The Geopolitical Consequences of Transatlantic Energy Disunity
November 13, 2008
Who would have thought that in the waning days of the Bush administration, the greatest source of friction within the transatlantic world would be energy security? Although divergent diplomatic styles abound within the broader West, substantive differences over energy geopolitics on the Eurasian landmass sit at the center of every question about the future of the transatlantic partnership: how to approach Russia, whither NATO, and what next for the European project.
Despite worries about its capacity to meet consumer demands, Russia’s energy dominance of the European continent continues to grow. The intrinsic link between Moscow’s energy and foreign policies means that not only are EU membstates split between energy dependent and independent countries but between capitals willing to challenge Moscow’s increasingly assertive global moves and those that calculate that an accommodating response is in their best interest. Meanwhile, the United States pursues a policy of promoting alternative routes to alternative energy sources in the greCaspian region that only bears fruit when its transatlantic and Eurasian partners are on board.