An extract from:
Russia is fighting a new Cold War with banks and pipelines, not tanks and warplanes.
29th August, 2008
By Edward Lucas
It has stitched up energy deals in North Africa; it flirts with Iran and sells weapons to Hugo Chavez, the America-hating windbag who runs Venezuela. And by using energy diplomacy and divide-and-rule tactics, it is stitching up Europe country by country, from Cyprus to the Netherlands.
And it works. Over the crisis in Georgia, Europe has shown astonishing softness. The leaders of the EU have been all but invisible.
Where is the supposed foreign-policy chief, Javier Solana? Or the foreign-affairs commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner? Meanwhile, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, has been humiliated by the blatant Russian breaches of the ceasefire agreement that he negotiated. Europe’s weakness is the result of multiple forms of soft-headedness and short-sightedness.
Partly it is simple anti-Americanism: if Vladimir Putin is making life difficult for George Bush, he must be a good guy. That attitude lies behind the astonishing opinion polls in countries such as Germany, which show that people have more trust in xenophobic, authoritarian Russia than they do in the world’s most powerful democracy.
  The question now is what does NATO stand for ? What does the EU stand for? The EU/NATO have been faced with their first major defence challenge aince the collapse of the Soviet Union. They have both failed abysmally.
  Sarkozy has rushed around with his piece of paper - and has been as successful as was Chamberlain. Milliband has huffed and puffed. Stalin said of the Papacy " But how many batallions has the Pope ?" Putin must be saying " But how many batallions has the EU/NATO ?". The answer - is not a lot !
  What would NATO/EU do for example if Russia marched into Estonia
on the pretext ( as did Hitler in the Sudetenland) of protecting
the 30% Russian minority ? It did that after all in South Ossetia
and may do the same in the Crimea. Last year Russia took down the
Estonian banking internet system using cyber warfare when Estonia
moved a monument to Russian liberation of Estonia. What about real
warfare then ?
  There is plenty we could do but Brown and Milliband have all
the courage of a Petain or Quisling.
  Unless and until the West becomes energy safe from Russia - well
Putin might achieve what the Soviet Union failed to achieve in the
Cold war. Namely the neutralisation and subjugation of Europe.
  Posted by Mikea on August 29, 2008 2:27 PM
The full article is available at:
This would seem, from a broader perspective, to be the reintegration of a balance of world power. You know - 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend....'
Here we go again!