Who blew up the Nord Stream pipelines? Your guess is as good as mine. It does seem peculiar to think Russia would have blown up their own pipeline, but it is not inconceivable that a faction of Russia’s military is trying to sabotage Putin as a prelude for ousting him, or that Putin sees it as a kind of “Cortez burning his ships” moment to indicate that he is all-in on Ukraine and a wider confrontation with the West. Freezing more Germans this winter is just a bonus, but if Putin is behind it the possibility that he might yet use nuclear weapons in Ukraine just got assigned a lower discount rate.
Our friends at The Pipeline (and what a great name just now!) wonder, along with Tucker Carlson and my old pal (and former Polish foreign minister) Radek Sikorski, whether the United States did it (see below). It is hard to imagine President Biden having the stuffing to take such a step. But it is not without a precedent mostly forgotten today.
Back in the early 1980s, the Reagan Administration was intent on blocking the first Soviet Trans-Siberian gas pipeline to western Europe that became the beginning of Nord Stream system of today. Unable to persuade the Europeans to block the pipeline, the CIA fed the Soviets bad software (since the KGB was stealing American technology secrets left and right) that caused the pipeline to explode in spectacular fashion in 1982, setting back the project by months if not years.
So it’s not like we haven’t done something like this before.