto: Bundesregierung/Schacht
Polish journalist Artur Ciechanowicz asked me and four prominent German experts whether Germany will lift sanctions on Russia related to Ukraine:
Polish article in Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, May 6 GazetaPrawna.pl.
English (via Google Translate):
The head of Russian diplomacy declared Moscow’s readiness to dialogue with Brussels, Berlin and other EU countries. We asked German experts if Germany would decide to reset
DGP conducted a survey among experts of think tanks in Germany, which largely determine the shape of the government’s foreign policy in Berlin. We asked about the offer, which has been formulated by representatives of the Russian authorities for the West for several months. Sergei Lavrov at the Gorbachev Foundation recently argued that relations with the West should be thawed. The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the state that violated international law , annexing Crimea and triggering separatism in the Donbass in 2014, argued for the necessity of primacy of this law over the strength and indisputability of the principle of non-interference in internal affairs of states. By the way, he created Russia as a key country in solving the problems facing Europe – above all the migration crisis.
Posted in Berlin, Energy and Geopolitics, Euroepen Union, European Union, Gazprom, geopolitics, Germany, international relations, Poland, Putin, Rosneft, Russia, Sanctions, Sechin, Ukraine, Uncategorized
Tagged Donbas, EU, Germany, Russia, Sanctions, Ukraine
My Wikistrat webinar transcript “Oil Price War & COVID” from a couple weeks ago is now available on their website as a PDF. Issues discussed include:
- Why did Moscow declare the “war”? [Note: Putin & Sechin’s initial boasts Russia would hold out for “years”, kill shale & end sanctions all stopped in only a couple days!]
- The Saudi response was sharply focused against Russian oil-pipeline markets in W Europe (Druzhba) & Asia. [I believe this focused Mr. Putin’s attention on economic realities as opposed to Mr. Sechin’s anger-driven desire for revenge against US sanctions that had inflated his (self-)image of Rosneft and Russian oil-market prowess when up against a concerted Saudi counter-war, and the prospects of various US responses. Reports are that Putin spend three days on the phone to undo this fiasco and, in the end, had to accept significant cuts to Russian output. See my GlobalBarrel.com post of last week explaining the initial, flawed Russian strategy.]
- The options Trump had to choose from undermine his long antipathy to OPEC. (Did he secretly offer Putin any Nord Stream 2, Ukraine or Venezuela sanctions relief? If so, Congress won’t approve.) Also: Big Oil (American Petroleum Institute) and W. Texas/other independent producers are pulling at Trump in two very different policy directions re. OPEC, tariffs, production controls, etc
- And more (esp. in the Q&A): probable impact on carbon mitigation policies, the China market for LNG, US shale’s financial and production future, etc.
Posted in Aramco, China, Economic Crisis, Energy and Geopolitics, Gazprom, geopolitics, Global Oil Market, international relations, LNG, Nord Stream, oil price war, Oil prices, OPEC, opec-plus, Putin, Rosneft, Russia, Sanctions, Saudi Arabia, Sechin, shale gas, shale oil, Uncategorized
Tagged China, Economics, Nord Stream, oil, oil price war, shale oil, USA
My public talk in Washington, 12 June:
Despite Berlin and Moscow’s rush to make the Nordstream 2 (NS2) pipeline construction through the Baltic Sea a fait accompli, opposition from several EU states has stalled its completion. Meanwhile, Gazprom’s transit contract with Ukraine will expire in January and Moscow has put unacceptable preconditions on negotiating a new one. Once again, Europe must brace itself for a Russian gas-supply crisis. Professor Thomas O’Donnell will discuss European states’ various interests and heightened energy anxieties, the prospects for the NS2 pipeline, and Russia’s strategy.
Speaker: Thomas O’Donnell,
Instructor, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin; Title VIII Short-term Scholar, Kennan Institute — Scholar’s Research-Project Page at Kennan
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
2:00pm-3:00pm – 5th Floor Conference Room
Ronald Reagan Building and
International Trade Center
One Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania, Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20004 Phone: 202.691.4000 email@example.com
Posted in Energy and Geopolitics, Energy and Geostrategy, EU gas, Euroepen Union, Gazprom, geopolitics, Germany, international relations, Kennan Institute - Wilson Center, LNG, Nord Stream, Russia, Sanctions, The USA, Ukraine, Uncategorized, US Foreign Policy
Tagged Energy, Energy crisis, EU, Europe, Gazprom, geopolitics, Germany, LNG, natural gas, Nordstream 2, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, USA, V4
What are US experts’ and officials’ views on the increasingly conflictive energy and geostrategic relations between Russia, Germany, Poland and Ukraine?
Greetings. I’m in Washington as a “Title VIII” fellow of the Kennan Institute in the Woodrow Wilson Center, interviewing people in think tanks and government (legislative and executive) on these topics. I’ll also give a public talk on this at Wilson on 12 June, at 2 PM (more info soon).
I’m interested to hear anything readers think should be asked and of whom. Don’t hesitate to write me at twod(at)umich.edu or my (temp) Wilson email: thomas.odonnell(at) wilsoncenter.org.
A central issue: why is Germany so adamantly for Nordstream 2 despite the negative security consequences for Ukraine and despite the tremendous hit this project is causing to German soft-power not only with Poland, but with most Central and Eastern European (CEE) and Nordic states? (Here’s my own analysis.) How do US experts see this? Continue reading
Posted in Energiewende, Energy and Geopolitics, Energy and Geostrategy, EU gas, Euroepen Union, Gazprom, geopolitics, Germany, international relations, Kennan Institute - Wilson Center, LNG, Nord Stream, Poland, Putin, Russia, Sanctions, shale gas, The USA, Trump, Ukraine, Uncategorized, US Foreign Policy
Tagged Energy, European Union, gas, geopolitics, Geostrategy, Germany, Kennan Insitite - Wilson Center, LNG, Nordstream 2, Poland, Putin, shale gas, Trump, Ukraine, USA
Here are two videos from the Quadriga show on Germany’s international network DW.de — Aquí hay dos vídeos del programa Cuadriga de la red internacional alemana DW.de
Espanol, 28 febrero 2019: https://p.dw.com/p/3EHYo (… luego desplácese hasta el video)
English 31 January 2019 : https://p.dw.com/p/3CVxR (… then scroll down to the video)
Posted in Berlin, Chavez, Energy and Geopolitics, Germany, Global Oil system, Hugo Chávez, Latin America, Leopoldo López, Oil supply, Resource conflicts, Rosneft, Russia, Sanctions, Sechin, The USA, Trump, Uncategorized, US Foreign Policy, Venezuela oil, Venezuelan Democracy
June 2018 OPEC meeting’s key players (AP)
Last week, Gillian Rich at Investor’s Business Daily (Washington), asked me (Berlin) and others about the OPEC’s 20-21 June meeting. Below here, I give my views in more detail, including the tie-in to the Trump project to isolate Iran and my comment about Putin likely betraying the Iranians again. The IBD piece is here: Trump Could Make OPEC’s Next Meeting As Dysfunctional As G-7 Summit. 15 June ’18.
We spoke about market and geopolitical aspects. On the latter, I emphasized both the Trump Administration’s evolving plan to sanction and isolate Iran, and Russia’s new role as a central player with OPEC ever since the 2016 joint Russian-OPEC decision to raise production.
That’s when Putin played a new role for any Russian leader. Not only did he coordinate Russian oil policy with OPEC’s, he got personally involved in heated discussions, getting on the phone late in the last night with Iranian and Saudi leaders to get the deal sealed. Continue reading
Posted in Aramco, Chavez, Energy and Geopolitics, Energy and Geostrategy, geopolitics, Global Oil Market, Global Oil system, Hugo Chávez, Iran, Iran nuclear, Iran sanctions, Iraq, Iraqi oil, Mexico, Nord Stream, Obama, oil, Oil prices, OPEC, Putin, Rosneft, Russia, Sanctions, Saudi Arabia, Sechin, shale oil, Trump, U.S. oil, US Foreign Policy, Venezuela oil
Tagged Energy, Iran, Iraq, oil, OPEC, Russia, USA
I sent this today to European and American contacts – apologies for duplications.
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
I read with interest the declaration: “In spite of it all, America: A Trans-Atlantic Manifesto in Times of Donald Trump – A German Perspective,
” signed by a number of leading German foreign policy experts today in Die Zeit
and translated in the NYTimes
Point 10 is of particular interest and much welcomed as – at long last – a frank characterization in Germany of the Nord Stream 2 project for what it plainly is: “a geopolitical project:” Quoting:
10. Energy security policy — giving up Nord Stream 2 is in Germany’s interest
There is one more policy area in which the German government should reconsider its position to open the door for productive cooperation: energy security policy. The United States has identified Nord Stream 2, the planned pipeline running through the Baltic Sea to Russia, as a geostrategic project. They are correct. More important: This pipeline project is not in the joint European interest. Nord Stream 2 contradicts a policy of greater energy independence and undermines the envisaged European Energy Union. We should try to identify a joint approach with our European partners and the United States. (emphasis added – T.O’D.)
Posted in Energy and Geopolitics, Energy and Geostrategy, EU gas, Euroepen Union, Gazprom, geopolitics, Germany, international relations, Nord Stream, Poland, Putin, Russia, Sanctions, The USA, Uncategorized, US Foreign Policy
The US Senate’s decision to expand sanctions against Russia triggered indignation in Berlin, throwing Germany’s geopolitical ambitions over the Nord Stream 2 project into sharp relief. Read below or get the App. My other articles at Berlin Policy Journal
“Neue Neue Ostpolitik”
Berlin – July 21, 2017 By: Thomas O’Donnell — On June 15, the US Senate approved an act to sharply expand sanctions imposed on Russia in retaliation for its intervention in eastern Ukraine and annexation of Crimea in 2014. The broadly bi-partisan move that enshrined Barack Obama’s earlier executive orders – intended as a response to Moscow’s alleged cyber interference in US elections – was a stunning rebuke to US President Donald Trump’s Russia policy, essentially taking a broad swath of foreign policy out of his hands. Continue reading
Posted in Energy and Geopolitics, Energy and Geostrategy, EU gas, Euroepen Union, Gazprom, geopolitics, Germany, international relations, LNG, Nord Stream, Resource conflicts, Russia, Sanctions, The USA, Trump, Ukraine, Uncategorized
Tagged Energy, European Union, gas, Gazprom, Germany, Nord Stream, pipeline, Putin, Sigmar Gabriel
Credit: CNNMoney, 9 August 2016
Mr. Trump promises he’d use the USA’s shale-oil revolution to deliver “complete” independence from foreign oil, telling voters in May: “Imagine a world in which our foes and the oil cartels (sic) can no longer use energy as a weapon. Wouldn’t that be nice?” But, he is confusing two quite distinct things:
“Energy independence” – in the sense of the USA producing more oil than the country consumes – is indeed possible, even “tantalizingly close” as this CNNMoney article (Aug. 9, 2016, by Matt Egan) makes clear, citing myself and other experts. For clarity, I’ll call this “net oil-exporter status.”
However, Donald Trump asks us to “imagine” he can use this net oil exporter status, to make the US independent of the global oil market and oil in geopolitics where our “foes” and “cartels” have leverage. Continue reading
Posted in Energy and Geopolitics, Energy and Geostrategy, Gas globalization, Global Oil Market, Global Oil system, international relations, Iran sanctions, Iraq, Iraqi oil, Libya, oil, Oil prices, Oil supply, OPEC, Resource conflicts, Russia, Sanctions, Saudi Arabia, shale gas, shale oil, The USA, U.S. oil, Ukraine, Uncategorized
Tagged Ali Al-Naimi, Energy, geopolitics, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, natural gas, Obama, oil sector, OPEC, Persian Gulf, United States