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The Geopolitics of Energy & Terrorism Part 1

The Geopolitics of

Energy & Terrorism

Part 1

Iakovos Alhadeff

Table of Contents

Introduction

Gazprom VS NATO : The War for Europe

Russia VS China

Turkey, Russia & China in Central Asia

ISIS VS Al-Qaeda Part 1

ISIS VS Al-Qaeda Part 2

Who is Responsible for the War and the Immigrants

England VS Argentina

[_Gazprom VS ENI : A New War in Eastern Mediterranean Sea? _]

Introduction

The following chapters are independent essays that were written between

July 2015 and February 2016. They appear in random order, and therefore

_they do not have to be read in the order they appear. _

The issue in all the essays is the connection between the energy policies of

various countries, their foreign policies, and the wars that brake out at

various parts of the globe, since all three are closely related. I describe

many economic interests and many alliances in my essays. But alliances

change and so do economic interest. Therefore what is more important for

the reader is to have an idea of the global resources i.e. oil and natural gas

in my essays, because global resources change at a much lower pace than

_economic interests and economic alliances. _

The alliances and conflicts I describe in my essays might not exist in the

near future, but if you have an idea of the global resources you will be able

_to see the alliances and the economic interests that will exist in the future. _

_I.A. _

18.2.2016

_. _

Gazprom VS NATO : The War for Europe

Most of the revenues of the Russian government come from oil exports.

However it is natural gas exports that Putin has used as the main weapon of

his foreign policy. Natural gas is a lot more potent from a geopolitical point

of view, because it involves expensive pipeline networks which create

geopolitical addictions and long term partnerships, which cannot be easily

broken. Moreover the price of natural gas is not determined internationally,

as it is the case with oil. The price of natural gas is negotiated between the

buyer and the seller, and the seller can sell at lower prices to reward a

friendly government, or sell at higher prices to penalize an unfriendly

government. That’s exactly what Russia is doing.

Putin’s plan was relatively simple. Russia is Europe’s largest natural gas

supplier, with Norway and Algeria being the second and third largest

suppliers of Europe. Norway is on of the largest natural gas producers, but

her natural gas reserves are peanuts when compared to the Russian ones, and

therefore Norway cannot threaten Gazprom’s future. Algeria on the other

hand is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of natural gas

reserves, as you can see at the following table of Energy Information

Administration.

Picture 1

Algeria is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of shale gas too,

as you can see on the next energy information administration too.

Picture 2

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=14431

Algeria is already connected to Europe with three pipeline networks. The

first one runs through Morocco and Spain (Maghreb-Europe Pipeline), the

second runs through the Mediterranean Sea and Spain (Medgaz Pipeline),

and the third one runs through Tunisia and Italy (Trans-Mediterranean

Pipeline). You can see these networks at the following map.

Picture 3

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a9/Algeria_pipelines_m

ap.jpg

Moreover Algeria, Nigeria and Niger agreed on the construction of the

Trans-Saharan pipeline, which will send Nigeria’s natural gas to Europe

through Algeria. That is if the pipeline manages to pass Boko Haram, the

islamist organization which operates in the area, and has been aligned with

ISIS. It is Turkey and Qatar which have significant influence over ISIS, but

it is also in the interest of Russia, Iran and the Arabs to block Nigeria’s gas

before it reaches Europe.

Picture 4

In 2006 Putin did something very simple. He tried to make sure that

Gazprom acquired a stake in the Algerian gas company Sonatrach. Gazprom

is the only company which can export Russian natural gas, and Sonatrach, is

the only company which can export Algerian natural gas. Therefore if Russia

acquired a portion of Sonatrach, Russia would control the European gas

supplies from the south too. Libya is rich in oil but not in natural gas.

Picture 5

Algeria is an Arab country that was under Ottoman occupation from 1516 to

1831. In 1831 France took control of Algeria, and Algeria remained a French

colony till 1962, when the Algerian socialists, with the help of the Soviet

Union of course, managed to beat the French and declare independence, as

you can read at the following Wikipedia article, titled “Algeria–Russia

relations”.

2nd Paragraph

Throughout the Algerian War of Independence, _ [ the Soviet Union ] _had been providing military, technical and material assistance to Algeria. The USSR was the first country in

the world to de facto _ [_recognize the Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic _] _in [October 1960, and then de jure _] _on March 23, 1962, by establishing diplomatic relations [_with this country (a few months before the official proclamation of its independence). _]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algeria%E2%80%93Russia_relations

The Algerian socialists introduced a socialist dictatorship, and nobody

threatened them until the 1990s. When the Soviet Union, which was

Algeria’s main arms supplier, collapsed in the 90’s, the Arabs of the Persian

Gulf grabbed the chance to support the Algerian islamists againsts the

Algerian socialists. A bloody civil war followed, with over 100.000 dead

Algerians. However the islamists did not manage to beat the socialists. Even

when the Arab Spring broke out in 2011, the Algerian socialists managed to

beat the Algerian islamists, as you can read at the following Foreign Affairs

magazine, titled “The Algeria Alternative”, April 2015. Today, Algeria’s

president is the socialist Ibdelaziz Buteflika, who has been in office since

1999.

1st Paragraph

[_The upheavals of the Arab Spring seemed to pass one country by: Algeria. To its east, _]

Libya collapsed into civil war, and Tunisia suffered an upsurge of terrorism that

imperiled its democratic transition and economic recovery. To the south, Mali is holding

together, if barely, thanks to a French-led stabilization force. But all the while, Algeria

[_has remained a reliable bulwark—if also something of a riddle. _]

9th Paragraph

For one, although Algeria strongly discourages other states from using force, especially

across borders, it has readily used its powerful military at home. In 2013, the Algerian

army swiftly ended the terrorist standoff on the In Amenas gas facility, freeing more than

700 hostages, including more than 100 foreigners. The government also deployed ground

forces to almost entirely wipe out the extremist group Jund al-Khilafa, which is allied

with the Islamic State (also called ISIS). The terrorist organization announced its

existence in September 2014; by December, the army had decimated it and killed its key

_leaders. _

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/africa/2015-04-15/algeria-alternative

Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the relationship between Russia and

Algeria was relatively simple. Russia supplied Algeria with arms. The two

countries were not competitors, because Russia did not sell oil or natural gas

to NATO countries. At least she was not selling much. On the contrary,

Algeria could not find better clients from the European countries.

But today things are different. Russia is the largest and Algeria the third

largest suppliers of natural gas to Europe. If the Trans-Saharan pipeline is

constructed, things can become even worse for Russia. That’s why Russia

tried to buy a stake in Sonatrach in 2006. As you can read at the following

Stratfor article, titled “Algeria, Russia: Europe’s Natural Gas Dilemma”

August 2006, in 2006 Russia wrote off a 5 billion debt from Algeria, which

referred to the purchase of Russian arms, in exchange for closer cooperation

in the energy sector. Gazprom and Sonatrach did indeed cooperate in the

energy sector.

Stratfor mentions that the Italian Minister of Energy was very worried at the

time, and that he informed the European Union that the agreement between

Gazprom and Sonatrach could increase Europe’s dependence on a small

group of countries. According to Stratfor, if Russia and Algeria managed to

seal a deal, and they managed to bring Norway on board, the European

countries would have no alternative but paying higher prices for their natural

gas. The article also mentions that at the time Italy was buying 69% of her

gas from Gazprom and Sonatrach.

1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Paragraphs

A deal between Russia’s Gazprom and Algeria’s Sonatrach will increase Europe’s

dependence on natural gas supplies from a limited number of countries, Italian Energy

Minister Pier Luigi Bersani said Aug. 9. Gazprom and Sonatrach signed a memorandum

of understanding Aug. 4 on closer cooperation. Out of the many possible projects Russia

[_and Algeria could be looking at — liquefied natural gas, pipeline construction, _]

purchasing assets in a third country or collaborating on natural gas prices — the last is

the most likely, leaving much of Europe at the mercy of two of its three largest natural

_gas suppliers. _

A deal between Russia’s Gazprom and Algeria’s Sonatrach will increase Europe’s

dependence on natural gas supplies from a limited number of countries, Italian Energy

Minister Pier Luigi Bersani said in a letter to EU Energy Commissioner Andris Pielbags

on Aug. 9. Gazprom and Sonatrach signed a memorandum of understanding Aug. 4 on

_closer cooperation. _

Out of the many possible projects Russia and Algeria could be considering — liquefied

natural gas (LNG), pipeline construction, purchasing assets in a third country or

collaborating on natural gas prices — the last option is the most likely. This course

_would leave much of Europe at the mercy of two of its three largest natural gas suppliers. _

A relationship between Gazprom and Sonatrach has been in the works since Russian

President Vladimir Putin made his first official state visit to Algeria _ [_in March,] accompanied by a large delegation of defense and energy representatives. During that

meeting, Putin wrote off nearly $5 billion of Algerian debt to Russia, saying trade with

Algeria is more beneficial to Russia than debt repayment. At that time, the energy talks

between Gazprom and Sonatrach were overshadowed by a $7.5 billion defense deal

_between the two countries. _

11th Paragraph

If Gazprom and Sonatrach decide to raise natural gas prices jointly, most of Europe will

have to live with it — even more so if the two companies can also get Norway in on the

move. Jointly raising natural gas prices is much easier than any other collaboration

between Gazprom and Sonatrach, since it does not involve sharing technology or

_building new infrastructure. _

12th Paragraph

The Italian energy minister’s concerns about the potential for this development derive

from the fact that Italy relies for 69 percent of its natural gas on just two companies:

Sonatrach (37 percent) and Gazprom (32 percent). Bersani thus said Gazprom-Sonatrach

cooperation “confirms the concern already expressed about the effects on (natural) gas

supplies to the European system, and on Italy in particular, derived from the dependence

on imports from a limited number of supplying countries, which is expected to worsen in

the coming years.” A collaborative price increase would also hit at the worst time — the

_onset of winter. _

https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/algeria-russia-europes-natural-gas-

dilemma

As you can read at the following article of New Europe, titled “EU to

Monitor Gazprom Sonatrach Cooperation”, January 2007, the European

Commissioner on energy issues, Andris Piebalgs, said that the European

Union would closely monitor Sonatrach’s cooperation with Gazprom. I

guess that what his statement really meant, was that if Gazprom and

Sonatrach reduced production to increase prices, the European Union would

retaliate.

1st and 2nd Paragraph

European Union Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said in Davos, Switzerland, that

he favours market forces of supply and demand setting the oil price. “I am happy with the

_oil price with the growth rates we have in the world,” he said. _

Piebalgs also said he will monitor closely the links between Russian gas behemoth

_Gazprom and Algerian energy group Sonatrach, according to news reports. _

http://www.neurope.eu/article/eu-monitor-gazprom-sonatrach-cooperation/

In the end the Algerians did not give Gazprom a share of Sonatrach, even

though the two companies have worked together. But the two countries are

competitors in the energy markets, and as you can read at the following Al

Monitor article, titled “Algeria buys Russian arms but keeps Moscow at

arm’s length”, March 2015, Algeria keeps buying arms from Russia, but

keeps Russia at a distance.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/03/russia-algeria-weapons-

gas-bouteflika-putin.html

The article mentions that the presidents of Algeria and Russia have not met

many times in the last decade, and that Russia was not very happy with

Algeria’s somewhat neutral stance in Libya, where Russia whole heartedly

supported Egypt’s military operations against the islamists. I must say that

the islamists in Libya are supported by Turkey, Qatar and Iran, and Turkey is

one of the largest importers of Algerian gas, as you can see at following pie

chart from Harvard’s article, titled “The Geopolitics of Natural Gas The

Changing Geopolitics of Natural Gas: The Case of Algeria”, November

2013.

Picture 6

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_ 10113. pdf_

Turkey is the 4th largest importer of Algerian gas. Moreover Italy, Spain and

France are the three largest importers of Algerian natural gas, and they

would not be very happy if Algeria was to follow Russia’s hard energy game

against the European Union and NATO. Therefore, as I already said,

relations between Russia and Algeria will be harder in 21st century, at least

when compared with the ones of the 20th century.

The point is that Putin’s geostrategy was very simple during the first decade

of the 21st century. With the North Stream (Russia-Germany) and the South

Stream (Russia-Bulgaria) pipelines, together with the Russian pipeline

networks that run through Ukraine, and the Russian stake in Sonatrach,

Russia would encircle Europe, and she would put a lot of pressure on the

EU. By giving large stakes to the Germans (North Stream) and the Italians

(South Stream and Blue Stream), and also minor stakes to the French, Putin

tried to break NATO too.

The only other major danger for Russia was the Southern Energy Corridor,

promoted by the EU, the US and Turkey, which is supposed to send natural

gas from the Caspian Sea and the Middle East to Europe through Turkey.

With the South Stream pipeline in the past, and with Turk Stream now, Putin

is trying to absorb demand, in order to eliminate viability of a competing

pipeline which will be supported by NATO. Putin managed to create many

problems for the EU and NATO, but at a great cost for his country and his

people. The war between Gazprom on one side, and NATO and the EU on

the other, is not over yet.

Picture 7

Russia VS China

In World War 2 China was on the side of the allies, and Japan was on

Germany’s side. After the end of WW2 the communists of Mao Zedong won

the national socialists of Chiang Kai-shek at the Chinese civil war, and the

national socialists were left with Taiwan, in which they declared their own

state. Till this day Taiwan is a separate country with very problematic

relations with China. See map 1.

Picture 1

http://www.taiwanese-secrets.com/image-files/china-taiwan-map.001.jpg

The communists introduced a dictatorship in China, and the national

socialists introduced a dictatorship in Taiwan. However in order to confront

China, the national socialists had to align themselves with the West, and

gradually they were forced to democratize Taiwan. Today Taiwan is a

western type democracy.

In the first years of the Second World War, the relations between China and

Russia were satisfactory, but very soon many problems arose. One of the

problems between Russia and China is India. India is a Russian ally but a

major rival for China. Therefore China became an ally of Pakistan, which

was India’s other major rival. However Pakistan was an ally of the US and

the Arabs of the Persian Gulf. Actually when the Russians invaded

Afghanistan in 1979, in order to back the pro-Soviet communist

government, China, together with the US, the Saudis and the Pakistanis,

were training the Afghan Mujahideen, in order to fight the Afghan

communists who were supported by the Indians and the Russians.

Actually, as you can read at the following Wikipedia link, titled “Competing

Hegemonies”, the Chinese were training Mujahideen even within China.

6th and 7th Paragraphs

_China and Afghanistan had neutral relations with each other during the King’s rule. _

When the pro Soviet Afghan Communists seized power in Afghanistan in 1978, relations

between China and the Afghan communists quickly turned hostile. The Afghan pro Soviet

communists supported China’s enemies in Vietnam and blamed China for supporting

Afghan anti communist militants. China responded to the Soviet invasion of

Afghanistan _ [_by supporting the Afghan Mujahidin _] _and ramping up their military presence [_near Afghanistan in Xinjiang. _]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-Soviet_split#Competing_hegemonies

However in other geographic locations the Chinese and the Soviets were

cooperating, as was the case in Vietnam, where both of them were

supporting the communists of North Vietnam, and the US and their allies

were supporting South Vietnam. Finally the communists won the war and

they took control of the whole country in 1975. During the Korean War in

the 50s, the Russian and the Chinese were both supporting the North

Koreans, while the US was supporting South Korea.

Besides India, the very long borders between China and the Soviet Union

were another factor of distrust between the two communist neighbors. For

the Sino-Soviet borders see map 2

Picture 2

Until 1991 the countries of Central Asia were members of the Soviet Union,

and they were controlled by Russia. Therefore the oil reserves of Azerbaijan

and Kazakhstan, and the natural gas reserves of Azerbaijan and

Turkmenistan, were also controlled by Russia. As you can see at the

following two maps, from Columbia University and the Energy Information

Administration, most of the oil and natural gas of the Soviet Union was

located in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and West Siberia.

Picture 3

http://gulf2000.columbia.edu/images/maps/Oil_and_Oil_Facilities

_lg.jpg

Picture 4

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=18051

As you can see from map 4, today 89% of the Russian natural gas, and 62%

of the Russian oil, are produced in West Siberia. After 1991 the countries of

Central Asia gained their independence. Note that 90% of the inhabitants of

Central Asia i.e. Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan,

Kyrgystan, are Muslims of Turkic origins, and there was no reason why the

communists of the Soviet Union, and not the communists of China, should

control their oil and gas. As you can read at the following Wikipedia article,

titled “Competing Hegemonies”, the Soviets were moving more and more

soldiers and air crafts near their borders with China i.e. at the borders with

Xinjiang, which borders Central Asia. Obviously the Soviets were worried

about a Chinese invasion in Central Asia. See map 5. Note that the map

show some existing and some proposed pipelines which are irrelevant with

what I am talking about now.

1st and 2nd Paragraphs

Meanwhile, during 1968, the Soviet Army _ [_had amassed along the 4,380 km (2,738 mi.)] border with China—especially at the Xinjiang _] [_frontier, in north-west China, where the Soviets might readily induce Turkic _ [_separatists to insurrection. Militarily, in 1961, the] USSR had 12 divisions and 200 aeroplanes at that border; in 1968, there were 25

divisions, 1,200 aeroplanes, and 120 medium-range missiles. Furthermore, although

China had detonated its first nuclear weapon _ [_(the 596 Test), in October 1964, at Lop]

Nur _ [_basin, the People’s Liberation Army _] [_was militarily inferior to the Red Army.23]

[By March 1969, Sino-Russian border politics became the Sino-Soviet border conflict _] _at [the Ussuri River _] [_and onDamansky–Zhenbao Island; _] [ more small-scale warfare occurred_] at Tielieketi _ [_in August. In The Coming War Between Russia and China (1969), US]

journalist Harrison Salisbury _ [_reported that Soviet sources implied a possible first]

strikeagai [nst the Lop Nur _] _basin nuclear weapons testing site .23

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-Soviet_split#Border_war

Picture 5

China could move towards West Siberia too, because West Siberia is located

after the Ural Mountains, which is Russia’s shield at her eastern flank. That’s

why the Soviets had many military units stationed at Mongolia, which at the

time was a communist country aligned with the Soviet Union. The Soviet

military units at the Chinese borders were supposed to prevent the Chinese

from moving towards Central Asia and West Siberia. That was something

that annoyed the Chinese, as you can read at the following Wikipedia article,

titled “Competing hegemonies”. The Chinese wanted the Soviets to

withdraw their military from Mongolia.

3rd Paragraph

In December 1979, the USSR invaded the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan _ [_to sustain] _the Afghan Communist government. The PRC viewed the Soviet invasion as a local feint, _

within Russia’s greater geopolitical _ [_encirclement of China. In response, the PRC entered] a tri-partite alliance with the U.S. and Pakistan, _] _ to sponsorIslamist _ [_Afghan armed resistance to the Soviet Occupation _ [_(1979–89). (cf. Operation Storm-333) _] _ Meanwhile, the Sino-Soviet split became manifest when Deng Xiaoping, _] _ the paramount leader _ [_of China, required the removal of “three obstacles” so that Sino-Soviet relations might

improve:

[_1)The massed Soviet Army at the Sino-Soviet border, and in Mongolia. _]

[_2)Soviet support of the Vietnamese occupation of Kampuchea (Cambodia). _]

[_3)The Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. _]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-Soviet_split#Competing_hegemonies

From all the above it is obvious that Russia’s interests are aligned with the

ones of NATO and the EU, because no one can guarantee to the Russians

that in the following decades the Chinese will not move towards West

Siberia. If it wasn’t for their rivalry with the US, the Chinese and the

Russians would probably have very problematic relations. And that becomes

even worse if it is taken into account that the people of Siberia are talking

about autonomy or even independence. Who would be a better patron than

China for them in the next decades? See also “Russia vs Siberia”.

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/russia-vs-siberia/

And as I said West Siberia is after the Ural Mountains, as you can see at the

following map.

Picture 6

http://media.web.britannica.com/eb-media/41/89941-050-51B0953D.gif

Russia belongs to NATO, and her interests are totally aligned with the ones

of the US and the EU. Russia must supply Europe with oil and natural gas,

and also provide Europe with military protection, so that the US can focus

on China, which will be its main rival in the 21st Century. If Russia is a

member of NATO she will be able to make sure that the Russian reserves in

West Siberia remain under Russian control in the next decades, because with

NATO’s help Russia will be able to face China, even if she has to fight after

the Ural Mountains.

Another problem in the Sino-Russian relations is that the region of

Manchuria is on the East Sino-Soviet borders. Manchuria is very rich in

coal, iron, and many other raw materials. You can see Manchuria at the

following map.

Picture 7

http://go.hrw.com/venus_images/0531MC23.gif

The mini war between the Soviets and the Chinese in 1969 took place in the

region of Manchuria. You can read about it at the following Wikipedia link,

titled “Border Wars”.

1st and 2nd Paragraps

Meanwhile, during 1968, the Soviet Army _ [_had amassed along the 4,380 km (2,738 mi.)] border with China—especially at the Xinjiang _] [_frontier, in north-west China, where the Soviets might readily induce Turkic _ [_separatists to insurrection. Militarily, in 1961, the] USSR had 12 divisions and 200 aeroplanes at that border; in 1968, there were 25

divisions, 1,200 aeroplanes, and 120 medium-range missiles. Furthermore, although

China had detonated its first nuclear weapon _ [_(the 596 Test), in October 1964, at Lop]

Nur _ [_basin, the People’s Liberation Army _] [_was militarily inferior to the Red Army.23]

[By March 1969, Sino-Russian border politics became the Sino-Soviet border conflict _] _at [the Ussuri River _] [_and onDamansky–Zhenbao Island; _] [ more small-scale warfare occurred_] at Tielieketi _ [_in August. In The Coming War Between Russia and China (1969), US]

journalist Harrison Salisbury _ [_reported that Soviet sources implied a possible first]

strikeagai [nst the Lop Nur _] _basin nuclear weapons testing site .23

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-Soviet_split#Border_war

Manchuria was one of the main causes of conflict between the Chinese and

the Japanese. Japan is an industrialized country but very poor in resources,

and the Japanese thought that they could solve this problem by acquiring the

resource rich Manchuria. Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931, and left only

after her defeat at the end of WW2. For the Japanese invasion of Manchuria

see “Japanese invasion of Manchuria”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasion_of_Manchuria

For all the above reasons the USSR and China started competing for

influence over the countries that were run by communist dictatorships. At

the following Wikipedia map you can see with red the communist countries

which were aligned with USSR and with yellow the ones aligned with

China.

Picture 8

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As you can see at the map, under Soviet control was Mongolia, Vietnam,

Laos, Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique, the Republic of Congo, Cuba, and the

countries of Eastern Europe i.e. Poland, Rumania etc. Under Chinese control

were Somalia, and Albania. The ones with black are the non-aligned

communists countries i.e. former Yugoslavia at the Balkans, and North

Korea in Asia. Actually during the war between Ethiopia and Somalia in

1977, the Soviets were supporting the Ethiopians and the Chinese were

supporting the Somali, and during the civil war in Angola the Soviets and

the Chinese were again supporting different parties.

Note that one should not confuse the communist countries of the above map

with the socialist dictatorships of the Middle East and North Africa. In the

Middle East and North Africa there were socialist dictators who were Soviet

allies i.e. Qadaffi in Libya and Sadam Hussein in Iraq, but they did not

tolerate communists in their countries, because the communists wanted these

countries to become Soviet satellites, and not Soviet allies, and that would

give the Soviets control of the oil in these countries. And there was the

strange phenomenon that the socialist dictators who were soviet allies were

oppressing local communists, and the Soviets would not react.

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Soviets lost Central Asia, and

things became easier between China and Russia. The two countries

improved their relations, and today they are allies. However Russia does not

like the big Chinese influence in Central Asia. China is the big investor in

the countries of Central Asia and buys most of their oil and natural gas, and

has substituted Russia as the dominant power. Russia accepts this situation

because China prevents the oil and gas of Central Asia to go to Europe and

compete with the oil and natural gas of Russia. But it is a sure thing that

Russia does not like the growing Chinese influence in Central Asia.

Moreover Central Asia is located underneath West Siberia.

To conclude I will say that relations between Russia and China have been

restored after 1991, but I will insist that Russia’s interests are next to NATO

and the EU. The problem is that for that to happen Russia must become a

democratic country, like the other countries of the European Union. Only

then Russia could have the first role in Europe. However Putin is turning

Russia to a fascist country, and it is possible that in the 21st Century Russia

will become for China what Saudi Arabia was for the US in the 20th Century

i.e. Russia will supply oil and gas to China, and China will supply Russia

with arms. Because it is a sure thing that China will soon be a much greater

arms producer than Russia.

Another great problem for Russia’s democratization is that the Russians

were never free. Freedom came for the Russians together with the economic

collapse of 1991, and therefore the Russians are confused. They do not

appreciate their freedom much because they confuse it with the economic

collapse and pauperization. Therefore it is not very difficult to turn the

Russian people towards socialism, especially when the media are controlled

by the state, as it is the case with Putin’s Russia.

I must also say that in 2014 Russia and China signed an agreement for the

construction of two massive pipelines, which will carry Russian natural gas

to China. See the following map. However it remains to be seen if the two

countries will manage to construct these two pipelines. Many analysts say

that the costs are too high, and that it is very difficult to construct pipelines

in the unfriendly environment of Siberia.

Picture 9

For the Sino-Soviet conflict see

“Sino-Soviet Split”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-Soviet_split#Border_war

Picture 10

http://amur-heilong.net/map/005maps/images/image/amur_world2.JPG

Turkey, Russia & China in Central Asia

At the following Wikipedia map, from the article “List of Turkic dynasties

and countries”, you can see the Turkic countries. The term “Turkic” refers to

the countries that are either of Turkic origin or they are Turkic speaking.

Picture 1

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The list of Turkic counties includes Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan,

Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan. Tajikistan has ethnic and

linguistic ties with Iran and not Turkey, and that’s why Tajikistan does not

appear with red on the map. There is even a Turkic Council, which has its

base in Constantinople (Istanbul), and its members are Turkey, Azerbaijan,

Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan have decided not

to join the council, but they are welcome to join in the future if they decide

so.

I have mentioned many times the great importance of the countries of

Central Asia i.e. Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan,

Tajikistan, since two of them are very rich in oil (Kazakhstan) and gas

(Turkmenistan). I have also mentioned many times Turkey’s efforts to send

the oil and natural gas of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to Europe, in order

to keep a part of it, in order to earn huge transit fees, and finally in order to

increase her geopolitical significance. But Turkey is not only interested in

making some energy deals with the countries of Central Asia. As you can see

at the following map, the countries of Central Asia are ex-members of the

Soviet Union, and they are weak and unstable countries, encircled by Russia,

China, Turkey and Iran. The countries of Central Asia are at the epicenter of

the energy policies of these four countries.

Picture 2

Turkey wants to send their natural gas and oil to Europe in order to reduce

her dependence on Russia, but also to earn transit fees and increase her

geopolitical significance. Turkey’s advantage is that it offers an alternative to

Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, two countries which are surrounded by two

competitors, Iran and Russia, and only one buyer i.e. China. These countries

want to reduce their dependence on China, and get rid of Russia’s pressures.

China wants to absorb the oil and gas of the region, in order to avoid the sea

lanes, where the American Navy is dominant, but also because the oil and

gas of Central Asia is a cheap source of energy for China, due to China’s

geographical proximity with Central Asia.

Russia wants to prevent the oil and gas of Central Asia from reaching the

European markets, where Russia is the dominant player. Russia is annoyed

by the increased Chinese influence in Central Asia, but Russia puts up with

the Chinese influence, because by absorbing the resources of the region, the

Chinese make it harder for the oil and gas of the region to reach to Europe.

However it must be noted that the increased cooperation between China and

Central Asia will at some point bring military cooperation too, and that’s a

problem for Russia, because Central Asia is located under West Siberia, and

most of the Russian oil (62%) and natural gas (89%) production comes from

West Siberia, as you can see at the following Energy Information

Administration map. You can see that West Siberia is located above

Kazakhstan, and it lies after the Ural Mountains, which are Russia’s natural

shield at her eastern flank.

Picture 3

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=18051

Therefore in the past Central Asia also worked as a security buffer for

Russia, which will not be the case in the future since there will be growing

Chinese presence in the area. At some point the growing economic

cooperation between China and the countries of Central Asia will also

develop to a military cooperation. And maybe Russia and China are

currently allies, but nobody knows what will happen in the next decades, or

even in the next years. In any case it is a sure thing that Russia is not glad to

see China dominating a region that was traditionally influenced by Russia,

and which is located under the oil and natural gas fields of West Siberia.

During the 20th century the countries of Central Asia were members of the

Soviet Union, and they were under Russian influence. In a sense these

countries, together with the countries of Eastern Europe were Russian

colonies. These countries were for Russia what the African countries were

for the Europeans. But when the Soviet Union collapsed, the other three

players i.e. China, Turkey and Iran, increased their influence over Central

Asia. Each country has its advantages in this battle for influence.

Russia still has strong political and military ties with the region, and most of

the countries are run by communist dictators who are ex members of the

Soviet communist party. It is true of course that old friendships can not

always prove to be as strong as economic interests. That’s the reason

Vladimir Putin said in 2014 that there was never a country called

Kazakhstan, and that this region has always been under Russian influence,

and that’s how things should stay in the future, as you can read at the

following Guardian article, titled “Kazakhstan is latest Russian neighbour to

feel Putin’s chilly nationalist rhetoric”, September 2014. Putin wanted to

remind to the President of Kazakhstan that he should be very careful with

his relations with NATO and the West.

Russia has strong political and military power over Central Asia, but China

has the economic power, because China is the largest investor in Central

Asia, and it is the country that buys most of the regions oil and gas.

Iran would like to see the oil and gas of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan

passing through Iran before reaching Europe and the Indian Ocean. For Iran

these countries are natural competitors, but if their oil and gas was to pass

through Iran before reaching the West and the South, Iran would obtain

leverage over these counties. Moreover Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan would

stop pushing for solutions like the Trans-Caspian Pipeline and the TAPI

Pipeline (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India), which would bypass

Iran, reducing the Iranian geopolitical and economic influence. See map 4.

Picture 4

As I said Russia has military and political influence over Central Asia, China

has economic influence, but Turkey has cultural influence over the region,

and it can also prove to be an alternative for these countries. Religion was

almost banned as long as these countries were members of the Soviet Union,

but things changed after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Now Turkey can

use Islam to increase her influence over Central Asia, and she can also

employ Islamist fighters in order to increase her influence.

As you can read at the following Foreign Policy article, titled “IMU

Members Pledge Support to ISIS”, March 2015, the Sunni Islamists of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) declared their support for ISIS i.e.

the Islamic State, which is influenced by Turkey. The Islamic Movement of

Uzbekistan wants to overthrow the communist dictator Islam Karimov, who

is an ex member of the Soviet communist party, and has been Uzbekistan’s

president since the country’s independence in 1991.

If you take a look at the map, you will see that it is Kazakhstan and

Turkmenistan that have a motive to cooperate with Turkey, in order to avoid

their competitors Iran and Russia, and in order to reduce their economic

dependence on China. Uzbekistan on the other hand is poor in energy

reserves country, and it wants the oil and natural gas of the region to move

eastwards, in order to pass through Uzbekistan, generating transit fees and

investments for Uzbekistan.

That’s the reason relations between Turkey and Uzbekistan have been

problematic as you can read at the following Hurriyet article, titled “Turkish

FM in Uzbekistan to reignite relations”, July 2014. On the contrary Turkey’s

relations with Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan have been great, as you can

read at the following article of Daily Sabah, titled “Turkey and Kazakhstan:

A relationship to cherish”, April 2015, and at Today’s Zaman article titled

“Turkey, Turkmenistan seal new energy deals”, March 2015. Daily Sabah

and Today’s Zaman are the English editions of the Sabah and the Zaman,

two of the largest Turkish newspapers.

Turkey wants to play a dominant role in Central Asia, a region where the

Muslim and Turkic element is dominant, and that’s why Turkey and China

have problems over the Chinese province of Xinjiang in East China, which

borders Kazakhstan. In Xinjiang the Muslim element is dominant, and the

Islamist organization “East Turkestan Islamic Movement” is very active. For

the conflict between Turkey and China over Xinjiang also see also “Turkey

VS China” at the following link.

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/turkey-vs-china/

Picture 5

I must also say that the United States, together with India, support the TAPI

pipeline (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India), because they do not

want the countries of Central Asia to be dependent only on China for their

exports, and they do not want India to depend on Iran for energy supplies.

Moreover if the Turkmen natural gas, and later maybe the Kazakh oil, were

to reach the Indian Ocean, they could be an alternative for the oil and natural

gas of the Persian Gulf. The TAPI pipeline is not a problem for Russia, but it

is a great problem for the Arabs and the Iranians, who count on Asia for their

oil and natural gas exports. Therefore the Arabs and the Iranians try to block

TAPI in Afghanistan. For more details for the war in Afghanistan see

“Pakistan VS Taliban”

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2015/07/23/pakistan-vs-taliban/

For the oil and natural gas fields of the region see the following map from

Columbia University.

Picture 6

http://gulf2000.columbia.edu/images/maps/Oil_and_Oil_Facilities_lg.jpg

Relevant Articles

For the first Wikipedia article see

“List of Turkic dynasties and countries”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Turkic_dynasties_and_countries

For the second Wikipedia article see

“Turkic Council”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkic_Council

For the Guardian article see

“Kazakhstan is latest Russian neighbour to feel Putin’s chilly nationalist

rhetoric”, September 2014

6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Paragraphs

But it is in the south, not in the north-west, that the chilly blast of Putin’s rhetoric is

_being felt, far away from Europe _ [_and from Nato. _]

In little-noticed remarks last week, he called into question the legitimacy of the post-

Soviet state of Kazakhstanwhi le ordering the Kazakhs to be on their best behaviour when _it came to serving Russian interests. _

The remarks, to an audience of young people in Russia _ [_on Friday, sent shocke waves] through the central Asian republic, which also hosts a large ethnic Russian minority

_centred in the north on the Russian border. _

Putin said there had never been a country called Kazakhstan, that the republic was

_purely the product of the current president, Nursultan Nazarbayev. _

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/01/kazakhstan-russian-neighbour-putin-

chilly-nationalist-rhetoric

For the Foreign Policy article see

“IMU Members Pledge Support to ISIS”, March 2015

http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/03/31/imu-members-pledge-support-to-isis-

pakistani-delegation-heads-to-saudi-arabia-gujarat-passes-contentious-anti-

terror-bill/

For the Hurriyet article see

“Turkish FM in Uzbekistan to reignite relations”, July 2014

3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Paragraphs

Turkey was the first country to recognize Uzbekistan’s independence in 1991. But

relations with Uzbekistan began to deteriorate when Uzbek troops killed hundreds of

demonstrators in the town of Andijan on 13 May, 2005, provoking an international

_outcry. _

Turkey backed a U.N. resolution condemning Uzbekistan over its human rights violations

_in Andijan, provoking the ire of strongman Uzbek President Islam Karimov. _

“We are all upset that relations have not been at the desired level in recent years. We

hope the current political environment will pave the way for us to enhance our

[_relationship,” _]

_ _

Davutoğlu

_ _

_said. _

Prior to his visit, Davutoğlu referred to the halt in Turkish and Uzbek relations since

[_2006 as a “misunderstanding.” _]

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-fm-in-uzbekistan-to-reignite-

relations.aspx?pageID=238&nID=68947&NewsCatID=510

For the Daily Sabah article see

“Turkey and Kazakhstan: A relationship to cherish”, April 2015

1st and 2nd Paragraph

t year, Kazakhstan will celebrate the 25th year of its independence. With a population of

over 17 million and a large landmass, it is one of the pivotal states of Central Asia. It is

also strategically situated between two major powers: Russia and China. Kazakhstan

has extensive economic and political relations with Europe and the U.S. This makes

Kazakhstan a country of ‘balance-politics,’ where the Kazakh leadership seeks a foreign

_policy based on regional cooperation and global engagement. _

President Erdogan visited Kazakhstan on April 16-17 to hold the second meeting of the

High Level Strategic Council between the two countries. Turkey was the first country to

recognize Kazakhstan’s independence in 1991. Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s

_President, still recounts with gratitude how Turgut Ozal, President of Turkey at the time, _

called him only two hours after Kazakhstan declared independence. Since then, the two

countries developed close relations at political, economic and cultural levels. Turkish

companies have completed projects worth $20 billion. The 2014 trade volume was over

[_$3 billion. The goal is to reach $10 billion over the next five years. _]

6th Paragraph

_Many elements unite Turkey and Kazakhstan. Economic relations, as mentioned before, _

are gaining strength, although there is more work to be done to reach the $10 billion

trade goal. The two countries see each other as political allies, and they cooperate on

numerous regional and global issues from the group of Central Asian Turkish republics

_to the U.N. _

http://www.dailysabah.com/columns/ibrahim-kalin/2015/04/18/turkey-and-

kazakhstan-a-relationship-to-cherish

For the Today’s Zaman article see

“Turkey, Turkmenistan seal new energy deals”, March 2015

1st Paragraph

_Following a meeting with Turkmen President Gurbanguli Berdimuhamedov in Ankara, _

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced that Turkey, Turkmenistan and

_Azerbaijan will establish a trilateral mechanism on energy issues, with the first leaders’ _

_meeting to take place in Turkmenistan. _

6th Paragraph

In November last year, Turkmenistan and Turkey came to a framework agreement

[_ according to which Turkmenistan will supply gas for a new pipeline project -- called the _]

[_ Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) -- that could help Europe reduce its _]

dependence on Russian gas imports. When Erdoğan visited Ashgabat in November he

underscored that Turkey attaches great importance to the delivery of Turkmenistan’s

[_natural gas to Europe via Turkey. “Europe’s energy security is important for us,” _]

[_Erdoğan said at the time. _]

http://www.todayszaman.com/anasayfa_turkey-turkmenistan-seal-new-energy-

deals_374197.html

A great article for the antagonism between Turkey, Russia and China in

Central Asia is Stratfor’s “Turkey’s Growing Involvement in Central Asia”,

April 2012.

https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/turkeys-growing-involvement-central-asia

ISIS VS Al-Qaeda Part 1

A very nice article by the Business Insider, titled “We’re getting to know just

how different ISIS is from al Qaeda”, March 2015, about the differences

between ISIS and Al Qaeda. In the third paragraph the article says that Al

Qaeda did not care much about the creation of an Islamic Chaliphate, while

this is one of ISIS’s main concerns.

That makes sense, if we take into account that the major influence in Al

Qaeda is the Arabs of the Persian Gulf, who do not want a Chaliphate,

because a Chaliphate would mean that they would have to share their oil and

natural gas with other countries. On the contrary, the main influence in ISIS

is Turkey, and Erdogan would love to be some kind of Sultan in a Chaliphate

i.e. some form of union with the Persian Gulf, which would also imply many

economic benefits for Turkey. Turkey wants to somehow regain the

influence it had in the Middle East until the First World War (1914-1918).

The Turkish soldiers that were sent to Qatar in 2015, one hundred years after

their withdrawal from the region, was a step towards this end.

In the 9th paragraph the article says that the great enemy of Al Qaeda is the

United States, while the great enemy of ISIS is the Shites of Syria and Iraq,

and the Assad regime of Syria. That makes sense too, because Al Qaeda

wanted to fight the Americans who wanted to bring the oil of Kazakhstan

and the natural gas of Turkmenistan to India and the Indian Ocean i.e. TAPI

pipeline etc. After all the base of Osama bin Laden was for many years in

Afghanistan.

Map 1

Moreover some parts of the Saudi elites might have been angry with the US,

due to the American pressures for larger oil production and lower oil prices.

Finally some Arabs might believe that the alliance between US and Saudi

Arabia was a constraint towards closer economic relations with China,

which is now the big customer in the Middle East. The Americans have

reduced their imports from the Gulf. China has much closer relations with

Iran due to the Saudi alliance with the US. But Al Qaeda should not be seen

as the same thing with the Saudi leadership, because Al Qaeda was the first

one to call the Saudi King an apostate, and asked for a jihad against him.

As far as Turkey is concerned, the US and the TAPI pipeline is not a

problem. The problems for ISIS are the Arabs of Syria and Iraq, who refused

the construction of the Arab-Turkish Pipelines i.e. Qatar-Turkey pipeline,

and agreed with the Russian state-owned Gazprom to the construction of the

Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline. It is true of course that some problems arose

between Turkey and the US too, because the US supports the Syrian Kurds

in Northern Syria, which is a big problem for Turkey. Moreover the

Americans have also improved significantly their relations with Iran, which

is another problem for Turkey and ISIS. But it is unlikely that the US will

become the main target of ISIS, because Turkey and the US need each other

a lot, no matter what problems they encounter in their relationship. However

there is always the possibility of regional clashes between the US and ISIS,

something that has already happened in Syria.

Another interesting article for the clash between Al Qaeda and ISIS, and

ISIS’s dominance over Al Qaeda, is the Guardian’s “How Isis crippled al-

Qaida”, June 2015. I must say that the main reason that ISIS became

stronger than Al Qaeda, which was the leader of all terrorist organizations, is

the support from Turkey. The Turkish military machine is much stronger

than the Saudi one. In addition the Americans were not putting many

restrictions on the supply of arms to Turkey and Israel, which was not the

case with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia was not seen by the Americans as

reliable as Turkey and Israel, not only because of China, but also because at

some point an anti-American leadership could come to power. Moreover Al

Qaeda does not have the support of all the Saudi elite, because it is an enemy

of the Saudi King.

Another reason that Al Qaeda is weaker than ISIS is that the United States

attacks Al Qaeda wherever they can, because Al Qaeda is for the US a

deadly enemy. On the contrary attacking ISIS creates problems in the

relationship between the US and Turkey, and therefore the Americans have

to show a lot more restraint when they attack ISIS.

For the Business Insider article see

“We’re getting to know just how different ISIS is from al Qaeda”, March

2015

3rd Paragraph

Unlike the self-proclaimed Islamic State, al Qaeda — led by bin Laden until his death in

2011 — was never overly concerned with the immediate formation of an Islamic

_caliphate. _

9th Paragraph

Whereas al Qaeda’s primary enemy has always been the United States, ISIS targets are

[much closer to home: Namely, apostate Shi’ite regimes _] _such as Bashar Assad’s [_government in Syria and Haider al-Abadi’s in Iraq that impede the creation of a “pure”, _]

_radically sectarian Islamic state. _

http://www.businessinsider.com/difference-between-isis-and-al-qaeda-2015-5

For the Guardian article see

“How Isis crippled al-Qaida”, June 2015

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/10/how-isis-crippled-al-qaida

Map 2

ISIS VS Al-Qaeda Part 2

A very nice article from the Wall Street Journal, titled “Paris Attacks Suggest

Shift in Islamic State’s Strategy”, November 2015. According to the article

the Paris terrorist attacks of November 2015 might signal a turn of ISIS

strategy. Until now ISIS was not targeting the West, but the Paris attacks

might show that this is no longer the case. According to the Wall Street

Journal there were some attacks on the West from ISIS sympathizers, but

none of them was believed to be orchestrated directly by ISIS. However the

Paris attacks were very sophisticated. See “Paris Attacks Suggest Shift in

Islamic State’s Strategy”, November 2015.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/paris-attacks-reflect-new-dangers-for-the-west-

1447517428?mod=fox_australian

I had already uploaded a document about ISIS and Al Qaeda, on August

2015. See “ISIS VS Al Qaeda”.

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2015/08/27/isis-vs-al-qaeda/

I was saying that Al Qaeda is mainly financed by Saudis, and it is not only

anti-Shiite, but also anti-American and anti-Western. On the other hand,

ISIS, at least until very recently, was only targeting Shiite Muslims and not

the West. The main explanation is that ISIS is mainly supported by Turkey,

while Al Qaeda is mainly supported from some parts of the Saudi elite. The

Saudis, actually the Iranians too, are hurt by the American efforts to bring

the oil and natural gas of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan) to the

Indian Ocean i.e. Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline etc.

The Turks are not hurt by such efforts. They would of course prefer to see

the oil and gas of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to flow to Turkey, and to

Europe through Turkey, but they are not hurt to the degree that the Arabs and

the Iranians are hurt. The Arabs and the Iranians sell their oil and gas mainly

to Asia.

Turkey on the other hand is hurt by the Iranian and Russian efforts to block

the Sunni Pipelines i.e. Turkish-Arab pipelines like the Qatar-Turkey one,

and by the Iranian efforts to promote the Shiite pipelines i.e. Iran-Iraq-Syria.

Map Sunni-Shiite Pipelines

For the United States, Syria is much less important than she is to the

Russians, the Iranians, the Arabs and the Turks. That’s why Donald Trump, a

candidate for the Republican Party’s presidency, was saying that the US

should not interfere in Syria and should let Russia bomb ISIS. See for

example CNN’s “Trump: Let Putin fight ISIS in Syria”, September 2015.

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/09/27/politics/donald-trump-isis-syria-russia-

60-minutes/

For the US, Iraq and Afghanistan are a lot more important than Syria. The

American military operations took place in Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq

(2003), and not in Syria. In Afghanistan the Sunni Islamists Taliban were

blocking the oil and gas of Central Asia to flow to the Indian Ocean. They

were of course training many terrorists against the US.

In Iraq, Saddam Hussein, a socialist Sunni Arab, was suppressing the Iraqi

Shiite majority, and the Kurds of Northern Iraq, who are very rich in oil and

natural gas, and they are natural American allies. Moreover, Saddam

Hussein was funding many socialist terrorist organizations which were

targeting the US, and he was as anti-American as it comes. Saddam Hussein

did not want elections in Iraq, because elections would bring to power the

Shiite Iraqi majority. Saddam was using socialism to downgrade religion and

offset the advantage of the Shiite majority over the Sunni minority of Iraq.

Under Saddam the Sunni minority was running the country, something that

changed when he was gone.

The West could not buy Iraqi oil, and could not allow the big western

companies to invest in Iraq, because Saddam would use the revenues to

finance his army and support terrorist organizations. This problem was gone

after Saddam was removed from power. Now the Iraqi oil flows to the

international markets, putting downward pressure on oil prices. Donald

Trump said that United States should not interfere with Syria, and let the

Russians fight ISIS, but he said that the American army should stay in Iraq

and fight ISIS in Iraq.

Therefore, for the Turks, until recently, the West was not a main problem.

Actually the Turks were expecting their NATO allies to help them overturn

Bashar al Assad in Syria and ask for elections. The majority of the Syrian

population are Sunni Muslims and therefore the Turks and the Arabs would

gain control in the case of free elections. There is of course the thorn of the

Syrian Kurds in American-Turkish relations, because the Americans support

the Kurds of Syria while the Turks are fighting them. But on the issue of

Assad the Turks were expecting a lot more support than they finally got

from their NATO allies.

I guess that the minimum that Russia will go for in Syria will be to keep the

Syrian coasts under Allawite control. Allawite Muslims are Russian allies

and are the majority at the Syrian coasts, as you can see at the following

Wikipedia map. With light green you can see the region with Allawite

majority at the Syrian costs, and with salmon you can see the regions with

Sunni majority. The map is for Syria in 1976, but the situation has not

changed much.

Map 1 Syria-Allawites

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cf/Syria_Ethno-

religious_composition..jpg

Therefore the Russians would not accept a solution with elections, without a

prior agreement about how the country would be run, because they know

that this would bring Syria under Sunni control, and would put their Allawite

allies on the side. Therefore if an agreement cannot be reached, the Russians

would prefer the partition of Syria, in order for the Allawites to stay in

power at the coasts of Syria. That way the Russians will control the exit of

oil and gas to the Mediterranean Sea.

Therefore, at least initially, the Turks were not worrying about the West. On

the contrary, Assad was a very close Russian and Iranian ally, and therefore

the Americans, who are a strong Turkish ally, and the French, who are a

strong Saudi ally, were asking for Assad to step down in order for free

elections to take place in Syria. Therefore for ISIS the West was useful,

while for Al Qaeda it was an enemy.

For Al Qaeda the West was a problem. The Americans were trying to bring

the oil and gas of Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. In addition, after

Saddam Hussein’s attack to Kuwait in 1991, the Americans established

American military bases in Saudi Arabia, and that infuriated some parts of

the Saudi elite. The problem was becoming more intense, because the

Americans were reducing their oil imports from the Persian Gulf, and with

their military presence they were turning China towards Iran. But China is

the client that both the Iranians and the Saudis are counting on for the future.

Moreover, the American military presence in Saudi Arabia was giving a

great advantage to Iran, Saudi Arabia’s main rival. The Iranians could accuse

the Saudis for being an ally of the “infidel” i.e. the unfaithful. Iranian

officials call the United States “the Great Satan”, and the Saudis were

collaborating with the “Great Satan”. Moreover, the Arab socialists i.e. Iraq,

Syria, Libya etc could also accuse the Saudis for treason due to their alliance

with the Americans.

These problems led to a series of terrorist attacks against the United States,

with the attack on the Twin Towers in September 2001 being the deadliest

and more important one. After the 9/11 attack, in 2002, the United States

moved their military bases from Saudi Arabia to Qatar. Qatar was more than

happy to accommodate the American bases, because these bases were

enhancing Qatar’s security. Qatar is located between Saudi Arabia and Iran,

and it feels pressure from both these countries. Qatar does not claim the

leadership of the Islamist World, and can deal with disadvantages in the

Qatari public opinion, because it is the country with the highest GDP per

capita, and has only 2 million very happy citizens. The rest of the people in

Qatar are foreigners who simply work there. For the attack on the Twin

Towers and the American military bases see “USA, Russia & China in the

Middle East : Alliances & Conflicts”.

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/usa-russia-china-in-the-middle-east-

alliances-conflicts/

Therefore you can see how different the interests of ISIS and Al Qaeda are.

Moreover there is the issue of oil, because ISIS sends cheap oil to Turkey,

from the oilfields that have come under ISIS control in Syria and Iraq. Some

of this oil is exported through Turkey’s port of Ceyhan in the Mediterranean

Sea. I guess that the Saudis are not happy with that. See “The Oilfields of

the Islamic State”.

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/the-oil-fields-of-the-islamic-state/

In addition the Saudis do not accept Turkey as the leader of the Islamic

World. As long as Turkey was under the control of the nationalist socialist

supporters of Kemal Ataturk, they did not want religion to play a major role

in Turkey’s politics. But that changed after the Islamists came to power in

2003. Turkey’s Islamists started trying to become the leader of the Islamic

world, and Saudi Arabia was the leader until then. Becoming the leader

would give Turkey a greater role in the oil and gas of the Middle East and

North Africa. We saw that contrary to what happened with Saudi Arabia,

Qatar was very happy to accept Erdogan as the Sultan of the Chaliphate. But

Saudi Arabia is a much more important country than Qatar.

Turkey is also the country with the strongest army in the Muslim world.

According to Business Insider Turkey has the 8th strongest country in the

world. See “The 35 Most Powerful Militaries In The World”, July 2014.

Picture The Strongest Armies in the World

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2014-7

However it seems that gradually the West is becoming a headache for

Turkey. There is the issue of oil and gas, but on top of that, Erdogan is

transforming Turkey to fascist country, and both the EU and the US are very

disappointed with him. Erdogan is closing media that criticize his party, and

puts a lot of pressure on the political opposition. Of course Erdogan says that

he does that because they are corrupted.

Therefore it seems that the West is constraining Turkey instead of helping

her, and as a result ISIS gradually turns against the West. I guess that’s what

the Wall Street Journal is trying to say with this article, even though she does

not mention the oil and gas interests. However I must say that it is not only

the Turks and the Qataris who support ISIS. In all Muslim countries there

are ISIS supporters. For example in Nigeria, a country 50% Christian and

50% Muslim, the Sunni terrorist organization Boko Haram aligned itself

with the Islamic State, and even changed its name to ISWAP (Islamic State

of West African Province). Obviously the members of Boko Haram are not

Turks or Qataris. They are Nigerians. But I mainly refer to Turkey, because

she is the strongest Muslim country, and Qatar, because Qatar has plenty of

liquidity and finances Islamist militants on the battlefields and European

socialists in European parliaments.

The Qataris, and all the Arabs, are financing the European left, in order to

send Muslim immigrants to Europe. This will give the Muslim world great

leverage over European politics. If the Europeans do not buy their oil and

gas, and if they dare to bomb their islamist militants, they will have to suffer

attacks like the one suffered by France on Friday 13th November 2015. It is

no coincidence that ISIS attacked Stade de France too, where there was a

game between France and Germany. The Jihadists wanted to send a message

to Germany too. It is through Germany that the Russian gas enters Europe

(Nord Stream 1).

Now, with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that Russia and Germany are

promoting, they will double the Russian natural gas that enters Europe

through Germany, from 55 to 110 billion cubic meters per year. Erdogan,

together with the communist Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras are

sending to Germany hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants.

At the following two tables from the United Nations you can see how the

influx of illegal immigrants was affected by the rise to power of the

communist party of SYRIZA in Greece. SYRIZA won the Greek elections in

January 25th 2015. Three are the dates that really matter for the European

immigration crisis. The first one is 2011, when the energy wars (Arab

Spring) begin in North Africa and the Middle East. The second one is

February 2014, when the leftist Mateo Renzi wins the Italian elections, and

opens the Italian borders to illegal immigrants. The third and most important

date is January 2015, when the communist Alexis Tsipras wins the Greek

elections.

Tsipras, a communist and Islamist ally, completely reversed the immigration

policies of Antonis Samaras, who was a patriot, and the influx of illegal

immigrants that entered Greece jumped from 75.000 in 2014 to over 600.000

in 2015. And that was at the end of October 2015 and not at year end.. At the

end of the year the figures will be even higher. All the problems that the

European Union is experiencing with illegal immigration, which have

almost led to closed European borders, are caused by the Greek Communists

and Erdogan.

Picture 1

http://data.unhcr.org/mediterranean/regional.php

Picture 2

http://data.unhcr.org/mediterranean/regional.php

I must also say one more thing about France. France and Germany are

famous for having problematic relations with Turkey. But France does not

only have a problem with Jihadists in the Middle East. France did indeed

bomb ISIS oil facilities a few days before the Paris attacks, and that

definitely played a role. See for example Yahoo “French strike hits IS oil

facility in Syria”, November 2015.

http://news.yahoo.com/french-strike-hits-oil-facility-syria-143954467.html

However North Africa is more important than the Middle East for France.

France is getting her raw materials mainly from Africa i.e. Algeria, Libya,

Niger, Nigeria etc. The French do want to support their Saudi allies in Syria

and Iraq, but North Africa is more important for France. France has to fight

against ISIS in Northern Africa too. France is fighting both Sunni and Shiite

Jihadists in Africa. France has many problems with Iran too. But now I am

talking about France and Turkey, and I mainly refer to Turkey because

Turkey is the largest Sunni Islamist country. It is difficult for me to imagine

that some ISIS members would have slaughtered the French if they knew

that Turkey would really disapprove. Therefore what I am saying is not that

Erdogan gave the order for the attack. I am only saying that the Paris attacks

gives more leverage to Erdogan over Europe.

[*Who is Responsible for the War and the Immigrants? *]

Who is responsible for the war in Iraq and Syria, and for the hundreds of

dead, wounded and dislocated people? The socialist propaganda says that it

is the Americans who have caused these wars. But this is a terrible lie. It is

true that the United States attacked Saddam Hussein in 2003. Saddam

Hussein was a Russian ally and the socialist dictator of Iraq. The Americans

could have overturned Saddam in 1991, when they again attacked Iraq, when

Saddam invaded Kuwait and set its oilfields on fire. They did not do it at the

time, even though they destroyed his army and reached Baghdad.

However they did overturn him in 2003. Was that something wrong?

Saddam Hussein was oppressing the Iraqi Kurds, and he was a Sunni

Muslim, who was governing a country with a majority of Shiite Muslims.

The Sunni minority of Saddam Hussein was not only oppressing the Iraqi

Kurds, but it was also oppressing the majority of the Iraqi Shiite Muslims.

After Saddam’s overturn in 2003, the Iraqi Shiites, who were the majority,

took control of the country, and the Iraqi Kurds could finally leave without

fear.

It was not the overturn of Saddam Hussein that caused the war of 2011,

which in turn caused thousands of immigrants. It was something very

different. In 2009 Turkey and Qatar asked the Arabs of Syria to agree on the

construction of the Qatar-Turkey Pipeline (red line), which would send Arab

natural gas to Turkey and Europe. The Syrians refused, even though this

pipeline would be to Syria’s interest too, because this pipeline would harm

the economic interests of Gazrpom in Europe, and Russia is a Syrian ally.

Then, the Russians proposed to construct the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline (green

line), in order to block for good the Qatar-Turkey pipeline.

Picture 1

The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline would still compete with Gazprom in Europe,

but it would be harmless when compared to a Turkish-Arab pipeline that

would run through Turkey. Moreover the Iran-Syria pipeline would be

controlled by Gazprom. The Iraqis and the Syrians agreed to the Iran-Iraq-

Syria pipeline, and that infuriated the Turks and the Arabs, who attacked

Syria and Iraq. That’s the cause of the war. What could have the Americans

done? Ask the Syrians to allow the Qatar-Turkey pipeline? Or ask the

Russians not to push the Iran-Syria pipeline in order not to infuriate the

Turks and the Arabs? What could they have done?

Gazprom did not need the natural gas of the region. Russia is the richest

country in the world in terms of natural gas reserves. The only reason the

Russians decided to promote the Iran-Syria pipeline was to block the Qatar-

Turkey one. For the Americans it would be better if both the Qatar-Turkey

and the Iran-Syria pipeline were constructed, because that would mean lower

prices. The war in Syria and Iraq was very good for Russia but very bad for

the Americans.

Moreover, the Russians supply with arms the Kurds of the PKK in Eastern

Turkey (purple X), in order to prevent the construction of the Southern

Energy Corridor (TANAP-TAP pipelines), which will transfer natural gas

from the Caspian Sea and the Middle East to Europe through Turkey, hurting

Gazprom. How can the Americans stop the Kurds of the PKK from attacking

the Turks? The war between the PKK and Turkey is good only for Russia.

The Americans want peace in Eastern Turkey in order for the Southern

Energy Corridor to go ahead.

Moreover, is it a US fault that the Saudis and the Iranians are two of the

richest in oil countries in the world, and they kill each other over their oil

exports? What can the Americans do about that? The war is not good for the

Americans. The Americans are oil importers and they want low prices. The

oil wars lead to higher oil prices. This is good for Russians who are oil

exporters. It is not the Americans who are responsible for the war in Syria

and Iraq and for all these immigrants.

For more details see

“USA, Russia & China in the Middle East”

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/usa-russia-china-in-the-middle-east-

alliances-conflicts/

Picture 2

England VS Argentina

The Falkland Islands belong to England since her glorious days. Argentina

considers the Islands part of her territory, and the two countries went to a

war in 1982 for these islands. England won the war and managed to keep the

Islands under British control.

http://www.operationworld.org/files/ow/maps/lginset/falk-LMAP-md.png

Picture 2

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falklands_War#/media/File:Falklands,_Campa

ign,_(Distances_to_bases)_1982.jpg

As usual, Argentina and England fight for the control of the Islands because

their seabed are supposed to be rich in oil. As you can read at the following

Telegraph article, titled “New Falklands oil discovery could stir trouble with

Argentina”, May 2015, a field with 1 billion barrel of oil was recently

discovered near the Falklands, and this discovery increased the tension

between England and Argentina. One billion barrels of oil is not much when

compared to Venezuela’s 300 billion barrels, but in absolute terms it is a

very large quantity. And these waters are difficult to explore, so there is a

possibility of further discoveries.

After the Argentinean attack of 1982, the English have enhanced the Island’s

defense capabilities. The British aircrafts that are stationed on the Islands are

much more advanced than the Argentinean counterparts. Argentina

announced that the companies that will explore the oil reserves of the

Falklands will not have the right to participate in the development of the

Argentinean fields. Argentina is one of the richest countries in the world in

terms of shale oil and shale gas, as you can see at the following Energy

Information Table.

Picture 3

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=14431

I must also mention that the Falklands are important for England because

they give her access to the South Ocean and the South Pole i.e. the region of

Antarctica, as you can see at the following map.

Picture 4

h ttp : // w

ww . w

orldatlas . c om / i mg / aream

ap / c ontinent / a ntartica _ m

ap . gif

See also “Shale Oil and Shale Gas Reserves”

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/shale-oil-and-shale-gas-reserves/

For the Telegraph article see “New Falklands oil discovery could stir trouble

with Argentina”, May 2015

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/1163562

7/New-Falklands-oil-discovery-could-stir-trouble-with-Argentina.html

[*Gazprom VS ENI : A New War In East *]

[*Mediterranean Sea? *]

As you can read at the following BBC article, titled “Italy’s Eni discovers

huge gas field off Egyptian coast”, August 2015, ENI, the Italian energy

giant discovered a huge natural gas field in the Egyptian waters in August

2015.

“Italy’s Eni discovers huge gas field off Egyptian coast”, August 2015.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34102656

The Italian public is ENI’s largest shareholder, and the Russians had given

ENI a 20% stake in the South Stream pipeline. Therefore the Russians had

the Italian support against the EU anti-monopolistic regulation which

threatens Russian interests in Europe. After the cancellation of the South

Stream and the agreement for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline it seems that Italy

and Russia will go separate ways. See “The Clouds Over the Russian-Italian

Relations”.

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/the-clouds-over-the-russian-italian-

relations/

In September 2015 Russia decided to significantly increase her military

presence in Syria. See for example the following Time article, titled “Russia

Has Added Dozens of Aircraft to Its Growing Military Presence in Syria”,

September 2015.

http://time.com/4043955/russia-syria-latakia-28-aircraft-assad-isis/

Syria is very important for Russia because an Arab-Turkish pipeline could

be constructed in order to send natural gas from the Persian Gulf to Europe

through Turkey and Syria. However after the war broke out the construction

of such a pipeline network was not possible, and therefore it is strange that

Russia suddenly decided to increase her military presence in Syria in such a

massive scale. The Russian reinforcements are more strange if it is taken

into account that the Americans do not seem very interested in the removal

from power of the Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad, who is also an Iranian

and Russian ally. See for example “Kerry’s remarks on Syria trouble

Turkey”, September 2015

“Kerry’s remarks on Syria trouble Turkey”, September 2015

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/09/turkey-usa-syria-ankara-

angered-kerry-remarks.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+

%5BEnglish%5D&utm_campaign=891335b2d9-

September_23_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-

891335b2d9-102393785

As you can read at the Al Monitor article, many members of parliament in

the United States wonder whether Assad’s removal should be a priority for

the United States, given that the Islamic State (ISIS) is causing so much

trouble. Turkey’s influence over the Islamic State is not a secret. But why

would the Americans want the Turks to have Syria under their control, given

how aggressive Turkey has become in her energy policy? It would be much

better for the Americans if there were two energy corridors instead of one

i.e. the Caspian Sea-Turkey-Europe corridor and the Iran-Iraq-Syria-

Mediterranean Sea-Europe one. If Turkey were to control Syria she would

be able to blackmail the Americans and the European. See the following

map.

Map 1

The more pipelines there are connecting the Middle East and the Caspian

Sea to Europe the better it is for the Americans and the Europeans. Turkey is

no longer the loyal American ally she used to be.

Therefore given that the Americans are not very interested in Assad fall, and

there is no possibility, at least for the moment, of an Arab-Turkish pipeline,

it is strange that Russia decide to increase her military presence in Syria in

such a dramatic way. As you can read at the following Stratfor article, titled

“Russia Uses Syria to Influence Other Powers”, Russia increases her

military presence in Syria in order to put pressure on Israel and Turkey, and

not to protect Assad.

https://www.stratfor.com/geopolitical-diary/russia-uses-syria-influence-

other-powers

I mentioned ENI’s recent discovery in Egypt. In addition to this discovery

the Israelis agreed to sell natural gas to the Italian ENI and the Spanish

Repsol from Tamar, which is their second largest gas field, holding more

than 300 billion cubic meters of natural gas. See “Israel’s Agreement with

the Italian ENI and the Spanish Repsol”.

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2015/09/22/israels-agreement-with-the-italian-

eni-and-the-spanish-repsol/

Map 2 Israeli Gas Fields : Leviathan and Tamar

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/cyprus/2013-03-20/trouble-eastern-

mediterranean-sea

As you can see at the following map, Egypt’s LNG facilities are located at

the Nile Delta.

Map 3

https://www.eni.com/it_IT/attachments/investor-

relations/presentazioni/2004/Damietta_PDFok.pdf

As you can read at the following Reuters article, titled “Damietta LNG plant

files complaint against Egypt's EGAS –source”, April 2014, 80% of the

LNG facility at the Egyptian port of Damietta belongs to ENI and Union

Fenosa Gas (Repsol+La Caixa), and the rest 20% belongs to the Egyptian

state-owned companies EGAS and EGPC.

2nd Paragraph

The Damietta LNG plant is 80 percent-owned by Union Fenosa Gas (UFG), a joint

venture between Spain’s Gas Natural and Italy’s Eni. The remaining 20 percent is split

[_evenly between state-owned companies EGAS and EGPC. _]

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/24/egypt-gas-idUSL6N0DB30820130424

For the shareholder structure of Union Fenosa Gas see “Israel’s Agreement

with the Italian ENI and the Spanish Repsol”.

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2015/09/22/israels-agreement-with-the-italian-

eni-and-the-spanish-repsol/

For the Nile Delta see the following map.

Map 4

http://www.tageo.com/index-e-eg-v-00-d-m467239.htm

For Egypt’s LNG facilities see also Wikipedia

“Overview of Infrastructure in Egypt”

[_In Egypt there are two liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities, Egyptian LNG and SEGAS, _]

both of which are under the control of a consortium of national and international oil

companies. The Egyptian LNG plant consists of two operating facilities located in Idku

[on the Mediterranean coastline, with a 3.6 million ton per year capacity each.5 _] _With the capability to accommodate the largest LNG vessels up to 160,000 cubic meters, the

[LNG port at Idku is the largest specialized LNG export facility in Egypt. [6] _] _The SEGAS

plant has a capacity of 5 million tons per year and is located in Damietta, further east of

[Idku and also on the Mediterranean.7 _] _There are plans to expand both terminals in the near future, depending on export policy changes.8

According the EIA country profile, around 70 percent of Egypt’s natural gas is exported

_in the form of LNG, which amounted approximately 12.7 billion cubic meters in 2009. _

_The In the same year, the United States was the largest recipient of Egyptian LNG, _

_representing 35 percent of Egyptian LNG exports for the year and also 35 percent of U.S. _

LNG imports. Egyptian LNG export also went to Spain (32 percent) and France (13

percent) with smaller volumes travelling to Canada, Mexico, Asia and other European

countries.9

http://wiki.openoil.net/index.php?

title=Overview_of_Infrastructure_in_Egypt#LNG_Facilities

The Nile Delta with its LNG facilities is a threat for Turkey, Qatar and Iran,

and it is vulnerable to terrorist attacks. See for example the following

Breitbart article, titled “11 wounded in explosion in egypt’s Νile Δelta”,

October 2014.

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2014/10/17/11-wounded-in-

explosion-in-egypt-s-nile-delta/

ENI’s growing presence in the East Mediterranean Sea is a big problem for

Russia too. Russia is always trying to cause wars in the regions that threaten

her energy policy. That’s what Russia did in Syria. In 2009 Russia asked the

Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad to block the Qatar-Turkey-Europe pipeline,

which was promoted by Turkey and Qatar, and in return Gazprom offered to

construct the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline, and Syria agreed. The Turks and the

Arabs of the Gulf were infuriated and attacked Syria. War was the best

outcome for Russia. For Russia the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline was not as bad

as the Qatar-Syria one, but it was still pretty bad. It would still be

competition for Russia in Europe. War was the optimal outcome for Russia.

Map 5 Iran-Iraq-Syria and Qatar-Turkey Pipelines

Russia used the same approach in the Turkish Kurdistan. Russia generously

supported the Kurds of the PKK in Turkey, and a war between Turkey and

the Kurds has almost broken out, which can block the Southern Energy

Corridor.

Map 6 Kurdistan and Southern Energy Corridor

There is also a problem between the rich in oil and gas Kurds of Iraq and the

poor Kurds of Turkey, because the Kurds of Iraq need Turkey in order to

export their oil and gas. See also “Who is Responsible for the War”

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2015/08/21/who-is-responsible-for-the-war-and-

the-immigrants/

Russia’s main export market is Europe, and the Russian energy policy is

mainly about how to protect her oil and gas sales to Europe. Since Russia’s

strategy is to cause war in the regions that threaten her energy policy i.e. her

sales to Europe, we should assume that she will try to do exactly the same in

the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, a region posing a threat for Russian exports.

Russia has three options in order to destabilize the region. The first one is

Egypt, the second one is Cyprus, and the third one is Israel.

Map 7

Cyprus is a member of the European Union, but a traditional Russian ally.

Egypt was an ally of the Soviet Union until the mid 70s, when it became an

American ally. Recently Egypt has moved towards Russia again, because the

United States accepted the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Turkey was

behind the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and the Americans need Turkey a

lot more than they need Egypt. The Russians know that the Americans need

Turkey a lot more than they need Egypt, and therefore Egypt will need

Russia. Therefore the Russians do not want to cause problems in the

Egyptian-Russian relations. After all there is already a lot of turmoil in

Egypt, because Turkey, Qatar and Iran are supporting many terrorist attacks

against Egypt from Libya and the Gaza Strip.

Israel on the other hand depends on the US for its survival. Israel and Russia

have significantly improved their relations due to their cooperation against

the Islamist militants supported by Turkey and Qatar. Israel also gave

Gazprom exclusive rights over a part of its second largest gas field Tamar.

See Wall Street Journal “Gazprom Signs Deal to Market Israel’s Tamar LNG

Project”, February 2013.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB100014241278873243386045783282319391

57040

However the Russians know that Israel is dependent on US for its survival,

and if Israel has to choose between Russia and the United States it would

have to go for the United States. Therefore Israel might be the ideal

geographical location for Russia to start a war. At the following Stratfor

article, titled “Russia Uses Syria to Influence Other Powers”, September

2015, you can read that the reason Russia is increasing her military presence

in Syria is because she wants to put pressure on Israel and Turkey.

https://www.stratfor.com/geopolitical-diary/russia-uses-syria-influence-

other-powers

At the following Business Insider article, titled “Hezbollah is joining a

formal alliance with Russia, Iran, and the Syrian regime”, September 2015,

you can read that Russia is forming an official alliance with Hezbollah in

Lebanon.

http://www.businessinsider.com/hezbollah-is-joining-a-formal-alliance-with-russia-iran-

and-the-syrian-regime-2015-9?

nr_email_referer=1&utm_content=emailshare&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Trigge

rmail&utm_campaign=BI%20Select%20%28Wednesday%20Friday%29%202015-09-

23&utm_term=Business%20Insider%20Select

Hezbollah is Israel’s number one rival in Southern Lebanon, and it is a Shite

Muslim organization supported by Iran. If Hezbollah is supported by Russia

she will be a lot more confident and a lot more aggressive towards Israel.

Until now, if Syria and Lebanon attempted to bring weapons of mass

destruction near Israel, Israel would destroy them. But now the Russians will

have advanced radars, anti-aircraft missiles and aircrafts in Syria, and if they

support Hezbollah they will make life much harder for Israel, because there

will be a high probability of a clash between Russian and Israeli forces.

What I am trying to say with all the above is that Israel might be the best

location which can be used by Russia to destabilize the region, and also

punish Israel for its agreement with ENI and Repsol.

Israel and ENI are not the only “lucky” ones to worry about the rising

Russian presence in Syria. Turkey is another player the Russians are aiming

at. In August 2015 Russia signed an agreement for Nord Stream 2, which

will double the capacity of the Russo-German network from 55 to 110

billion cubic meters per year. Turkey wants to send natural gas to Europe in

order to earn transit fees and receive discounts on energy prices, but also to

increase her geopolitical importance. If the Russians are flooding Europe

with Russian gas through Germany, that goal becomes much harder for

Turkey. After the Russians made the Nord Stream 2 agreement the Turks

announced they would freeze discussion over the Turk Stream pipeline. The

Turk Stream pipeline is a Russo-Turkish pipeline which will send Russian

natural gas to Europe through Turkey. Turkey of course prefers the Southern

Energy Corridor (TANAP-TAP) which will provide Europe with an

alternative for the Russian gas. The Turks have always made it clear that

they are interested in the Turk Stream project as long as it does not pose a

threat to the Southern Energy Corridor, and that’s something that really

annoys the Russians.

In August and September 2015 some major events took place. The Kurds of

the PKK, which are mainly supported by Russia, attacked the South

Caucasus Pipeline (Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey). The Islamic State (ISIS)

carried out its first attack in the Russian province of Dagestan. The Russians

signed the agreement for the Nord Stream 2. The Turks announced they are

freezing discussions for the Turk Steam Pipeline. The Russians increased

their military presence in Syria. Therefore the increased Russian presence in

Syria has three targets i.e. ENI, Israel and Turkey.

Everything I say is a simple discussion of what is happening today, and it

does not mean that any of it will come true. Russia might sort things out

with ENI, Israel or Turkey. I do not know what I will happen tomorrow. I am

only discussing what is happening today.

Document Outline

  • “Turkey and Kazakhstan: A relationship to cherish”, April 2015
  • 1st and 2nd Paragraph
  • t year, Kazakhstan will celebrate the 25th year of its independence. With a population of over 17 million and a large landmass, it is one of the pivotal states of Central Asia. It is also strategically situated between two major powers: Russia and China. Kazakhstan has extensive economic and political relations with Europe and the U.S. This makes Kazakhstan a country of ‘balance-politics,’ where the Kazakh leadership seeks a foreign policy based on regional cooperation and global engagement. President Erdogan visited Kazakhstan on April 16-17 to hold the second meeting of the High Level Strategic Council between the two countries. Turkey was the first country to recognize Kazakhstan’s independence in 1991. Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s President, still recounts with gratitude how Turgut Ozal, President of Turkey at the time, called him only two hours after Kazakhstan declared independence. Since then, the two countries developed close relations at political, economic and cultural levels. Turkish companies have completed projects worth $20 billion. The 2014 trade volume was over $3 billion. The goal is to reach $10 billion over the next five years.
  • 6th Paragraph
  • Many elements unite Turkey and Kazakhstan. Economic relations, as mentioned before, are gaining strength, although there is more work to be done to reach the $10 billion trade goal. The two countries see each other as political allies, and they cooperate on numerous regional and global issues from the group of Central Asian Turkish republics to the U.N.
  • “Turkey, Turkmenistan seal new energy deals”, March 2015

The Geopolitics of Energy & Terrorism Part 1

The following chapters are independent essays that were written between July 2015 and February 2016. They appear in random order, and therefore they do not have to be read in the order they appear. The issue in all the essays is the connection between the energy policies of various countries, their foreign policies, and the wars that break out at various parts of the globe, since all three are closely related. I describe many economic interests and many alliances in my essays. But alliances change and so do economic interest. Therefore what is more important for the reader is to have an idea of the global resources i.e. oil and natural gas in my essays, because global resources change at a much lower pace than economic interests and economic alliances. The alliances and conflicts I describe in my essays might not exist in the near future, but if you have an idea of the global resources you will be able to see the alliances and the economic interests that will exist in the future.

  • ISBN: 9781311182449
  • Author: Iakovos Alhadeff
  • Published: 2016-02-18 15:20:15
  • Words: 13934
The Geopolitics of Energy & Terrorism Part 1 The Geopolitics of Energy & Terrorism Part 1