Blast of Nord Stream Pipeline and role of USA: a shocking reality
Editor's Note: The author is Dr Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan, Executive Director of the Center for South Asia & International Studies (CSAIS) Islamabad and Regional Expert on China, BRI & CPEC. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.
American famed investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in his well drafted article titled "How America Took Out the Nord Stream Pipeline" having direct knowledge of the operational planning accused the US of sabotaging the Nord Stream pipeline, with the involvement of Norway which has now jolted many important countries in the European Union (EU) and around the globe.
The Pulitzer Prize winner in the article posted on his Substack exposed that the United States partnered with Norway in a top-secret operation in June 2022 to plant remotely triggered explosives that destroyed three of the four Nord Stream pipelines three months later. He blamed even the US President Joe Biden green-lighted the said operation.
Resultantly, the EU had to suffer from energy insecurity. Industrialization was drastically halted. The EU states and societies have been trapped into severe economic recession, high inflation and price hikes because of disruption of the Russian energy supplies.
A US Central Intelligence Agency spokesperson upheld the White House's denial, calling the report completely and utterly false. Initially, Demark, Germany and Sweden remained silent and tight-lipped over who blew holes in the pipelines. However, leaked reports clearly indicated that the ruptures were a result of sabotage and deliberately pursued. Unfortunately, it occurred in their exclusive economic zones.
On the contrary, while giving an interview to a leading US TV channel, Jeffrey Sachs - a world-renowned American professor of economics - rightly raised the possibility that the Nord Stream pipeline was intentionally sabotaged by the US. In his interview with TRT, Sachs upheld that considerable circumstantial evidence connects that the destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline was a US secret operation, which was done perhaps with other NATO countries. He shared that the US president Biden warned to bring an end to the Nord Stream pipeline in early February 2022. He further pinpointed that many widespread reports clearly indicated that the US aircraft had overflew the said region of the pipeline hours before the explosion. Subsequently, he was forcefully muted and taken off air.
Gregory Simons, an associate professor at the Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Uppsala University, and French philosopher Rene Descartes stressed the need to seek the whole truth in this terrible incident. They were of the view that in real economic terms and financial cost-benefit analysis the US remained the real beneficiary, because the timing of the explosions occurred when there was talk by Germany to soften its stance on Russia sanctions in return for gas.
Time and again, the Russian foreign ministry says that the US should answer its alleged role in the explosions. It has repeatedly said NATO nations were behind last September's explosions affecting the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines’ multibillion-dollar infrastructure projects that carried Russian gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea. Western officials have denied those accusations.
Most of the independent experts, NGOs, energy organizations and prominent think tanks emphasize that truth about who carried out this act of sabotage must be revealed because it is a very dangerous precedent as energy security should not be compromised. They are of the view that there is an urgent need for an open international investigation into this unprecedented attack. It is impossible to leave this without uncovering those responsible and punishing them.
Hersh stormed the readers that the US Navy's Diving and Salvage Center has been training highly skilled deep-water divers for decades, who were behind this sabotage activity.
According to Hersh, last June the Navy divers planted C-4 explosives targeting the pipelines under the cover of a widely publicized mid-summer NATO exercise known as BALTOPS 22. A Norwegian Navy P8 surveillance plane on September 26, 2022 made a seemingly routine flight and dropped a sonar buoy. Three months later, it destroyed three of the four Nord Stream pipelines which produced shock and awe in the global energy market.
The signal spread underwater, initially to Nord Stream 2 and then to Nord Stream 1. A few hours later, the explosives were seen, and pools of methane gas could be seen spreading on the water's surface in minutes, Hersh recounted.
According to many published reports and posts US President Biden and his foreign policy team, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Tony Blinken, had been vocal and were consistent in their hostility to the two pipelines. Critical analysis reveals that US president Biden has been terming the Nord Stream pipeline as a money minting machine and a strategic launching pad for Russian President Vladimir Putin's political and territorial ambitions.
America's political bosses and establishment fear that easy and smooth supply of gases from the Nord Stream pipeline would provide Putin an additional and much-needed major source of income, and Germany and the rest of Western Europe would become addicted to low-cost natural gas supplied by Russia, diminishing European reliance on America.
Experts believe that the West is secretive because any confirmations of Hersh's allegations will smash up US’ relations with Germany and Europe, as the loss of cheap gas from Russia is dealing a severe blow to the EU economy. And the investigators seem to have been hiding information that could bring far-reaching consequences for their relations with the country directly behind the explosions.
Hersh's disclosure has become an elephant in the room as the Western media by design have intentionally trapped into silence in solidarity over the issue.
Undoubtedly, it was an extreme event in international politics. Right from the beginning the Nord Stream pipeline remained thorn in the eye of Washington. But Russia was not allowed to participate in the joint investigation despite being the majority owner of the pipelines. The German Public Prosecutor General along with the German Navy jointly launched investigation last October. However, their inquiry was not publicized.