Middle East gas pipelines. Lesson forty

Both Russia and the United States are primarily active in Syria due to planned gas pipelines, and due to oil and gas discovered by the Israelis. The picture below shows two proposed gas pipelines and a yellow circle that marks oil discoveries, which are expected to surpass the total oil reserves in Saudi Arabia. The supposed oil field lies at the Golan Heights occupied by Israel on the border with Syria.

The gas pipeline between Qatar (see picture above) and Turkey further into Europe was a proposal from Qatar in 2009 to connect a gas pipeline to the existing “Nabucco pipeline”, which runs between Iran-Turkey and Baku-Turkey up to the borders of Europe, to supply Turkey and Europe with gas. One intended route was to be stretched through Saudi Arabia-Jordan-Syria and another route through Saudi Arabia-Kuwait-Iraq. Syria opposed the proposal from Qatar on the grounds that Syria wanted to “defend its Russian allies, Europe’s leading natural gas supplier”.

The Russian preferred gas pipeline (see illustration) whose route would run between Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon and into the Mediterranean may have been more likely to get enforced. But if the Kremlin have a choice, it will not come about either. It is very interesting that Lebanon seemingly is to be one of the transit countries for the gas from Iran. That country could easily be circumvented and thus you could have avoided added troubles.

The oil and gas discoveries at the Golan Heights (see yellow ring in the picture above) have been awarded by Netanyahu’s government and is intended to be exploited by a company called Genie Oil and Gas. The oil discovery, which was discovered in 2015, is located within a 246 square kilometer area at the southern Golan Heights. Genie Oil and Gas has heavy names such as former defense minister Dick Cheney, British banker Jacob Rothschild, ex. CIA chief James Woolsey and media mogul Rupert Murdoch, in its Strategic Advisory Board, a board chaired by the founder of the company, the oil magnate Howard Jonas. Howard Jonas himself sits on ten billion barrels of oil in the US and forty billion barrels of oil in Israel. In addition, there are huge gas deposits in the waters outside Israel at 1,500 meters depth which are expected to be exploited starting in 2019 to supply Israel with gas for 40 years to come.

The Brexit election took place in June 2016 at a time when Barrack Obama was still president and before the US presidential election that year. It was defacto Obama who paved the way for Brexit, not David Cameron, Theresa May or Donald Trump! David Cameron was at the end of his political career, and Theresa May was about to replace Cameron as Prime Minister at the time of the Brexit election. Obama did what he did just because of the oil at the Golan Heights and in Uganda because he felt that the US could only bring one country in Europe, their foremost allied, Britain, aboard the lifeboat. It was Obama’s farewell gift to mainland Europe. “You can manage best you can!” He didn’t say that, but that’s what he meant. Trump just got the issue landing in his lap by the unscrupulous Obama, but was quick to “go along with it”, without any moral concerns whatsoever. The United States and Britain have kept the rest of Europe in the dark.

I don’t think Israel as a state has been involved in the plot even though they have been involved in the deal. Although a British Jew, Jacob Rothschild, is on the board and is a financier for Genie Oil and Gas, this does not mean that all of Israel are involved in this plot, it would be dishonest to claim such a thing. Israel knows they must follow God’s will to survive as a nation in their small part of the world. They can’t do anything about it anyway, they have to struggle to survive as a state themselves.

I suspect this Anglo-Saxon strategy makes America no longer a God state. “America takes care of their own!” And this is not in Israel’s interest. Rather, much of Israel is an involuntary passenger in an imbecill drunk drivers vehicle. All Israel as passengers can do are to make the driver aware of the dangers that appears during their journey and try to lead the driver along the safest road for both drivers and passengers as well as other road users. There are of course many voluntary passengers including Netanyahu in this unsafe, crazy and stupid ride. But we don’t know if Trump’s politics are for the worst yet, sometimes the most unpredictable persons can be right. We only know that the ride is unpredictable and unsafe. But if other players are predictable the outcome can still be for the best or it can at least be tolerable.

 

Homework:

Do you think that Israel as a common state knows that the drunken driver is slamming into innocent pedestrians on his ride?

If yes, what do you think it will induce for Israel’s safety as a state?

https://anchor.fm/roger-mikael-klang/

Roger M. Klang, defense political Spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

 

6) China: the Silk Road. Lesson thirtyeight

New or modernized and expanded Chinese railway line in the picture below. Will it be difficult because of mountainous areas to connect this railway line to the already existing railway that extends south of the Caspian Sea from east to west through Iran and into central Turkey and Ankara and beyond to Istanbul? There is nothing that suggest it. The oil from Baku must reach further, otherwise it would make no sense to build a railway line from Baku to Turkey. But the oil does not come by railway trains. There are existing oil pipelines from Baku to Istanbul via Georgia, and from Baku to Turkey’s southeast coastal area via Georgia. Russia is present in Syria’s western coastal area south of Turkey, with a naval base in Tartous with the S-400 and S-300 air defense systems deployed, and an airbase protected by air defense systems in Latakia located about 100 km north of Tartous. Given these oil pipes running through Turkey and the railway line that looks like it stops indefinitely on the map below, who knows where it will be drawn next.

There are reportedly also 40,000 Russian citizens in Syria of which most probably are tourists in the unharmed Tartous or Latakia or the rather untouched central Aleppo, whose presence should not be extenuated when Russia implements its major strategy plans and tries to obstruct others. Russia is now (2018) caught up in the game. China wants to expand the oil pipelines to Turkey’s southeastern coastal area, Russia probably does not want this as long as China also aspires to expand the “Silk Road Economic Belt” by land towards Europe, because this threatens Russia’s southern front.

Russia is thus dependent on the turncoat state of Turkey and that Beijing does not have Turkey in their pocket, and they have, among other things, therefore, had negotiations with Turkey about initiating a sale of the S-400 Triumph air defense system to the country. Turkey has already made an advance payment and is hoping for delivery by 2019. The issue is discussed according to what Kremlin adviser Vladimir Kozhin told the Russian news agency TASS in September 2017. The Russian leadership is often forced to concentrate resources, preparations and efforts to Russia’s southern and eastern borders. Many times it is of a military and economic nature. These playfields are primarily much more important for Russia’s security than the Baltic issue is. Much of their strategy in the northwest is a luxury they can sometimes engage in.

Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey thus put an 826 km long railway on their territories (reported in November 2017). The question is whether the Chinese want or intend to resolve the issue of how to pass over or under the 300 km (186 miles) long stretch of the Caspian Sea. Traveling 300 km across the Caspian Sea from Turkmenistan to the oil-rich Baku by ship is a realistic solution. They also probably see a solution with an existing railway line south of the Caspian Sea in Iran. I don’t think Russia is happy about these plans because the influence over the oil-rich Baku is slipping over to China’s court. The Russian interest will probably be shifted to the south and towards China in the near future. But in St. Petersburg and in Kaliningrad, Russia’s plans will continue as usual. It is cunningly done by the Chinese to make Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey invest in China’s evil scheemes for Europe. But this railway is just one of all the railways, roads and fairways, which together make up the modern Chinese Silk Road Economic Belt project. Bit by bit and under obscurity, they are single-mindedly building on this logistical venture’s partly civilian project and partly military project. The silk road is the largest logistic project of all time, which requires a well-developed infrastructure, project planning and investments in transit countries.

The problem with the silk road project is not primarily that there are no good roads. It is laying down oil and gas pipelines, the creation and maintenance of infrastructure such as gas stations, service stations, power stations, drinking water, animal husbandry, agricultural production, food processing and irrigation projects in the silk road transit countries that the challenge lies in. It requires even more fuel and resources of fresh water. Creating opportunities for this can easily be a geopolitical gamble. It will be difficult to provide maintenance support for entire armies. Deserts must be crossed and power plants require fuel, nuclear power plants require water, personnel require drinking water. Perhaps one has to bypass some of the railways with a regular road where the transported vehicles move on their own machine. But they can also lay down water pipes to the steam generator in nuclear power plants. Not even on a multi-track railway, can you transport as many combat vehicles as needed in a short time. Towing vehicles, drinking water, fuel, tires, service personnel, spare parts and rolling mechanical service stations for trucks will require a large part of the space in the trains. Iran doesn’t lack oil but they have a quality on their oil that is not suitable for making diesel from, which means that diesel is rationed and reserved for Iranian truck drivers.

Locomotives probably require relatively flat ground if they are to be able to pull long and heavy trains fully loaded with tanks and fuel. That being said, the world’s highest railway line is Chinese and crosses the Kunlun Shan 3,000-5,000 meters above sea level. It is called the Qingzang railway. It is conceivable that a railway line, if it is not stretched over or through mountains, runs from Inner Mongolia (belonging to China) to Gansu to the Uighur land Xinjiang, into Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and further via southern Iran along the coast of the Persian Gulf and further northwest through Iraq and Syria and southern Turkey. In a war, southern Turkey becomes the most vulnerable stretch, requiring control of the eastern Mediterranean. From Beijing to Istanbul, the train route is >14,000 km of country road which I describe above. But the Chinese may have to punch at least one hole in the Chinese wall, which is actually several walls from different eras and which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

 

The Chinese are planning infrastructure investments for a railroad, a country road and oil pipelines between the port city of Gwadar in southwestern Pakistan and Kashgar in western China, or are already building them. It sounds quite logical. What then follows causally is that China completes the port of Gwadar for their Naval forces and merchant ships in southern Pakistan at the Arabian Sea and a military airport, if they get permission from Pakistan. According to the Financial Times web release in May 2011, Pakistan’s Defense Minister has requested from China to build a Chinese military base for Gwadar’s port. In Uganda 1 200 km southwest of Djibouti there are giant oil reserves. It does not have to be said that the great powers are fighting hard for these oil reserves, which are estimated to exceed the total oil reserves of the OPEC countries put together.

It has been established that the total raw material resources under the Caspian Sea is almost twice as large as all commodity assets in the whole of the United States. Kurdistan has the so-called Taq taq field and has increased its production of oil more than one hundred times from 2,000 barrels of oil a day since new discoveries were discovered in the 00’s. On the border between Kazakhstan and Russia, there are huge reserves in the Karachaganak field, 42 trillion cubic feet of natural gas as well as liquid natural gas and crude oil. In Turkmenistan, there are gas assets of no less than seven hundred trillion calculated cubic feet in the ground, the fourth largest deposit in the world. In addition, gold mines in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are part of the Tian Shan belt. These are the second largest gold deposits in the world after the Witwatersrand mountain in South-Africa. Both Beryllium, Dysprosium and other Rare Earth Element metals have been found in Kazakhstan. These are important in the manufacture of mobile phones, laptops and rechargeable batteries, as well as Uranium and Plutonium which are necessary for nuclear energy and nuclear warheads.

In eastern Ukraine towards the border with Russia in the Donetsk basin, where there is a state of war, there are coal resources with up to about ten billion tonnes. U.S. Geological Service states that there are 1.4 billion barrels of oil and 2.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in addition to considerable amounts of liquid natural gas. Also the fertile black topsoil of Ukraine and southern Russia is sought after. A non-governmental organization has concluded that land worth nearly $ 1 billion in Ukraine alone is being dug up and sold annually. Crop failure and war in Ukraine affect both the price of technology products, cereals and oil.

An expanded and existing railway line between China-Germany will soon reach Paris. Major investments in those transcontinental rail lines have opened for freight routes along the more than 11,000 km long international Iuxinous railway, which runs from China to Duisburg in Germany. 800 m long trains have begun to transport millions of laptops, shoes, clothing and other consumer goods in one direction, and electronics, car parts and medical equipment in the other on a journey that takes 16 days. Significantly faster than the sea route from Chinese ports in the Pacific. Source: The Silk Roads; by Peter Frankopan

Sources:
The Silk Roads; by Peter Frankopan
SR;Ekot

 

Homework:

We know that the US facilitates the economic development of the Central Asian former Sovjet republic “Stan-countries”. But it can be for more than one reason. Why do you think the US do this? I mean, they’ve already left Afghanistan.

Justify your answer please.

Roger M. Klang, defense political Spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

Why Syria. Lesson eleven

This is not the full story about Syria, I make no claim that it is!

Following the ”Arabic spring” we saw the ISIS terror organization grow out of it. It is very hard to keep track on the events in Syria because of the many belligerent participators. The protagonists in the Syrian drama are mainly Israel, the United States, Iran, Russia, Turkey, ISIS, the Syrian forces and later on a couple of rebell groups, all of them with their own agenda. Massive smokescreens have been layed in a fog of war by the participators in order to conceal their true intentions or even their own participation in this war and how.

Turkey’s President Erdogan apologized in a letter to President Putin in June 2016 for the downing of a Russian fighter plane somewhere near the border between Turkey and Syria in November 2015. The pilot was killed, according to Putin’s press spokesman. Exactly on which side of the border the fighter Aircraft was shot down is contested.

The letter opened up for a thawing in the icey relations between the two countries. Putin initiated economic sanctions after the downing of the Russian airplane, and he also ended the Russian people’s extensive traveling trips to Turkey. Millions of Russian tourists visit Turkey every year. For a while, it was debated whether there would come a military clash.

Prior to the downing of the airplane, Russia and Turkey had good relations, both in the economic and the political spheres. It was obvious that for Moscow, as well as for Ankara, it would have become too expensive to continue with hostility. The Russian energy giant Gazprom immidiately declared that it was now ready to re-negotiate the construction of a large gas pipeline to Turkey, following the Turkish apology.

What was still unclear was what effect this approach would have on the war in Syria, where Russia and Turkey reportedly actively supported different sides of the fighting.

Russia could probably have predicted the ”Arab Spring” because of the signs of what was the growing size of general Ghadaffi’s ego which was already before notably large. With a shiny drawn sword and shining armor, the peace prize winner Obama went into action on his chivalrously and loyal steed. Finally, a new world would be created through the domino effect.

The US administration, possibly Obama personally, named the Arabic spring early in the operation or even before it was executed. North Africa and the Middle East would develop into a thriving region with associated economic development, peace, security and freedom. Possibly the issue of Israel would also be resolved and Iran be held back.

But above all, the threat from the Libyan-African Gold currency would be cleared away. Ghadaffi believed that the West would voluntarily pay for oil with gold. He was so greedy that he did not even understand that gold is only available in a very limited amount. He must be taken out of the game. The military operation was led by France and the United Kingdom.

Yet another world than the intended was created. And then our brave knight went on doing the mistake to allow ISIS to grow strong. Not because Obama was evil, but because he wanted to oppose Iran and counter Russia’s and Iran’s converging plans to overthrow Israel, etc. Syria was the chessboard. Europe became the loser in this game, but in the long run I think it will be the US which lose influence.

Russia could claim that the United States of America did nothing and even supplied ISIS with weapons. Think about it for a moment. Why was CIA’s ”Operation Timber Sycamore” kept covert by orders from president Obama if the purpose with the operation was to arm the rebel groups? But the Kremlin didn’t mention the fact that Russia together with Iran plotted to destroy Israel and whip up a massive refugee wave to Europe in order to weaken the to Russia and Iran antagonizing West European regimes. The destroying of Israel didn’t succeed, but the latter went way over expectations.

How can we know it was Russia that bombarded Syria? That is easy to ascertain. There are reportedly 40,000 Russian citizens in Syria of which most probably are tourists in the unharmed Tartous or Latakia or the rather untouched central Aleppo. In addition, Russia also have a naval base in Tartous and an airbase in Latakia. Both cities were spared from bombardment with cruise-missiles.

 

Homework:

Am I right to point out the relationship between Russia and Turkey first, and not bother about the other players interactions cause they have a predictable pattern in their actions? I was thinking that the Russian-Turkish relationship was the only truly volatile relationship that could go either way at the time. But then again the US armed the ISIS terrorists so that they (hopefully) as good Sunni-Muslims would fight the Shia-Muslim Iranians.

Can you come up with a better explanation for the supposedly arming of the ISIS by the US? Was ISIS allowed to continue to exist so that they can pose a threat to the Iranian forces in Syria? I cannot prove that my suspicions are true, but if they are, it was an impressive planning by Obama. I would even be inclined to see it as Obama’s biggest achievement during his eight years in the White House except for his war speech when he received the Nobel Peace Prize, and got away with his war speech and walked away with resounding applause, a gold medal and ten million Swedish crowns or so. It was much like a bank robbery complete with the victims’ Stockholm syndrome and all.

Roger M. Klang, defense political spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden