Hmm. Mysterious drones appear over Norway's oil installations?
Europe is in the midst of a self-created energy crisis, based its superstitions about man-caused global warming.
Is Vladimir Putin working to turn it to 11, to make it even worse?
It certain appears a possibility, given this rather disturbing story from the Daily Mail here:
Norway is beefing up security on its offshore North Sea oil rigs after mysterious drones came within 50m of its platforms.
The country's Petroleum Safety Authority said the unmanned aerial vehicles could carry out 'deliberate attacks' on the infrastructure or smash into helicopters transporting offshore workers to and from the rigs.
The warnings come amid claims that Russia was behind the enormous gas leak in the Baltic Sea following three huge undersea explosions on the Nord Stream pipelines on Monday.
Norway is now Europe's biggest gas supplier after the Kremlin turned off its taps, wreaking energy havoc across the continent.
Would Putin do that?
Plunging Europe into total energy darkness at the height of winter is a way of sorts, of bringing the Moscow winter to Europe, given its cash and arms for Ukraine as Putin makes war on that country to reannex it.
He's showing a hell of a lot of determination on that front, having mobilized the entire country with an unusually far-reaching draft, which has seen thousands of Russians flee the country to avoid it.
He's spent the country's defense resources down to the nub. He's plunged Russia into a sanctioned pariah state, with even tourist travel passes now halted in some European countries. He's taken war losses that could at this early date be as high as those the U.S. took during the Vietnam War and Russia is a smaller country than the U.S. was in that era, population-wise.
And still he persists. He's not suing for peace, and Europe doesn't seem serious about talks, either.
Would Putin under those circumstances put Europe through the mother of all energy crises? In contrast to what he's put Russia through, he's done remarkably little in the way of retaliation for Europe's sanctions on Russia and material and diplomatic support for Ukraine, which has involved wining and dining Ukraine's president and dangling European Union membership out to that country as Putin attempts to claw it back.
It almost seems absurd from his own point of view that he hasn't. Where are the monster cyberattacks on the U.S.? Where is the pan-European plunge into energy darkness?
And if he can do this to Europe, the soft underbelly of the western alliance, you can bet he's plotting comparable things here, too, particularly with the U.S. under enfeebled leadership. Putin knows where the weak spots are in the West.
If this is what Putin is up to, it would amount to a war innovation, war taken to a new level. In the past, much talk has been made about world wars involving the entire populations, through bombings of factories and attacks on civilian establishments rather than just soldiers. Now, the war of all the people concept seems to be extending to civilian access to energy, and perhaps electricity, Internet, and water.
If Putin does take out Europe's top remaining oil supplier, Europe would be forced into a broader war with Russia. Would they be ready for that? Probably not, given Europe's peacenik proclivities and the unwillingness of many Europeans to fight for anything. The matter gets even more complicated if Europe can't prove that Putin did it. Sometimes that doesn't matter, as in the explosions that set off the Spanish-American War of 1898, but in this legalistic age, it probably would matter to Europe's bureaucratic rulers. The matter would be harder still if the deeds were done, if Europe were already freezing with no fuel, reduced to burning trash for warmth. Try mobilizing at that point.
It's possible that the drones are from Putin and he's doing a head fake, a bluff to scare Europe into suing for peace in Ukraine.
It's possible also that Norway, which has a reputedly fierce military, working with the best of NATO, would be able to prevent any Putin attack on the energy installations.
But it doesn't get rid of the problem entirely. How many weak electricity grids are there to take out? Where are the weak spots in water distribution? Where are the open doors to cyberattack on western infrastructure?
It would seem that the militaries and intelligence agencies of the U.S. and all its allies would have to be on high alert. Is that happening? Right now, all we hear about from those organizations are that they've gone wokester and are focused on Getting Trump.
If that's an opportunity to Putin, it's getting obvious with this drone operation that he's taking it. He's calculating that the West isn't serious.