German defence woes (latest from The Times)

On a tangent to the main topic, but here is a cogent analysis of German policy vis-a-vis Nord Stream 2 and if that is carried through the deleterious affect it will have on both the EU and the NATO Alliance.
Very worrying.
 
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Man charged with passing Bundestag details to Russia | DW | 25.02.2021

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What should be Germany’s role in the world? | DW | 25.02.2021
 
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On a tangent to the main topic, but here is a cogent analysis of German policy vis-a-vis Nord Stream 2 and if that is carried through the deleterious affect it will have on both the EU and the NATO Alliance.
Very worrying.
Indeed, but the US needs to be willing to let the Krauts go. They are not our allies anymore, and are really only business partners and not very good ones at that.
 

Cromarty

War Hero
Much more than new rifles, the Germans need new laws to allow them to use those they already have.

Until this is done, they will keep on "parking" units abroad which give the impression they are actually doing something while in fact they achieve little effect on the ground.

"little effect on the ground." Sounds just like the French in Africa, it just took you 60 years to achieve the same result.
 
On a tangent to the main topic, but here is a cogent analysis of German policy vis-a-vis Nord Stream 2 and if that is carried through the deleterious affect it will have on both the EU and the NATO Alliance.
Very worrying.
Mornin’
I suspect Nordstrom will bite Germany on the bum. But historically Germany has been as rudderless as we have. In 1990 W.Germany thought it would be dealing as an independent state. They were disabused of that Idea. Post 1990 with the EU there was a possibility that it would move completely into the Europe idea, the problem is that it’s becoming clear that the EU is problematic. So if it has to stand alone what should it’s policy be? Unfortunately the Germans thought they had time on the green agenda, but events have overtaken them and it’s underpinned the Russian IN to the EU.
 
On a tangent to the main topic, but here is a cogent analysis of German policy vis-a-vis Nord Stream 2 and if that is carried through the deleterious affect it will have on both the EU and the NATO Alliance.
Very worrying.
The article does not reflect the situation absolutely correctly.
NS2 is also highly controversial in Germany and it is by no means the entire German establishment that is unconditionally behind NS2.
Merkel, who will no longer be chancellor after the elections in September, has become entangled in this project; she has never been a chancellor who has shown any leadership or given any concrete direction. Just like East German politicians or the East German population, who even 30 years after reunification still fantasise about German-Russian friendship and are rather disinterested in all the criminal actions of Putin Russia, have got carried away with this project.
The East German economy is significantly more affected by the sanctions against Russia than the West German economy and this naturally leads to a certain unrest in politics in a "super election year". The fear of the AfD, the extremely poor handling of the COVID-19 crisis and the ever-increasing unrest among the population caused by the government's haphazard approach to this crisis are taking their toll.

It is obvious that NS2 is political and economic nonsense, and with enough international pressure, including from the US government, which is once again trustworthy after Trump's inglorious and pathetic rout, this could force a rethink.

I think the next government will work on improving relations with the US, and NS2 may well become a bargaining chip.
 
The article does not reflect the situation absolutely correctly.
NS2 is also highly controversial in Germany and it is by no means the entire German establishment that is unconditionally behind NS2.
Merkel, who will no longer be chancellor after the elections in September, has become entangled in this project; she has never been a chancellor who has shown any leadership or given any concrete direction. Just like East German politicians or the East German population, who even 30 years after reunification still fantasise about German-Russian friendship and are rather disinterested in all the criminal actions of Putin Russia, have got carried away with this project.
The East German economy is significantly more affected by the sanctions against Russia than the West German economy and this naturally leads to a certain unrest in politics in a "super election year". The fear of the AfD, the extremely poor handling of the COVID-19 crisis and the ever-increasing unrest among the population caused by the government's haphazard approach to this crisis are taking their toll.

It is obvious that NS2 is political and economic nonsense, and with enough international pressure, including from the US government, which is once again trustworthy after Trump's inglorious and pathetic rout, this could force a rethink.

I think the next government will work on improving relations with the US, and NS2 may well become a bargaining chip.

tbh the biggest argument in its favour is the US trampling around trying to seize Stralsund town council's bank account. Gas just isn't as big a deal as it was in 2004. You'll note that when the Russians really had a good reason to use the gas weapon - against Ukraine while they were having a shooting war - that dog didn't bark.
 
tbh the biggest argument in its favour is the US trampling around trying to seize Stralsund town council's bank account. Gas just isn't as big a deal as it was in 2004. You'll note that when the Russians really had a good reason to use the gas weapon - against Ukraine while they were having a shooting war - that dog didn't bark.

or perhaps more accurately, that dog wouldn't hunt.
 
tbh the biggest argument in its favour is the US trampling around trying to seize Stralsund town council's bank account. Gas just isn't as big a deal as it was in 2004. You'll note that when the Russians really had a good reason to use the gas weapon - against Ukraine while they were having a shooting war - that dog didn't bark.
Yes, that is absolutely right, but one should not depend on Russia or other countries more than is absolutely necessary.
Ukraine has already experienced that the Russians also use gas as a weapon. That the Baltic states and Poland are not happy with NS2 is also absolutely understandable; it makes them more vulnerable to blackmail.
The German government will have to think about where it wants to go.
 
Yes, that is absolutely right, but one should not depend on Russia or other countries more than is absolutely necessary.
Ukraine has already experienced that the Russians also use gas as a weapon. That the Baltic states and Poland are not happy with NS2 is also absolutely understandable; it makes them more vulnerable to blackmail.
The German government will have to think about where it wants to go.
The Americans and Ukrainians are using gas as a weapon to keep Germany "on message" with respect to Russia policy.

The main point of Nord Stream 2 is to bypass Ukraine. This has two effects.
  1. Transit fees for gas travelling from Russia and Turkmenistan to EU Europe are a major prop under the Ukrainian economy. Knock out that prop and Ukraine will face a financial crisis.
  2. Having the pipelines pass through Ukraine means that a major part of the EU's energy supply is effectively hostage to the Ukraine-Russia drama and thus EU Europe need to back American policy to maintain the status quo.

Going by BP's figures (these are highly regarded), there are four main reserves of natural gas in the world - Russia, Iran, Qatar, and Turkmenistan.
  • Iran - The Americans are doing everything in their power to prevent Iran from exporting gas.
  • Qatar - They are in the middle of a potential conflict zone, with Saudi Arabia recently threatening to invade them.
  • Turkmenistan - Their gas exports to Europe pass through Russia and so go through the same pipelines.
  • Russia - Much of their gas exports pass through Ukraine, and so are precarious unless a way to bypass this route is found.

Let's look at some numbers.

Here's the top 5 gas importers, plus the total for the world and the total for the EU. Values are in millions of cubic metres. We can see that the EU accounts for about 44 per cent of total world imports and Germany alone accounts for more than 10 per cent of global imports. In other words, if the EU, including Germany, wish to derive a significant amount of their energy from natural gas, they must get it from globally significant exportable sources. There's no point in saying that country 'x' has gas to sell if the amount they can export is not able to satisfy EU demand over a period of several decades.
—​
World​
957,600​
—​
European Union​
420,600​
1​
Japan​
99,774​
2​
Germany​
99,630​
3​
Italy​
70,200​
4​
United Kingdom​
53,630​
5​
Korea, South​
51,888​


Here's a list of the top 5 gas exporters. Values are in millions of cubic metres. You will note that no single one of them are capable of supplying all of EU demand. It's also worth noting that Russia are far and away the world's largest exporter and note the very rapid drop off in export capacity as we go down the list. These numbers are not entirely up to date so there may be some variation on this with current numbers, but the general order of magnitude of these numbers should be around the same. And keep in mind that all of these exporters are already supplying existing customers, so you can't simply go to one of them and say "I'll have all of your gas, thank you". You would have to build completely new export infrastructure, assuming that the gas reserves there are sufficient to support additional production and exports. And of course most of this gas from these major exporters is already going to the EU.
1​
Russia​
197,700​
2​
Qatar​
123,900​
3​
Norway​
112,000​
4​
Canada​
78,250​
5​
Netherlands​
53,650​

Here is a list of the top 5 countries by natural gas reserves, plus I've included Australia, Norway, the Netherlands, and the UK as references. Values are in cubic kilometres. You can see there are 4 globally significant exportable reserves which can supply over a period of decades if the export infrastructure is there. Qatar have lots of gas, but they are already exporting it, and they are potentially an even less secure supplier. Turkmenistan's gas exports to the EU go through Russia, and most of their exports are currently committed to China anyway.
Russia​
1​
35,000​
Iran​
2​
33,200​
Qatar​
3​
24,900​
Turkmenistan​
4​
19,500​
United States​
5​
8,700​
Australia​
3,600​
Norway​
1,700​
Netherlands​
700​
United Kingdom​
200​


So, there is no country which can currently step in and replace Russia as a gas supplier to the EU. Iran has the potential to do so, given enough time and investment. They are even less politically acceptable to the US than Russia are however.

So your options appear to be:
  • Make the US unhappy by buying gas from Russia.
  • Make the US unhappy by buying gas from Iran.
  • Run everything on coal, much of which you would probably have to import from Russia anyway. This would probably take decades to achieve.
  • Make the Green Party happy by relying on windmills, solar panels, and happy thoughts.
  • Build lots of nuclear power plants, a process that will take decades.
  • Emulate Texas and freeze in the dark.

I see lots of people talking about Germany and Russian gas. What I don't see is many people talking about actual solutions that are grounded in reality. So far as energy supplies go, EU Europe can only choose the least bad of several options while balancing risk between them.
 
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JCC

LE
Question: how long was it after VE day before they started putting Germans back in uniform, giving them rifles, and pointing them towards Russia?

Apropos nothing just curious.
 
Question: how long was it after VE day before they started putting Germans back in uniform, giving them rifles, and pointing them towards Russia?

Apropos nothing just curious.
Full briefing here. Armed Military Police retained until mid 1946. This force started 1951.


There will be a short test later.
 
Question: how long was it after VE day before they started putting Germans back in uniform, giving them rifles, and pointing them towards Russia?

Apropos nothing just curious.
10 years and then with marked reluctance. It was considered a pragmatic option given allied post war draw downs
 
The Americans and Ukrainians are using gas as a weapon to keep Germany "on message" with respect to Russia policy.

The main point of Nord Stream 2 is to bypass Ukraine. This has two effects.
  1. Transit fees for gas travelling from Russia and Turkmenistan to EU Europe are a major prop under the Ukrainian economy. Knock out that prop and Ukraine will face a financial crisis.
  2. Having the pipelines pass through Ukraine means that a major part of the EU's energy supply is effectively hostage to the Ukraine-Russia drama and thus EU Europe need to back American policy to maintain the status quo.

Going by BP's figures (these are highly regarded), there are four main reserves of natural gas in the world - Russia, Iran, Qatar, and Turkmenistan.
  • Iran - The Americans are doing everything in their power to prevent Iran from exporting gas.
  • Qatar - They are in the middle of a potential conflict zone, with Saudi Arabia recently threatening to invade them.
  • Turkmenistan - Their gas exports to Europe pass through Russia and so go through the same pipelines.
  • Russia - Much of their gas exports pass through Ukraine, and so are precarious unless a way to bypass this route is found.

Let's look at some numbers.

Here's the top 5 gas importers, plus the total for the world and the total for the EU. Values are in millions of cubic metres. We can see that the EU accounts for about 44 per cent of total world imports and Germany alone accounts for more than 10 per cent of global imports. In other words, if the EU, including Germany, wish to derive a significant amount of their energy from natural gas, they must get it from globally significant exportable sources. There's no point in saying that country 'x' has gas to sell if the amount they can export is not able to satisfy EU demand over a period of several decades.
—​
World​
957,600​
—​
European Union​
420,600​
1​
Japan​
99,774​
2​
Germany​
99,630​
3​
Italy​
70,200​
4​
United Kingdom​
53,630​
5​
Korea, South​
51,888​


Here's a list of the top 5 gas exporters. Values are in millions of cubic metres. You will note that no single one of them are capable of supplying all of EU demand. It's also worth noting that Russia are far and away the world's largest exporter and note the very rapid drop off in export capacity as we go down the list. These numbers are not entirely up to date so there may be some variation on this with current numbers, but the general order of magnitude of these numbers should be around the same. And keep in mind that all of these exporters are already supplying existing customers, so you can't simply go to one of them and say "I'll have all of your gas, thank you". You would have to build completely new export infrastructure, assuming that the gas reserves there are sufficient to support additional production and exports. And of course most of this gas from these major exporters is already going to the EU.
1​
Russia​
197,700​
2​
Qatar​
123,900​
3​
Norway​
112,000​
4​
Canada​
78,250​
5​
Netherlands​
53,650​

Here is a list of the top 5 countries by natural gas reserves, plus I've included Australia, Norway, the Netherlands, and the UK as references. Values are in cubic kilometres. You can see there are 4 globally significant exportable reserves which can supply over a period of decades if the export infrastructure is there. Qatar have lots of gas, but they are already exporting it, and they are potentially an even less secure supplier. Turkmenistan's gas exports to the EU go through Russia, and most of their exports are currently committed to China anyway.
Russia​
1​
35,000​
Iran​
2​
33,200​
Qatar​
3​
24,900​
Turkmenistan​
4​
19,500​
United States​
5​
8,700​
Australia​
3,600​
Norway​
1,700​
Netherlands​
700​
United Kingdom​
200​


So, there is no country which can currently step in and replace Russia as a gas supplier to the EU. Iran has the potential to do so, given enough time and investment. They are even less politically acceptable to the US than Russia are however.

So your options appear to be:
  • Make the US unhappy by buying gas from Russia.
  • Make the US unhappy by buying gas from Iran.
  • Run everything on coal, much of which you would probably have to import from Russia anyway. This would probably take decades to achieve.
  • Make the Green Party happy by relying on windmills, solar panels, and happy thoughts.
  • Build lots of nuclear power plants, a process that will take decades.
  • Emulate Texas and freeze in the dark.

I see lots of people talking about Germany and Russian gas. What I don't see is many people talking about actual solutions that are grounded in reality. So far as energy supplies go, EU Europe can only choose the least bad of several options while balancing risk between them.
Many things you say are absolutely right.
There will also be no simple solution to the problem. The current situation is that Germany gets around 40% of its gas via the existing Transgas and Nord Stream pipelines.
To add Nord Stream 2 on top of that and make Germany even more dependent on Russian gas supplies is sheer madness. Especially since Russia has already taken the gas weapon out of the holster this winter. While the NS2 discussion reached new heights, significantly less gas was delivered to the storage facilities than in previous years. The result was that German gas storage was only 41% full, as opposed to the usual >80%.

In my view, the only way to guarantee security of supply is diversification.

If that means building one or more LNG terminals, go ahead. LNG is a bit more expensive, but the fact that artificially high energy prices do not bother the government and a good part of the population in Germany is nothing new.
So in addition to the seven options you mentioned, there is an eighth: Buy LNG from other suppliers such as the US, Algeria, the Gulf region or Nigeria, and don't put all your eggs in one basket. Especially if you are dealing with a rather aggressive country that tries to revise the events of the last 30 years with war.
 

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