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Putin Piece from Dec 2021

A re-post

Hi folks, I’m reposting a piece that I posted almost a year ago (December 2021) about European reliance on Russian gas and the US army.

Reading back through this short post now:

  • I’m less certain the Chinese government is better at long term planning than Europe or the US. The current challenges China faces around lockdowns and COVID represent a challenge to the Chinese approach to government. On the other hand, it’s easy to overemphasise short term events when projecting long term outcomes. Plus, I don’t understand China geopolitics well.

  • Europe’s over-reliance on Russian gas became obvious in 2022. To date, there have been relatively few power cuts and governments appear to be taking energy independence seriously. My concern remains that governments and media focus energies and rhetoric on short term items (like optimising sanctions and taxes on excess profits) rather than focusing on the harder but more important question of how to build independent, reliable and clean (low pollution and low CO2) energy.

  • Last year I made the point that Europe remained over-reliant on the US for defence. Countries physically closer to Russia (obviously Ukraine, but also Finland, the Baltics and even Germany) have taken some steps towards strengthening defence planning. In Ireland, defence is not all that talked about as a priority. It appears defence is still not getting enough attention and funds in Europe. As per my article last year, this doesn’t just mean more soldiers, but more preparedness for different inbound attacks and invasions, including cyber attacks or infrastructure attacks.

What were you thinking one year ago and how has that changed now?

The Blip
November Newsletter: Putin, Uber and Compensation.
Putin’s Long Term Strategic Advantages It’s hard to do long term planning in a democracy where governments can be changed out every five or ten years. The Chinese Communist Party has a plan for decades ahead. In the recent Russia-Ukraine conflict, Putin too has an advantage. He can plan for a longer time horizon than the US or European nations can…
Read more

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