Trump’s Warsaw speech was magnificent, and his meetings in Hamburg with Putin and all the rest are extremely important. But the most interesting thing he’s done in Europe is embrace the Three Seas Initiative, a Polish-Croation idea.
Croatia was near the heart of one of the great powers of old Europe, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Three Seas is nothing less than its resurrection, and its alliance with Poland and the Baltic states. At the outset of its existence it’s concerned principally with energy imports and the improvement of north-south transportation corridors in the region.
If it succeeds in improving transportation, economic ties will follow, allowing these countries to have an alternative to the established east-west routes to Germany. They want economic independence from Germany, and increased trade within this new bloc is a good start.
They also want to end their energy dependence on Russia, and here’s where the USA comes into the picture. We have more natgas than we know what to do with. In a lot of oil fields it’s just burned off. There’s probably more than 250 trillion cubic feet of gas on the North Slope of Alaska that nobody knows what to do with. It’s so cheap that it doesn’t make sense to build a gas line 800 miles across Alaska to export it.
Much of the world is hungry for secure natgas supplies, so we have our pick of buyers. Selling all we can to the nations of the Three Seas Initiative makes perfect sense for all concerned.
It’s also the eastern faction of the European Union, a faction opposed in many ways to the Franco-German core. Poland and Hungary are leading the resistance within the EU to the German embrace of refugees from the middle east.
The Three Seas countries do not want to break up the EU. But they want to retain their individual identity, and will be against further centralization of power in Brussels.
None of this makes the Germans happy. They dominate the Three Seas countries economically, and they want to keep it that way. And they are as reliant on Russian energy as the Three Seas countries are, but apparently they don’t want us to save them from this reliance.
To some extent, you’re allied with your energy source, since without it you can’t function as a modern country. This means Germany and Russia are tied to each other economically. Politics follows.
Germany and Russia were allies before World War One, but Germany gave up its alliance with Russia in order to defend Austro-Hungary. It was the dumbest thing the Germans have ever done. It looks like they’ve finally learned their lesson.
A de facto German-Russian condominium may be taking shape before our eyes. This isn’t necessarily against American interests, as long as it’s not directed against us. We want cordial relations with all the powers of the world , Germany and Russia included.
If the Germans and Russians can reach a modus vivendi it’s good for the whole world. We don’t want anybody fighting anybody. We’d much rather have the Russians in bed with the Germans than the Chinese.
And China, with its little pet, the Norks, is our number one problem right now.