Baltic Pipeline Discussion (Current Events)

Duke

Active Member
Tucker Carson says this at 9 secs into the video: "If they did this, this would be one of the craziest most most destructive things any American administration has ever done" Right-wing media Nord Stream conspiracy theories echo Russia
I remember hearing a political commentator, I think on the BBC, say basically the same thing about the Russians invading Ukraine a few days before they invaded. He then proceeded to expound on why the Russians wouldn't invade, and made perfect sense.

Nation state rulers are no different than anyone else, they do crazy destructive things that go against conventional wisdom (and international law.)
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Article:
The United States National Security Council (NSC) is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for consideration of national security, military, and foreign policy matters.

Since its inception in 1947 by President Harry S. Truman, the function of the Council has been to advise and assist the President on national security and foreign policies. It also serves as the President's principal arm for coordinating these policies among various government agencies. The Council has subsequently played a key role in most major events in U.S. foreign policy, from the Korean War to the War on Terror.

Oliver North served on the NSC for Iran-Contra, from his bio:
Article:
During his tenure at the National Security Council, North managed a number of missions. This included leading the hunt for those responsible for the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing that killed 299 American and French military personnel, an effort that saw North arrange a mid-air interception of an EgyptAir jet carrying those responsible for the Achille Lauro hijacking. While at the National Security Council, he also helped plan the U.S. invasion of Grenada and the 1986 bombing of Libya.[15]

It appears to me that if there was a US operation to blow up these pipelines, the NSC would probably be running it.

Unfortunately, it would also probably be classified, and nobody would be allowed to admit it exists.

i don't know now what this post is referring to , because someone (wonder who) had my original post removed.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
There now is! America did it!
we can't debunk that because we dont have yet (or likely ever will) any data to use for a debunk. i meant.

But do you seriously believe that "Russia did it" and "America did it" are equally likely"?
yes. but i also think Germany maybe China... i don't know other players. i'm assuming ukraine doesnt have the technology to pull it off? Gazprom, if they count as different from "Russia".

Basically right now i think everyone with a motive (whatever that may be) and capability is just as likely.
 

qed

Senior Member
Basically right now i think everyone with a motive (whatever that may be) and capability is just as likely.
You gave me pause to think!

Let me rephrase it this way:

Do you think "Putin gave the order" and "Biden gave the order" are equally likely based on the current geo-political context [... and history ...]?
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Do you think "Putin gave the order" and "Biden gave the order" are equally likely based on the current geo-political context [... and history ...]?
based on what i personally know of the current geo-political context? yea.
 

qed

Senior Member
@deirdre (and @Mendel) Ok. That is enough to convince me that there is no consensus here, and withdraw my assertion the Putin should be the default hypothesis.
 

Duke

Active Member
I agree. I called "America did it" a conspiracy theory (at this point).
https://www.monkeywerxus.com/blog/the-nord-stream-2-pipeline-sabotage

From the article:

"Now I’m not a betting man, but if it sounds like a duck, walks and talks like a duck, then folks, it’s very likely a duck. Okay let us talk about the motive: Why would the United States take out this pipeline? Reason - because it is a very large source of revenue for Russia and the sanctions to date have not worked, in fact, they have backfired on the United States. Also, note the timing as Poland and Norway announce a new Baltic Pipeline just days after the sabotage and the EU has secured a deal with Israel going forward so they will no longer rely on Russia for the gas and oil. We simply waited until everything was shored up and made our move."


Ok, I got this yesterday from a former USN colleague. I am unfamiliar with the source, but will say it seems a little too
conspiratorial for my tastes. That said, if the P-8 a/c part of the narrative is accurate, it brings up interesting possibilities. I don't buy the torpedo bit in the least, but a P-8 flying CAP over the pipeline would be useful to both surveil the area and act as a comm relay for any forces undertaking clandestine operations.

Don't shoot the messenger, I post this only because the question of "evidence" of US responsibility has come up.
 

qed

Senior Member
Personally, I feel context count.

So, against all odds, I am going to predict that if we find out, it will be Russia. I may be wrong, but I think I am above going to be right with above 66% probability. Based on the context.

I also predict that Biden did not give the order. 98% probability.

(I am sure you will hold me to account)
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
As part of that post, you quoted a Fox News interview with John Kirby. I've updated my post to include it, thanks for the heads up.
cool. sorry my additional evidence, to @LilWabbit , that many intelligence officials can be and have been demonstrably wrong and biased against Russia (so we shouldn't assume they are not) was removed.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
I also predict that Biden did not give the order. 98%

do you mean he didn't come up with the decision on his own? (meaning his advisors approached him and talked him into it)

or do you mean if it happened they did it without Biden's knowledge?

(note: i am maybe slightly leaning less towards America not doing it, as that's a big 'head on the chopping block' for that Admiral i quoted although my comment was silenced. ALthough if it wasnt Russia and not America i 'm sure we paid for all the equipment and teachers for what ever country did. ie. we pay for everything.)
 

qed

Senior Member
Are you implying plausible deniability on the part of PotUS?
I am not completely discounting it, yet I still think it to be of reasonably low probability. This despite past US history!

But if it was US operatives of some kind, we will find out soon: the democratic whistle-blowing first amendment USA cannot hide these things for long. Viva! We always find out.

In which case, again, a declaration of war.

So no, I don't think a "plausibly deniable" covert US act to be of high probability.
 

Duke

Active Member
But if it was US operatives of some kind, we will find out soon: the democratic whistle-blowing first amendment USA cannot hide these things for long. Viva! We always find out.
;)

In which case, again, a declaration of war.

So no, I don't think a "plausibly deniable" cover US act to be of high probability.
An act of war, maybe, but not a declaration. Only Congress can declare war. But an act of war against who?

As I understand it, the pipeline is privately owned by corporate entities from multiple nations. Also, the sabotage occurred in international waters, did it not? I think Sweden is leading the investigation because it occurred in their EEZ, but NOT in Swedish territorial waters.
 

qed

Senior Member
;)


An act of war, maybe, but not a declaration. Only Congress can declare war. But an act of war against who?

As I understand it, the pipeline is privately owned by corporate entities from multiple nations. Also, the sabotage occurred in international waters, did it not? I think Sweden is leading the investigation because it occurred in their EEZ, but NOT in Swedish territorial waters.
Russia would have the high ground to view it as an act of war by the USA. Surely?

[... now we have WW3 for no super significant benefit to USA ...]
 

Duke

Active Member
Russia would have the high ground to view it as an act of war by the USA. Surely?

[... now we have WW3 for no super significant benefit to USA ...]
High ground? Maybe to go to the Hague, but a nation can declare war for any reason within their constitution or similar governmental dictates. Ever read "The Mouse That Roared?" :)
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
As I understand it, the pipeline is privately owned by corporate entities from multiple nations.
Nord Stream AG belongs to Gazprom with 51% share, 49% is split between German and a Dutch companies.
Nord Stream 2 AG belongs to Gazprom and is bankrupt.
Also, the sabotage occurred in international waters, did it not? I think Sweden is leading the investigation because it occurred in their EEZ, but NOT in Swedish territorial waters.
I expect the Nord Stream 1 leaks are in the Swedish EEZ, but is that also true for the Nord Stream 2 hole?
Ever read "The Mouse That Roared?"
I can recommend the movie featuring Peter Sellers.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
https://www.monkeywerxus.com/blog/the-nord-stream-2-pipeline-sabotage

[..] That said, if the P-8 a/c part of the narrative is accurate, it brings up interesting possibilities. I don't buy the torpedo bit in the least, but a P-8 flying CAP over the pipeline would be useful to both surveil the area and act as a comm relay for any forces undertaking clandestine operations.

  • Biden said we were going to do it
  • It happened “overnight” on the 26th of September
  • We have a US Navy P8 fly from the United States to a refueling rendezvous point over Grudziądz Poland at 0210 hrs GMT
  • The two aircraft, Callsign N/A, and BART12 sync up at 26,400 ft for an extended 1:20 minute refueling, disconnecting at 0328 hrs GMT
  • The BART12 air refueler RTB’d to Spangdahlem Air Base Germany and one should note the flight record has been wiped
  • The Navy P8 then continues onto the Nord Stream Pipeline location and descends to an altitude of <10,000 ft at 0345 hrs GMT
  • The Navy P8 exits the area just prior to 0700 hrs and is the only aircraft over the area the entire time
  • At 0709 hrs GMT the Navy P8 returns back to the United States. Note: the US Navy P8 HexCode is AE6851 and is NOT listed in the aircraft database. Furthermore, the aircraft flew as “masked” meaning it did not want to be tracked
  • Datapoint, there were recorded 2.3 magnitude shakes in the area at that same time
  • The following morning NATO Forces announce that overnight the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline has been sabotaged
  • A Poland Ministry Official posts a tweet thanking the United States for taking out the Pipeline
P8+Weapons+Release.png

So let’s look at the flight data logically… The United States has Navy P8’s stationed in the UK so why fly an aircraft all the way from the United States and not land in the UK for refueling, but instead hook up for an hour plus with another US Air Force refueler out of Germany?
Content from External Source
Much of the extraneous parts (Biden, Poland, etc.) follow the Russian playbook I posted on page 1.

So the question really is, a) are the claims about these flights correct, and b) how unusual are they?

Is it possible the US was watching the Russians do it? but wouldn't we have their evidence now, if so?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
From Reuters:
leakage-map.jpg

Also from Reuters (excerpted):
Article:
chart.png

A U.S. Navy reconnaissance aircraft flew near the site of the ruptured Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea hours after the first damage emerged, according to tracking reviewed by Reuters, a flight Washington said was routine.

Flight data showed a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance plane was over the North Sea at 0003 GMT when Swedish seismologists registered what they later described as a subsea blast southeast of Bornholm Island in the Baltic Sea.

The plane, which had flown from Iceland, performed a pattern of regular racetrack-shaped circuits over Poland before breaking away towards the Baltic pipeline area, data showed.

The identity of the plane could not immediately be established because of the type of rotating identification code sometimes used by such planes, but the U.S. Navy confirmed it was an American aircraft when presented with data by Reuters.

According to the data, several minutes past 0100 GMT the plane flew south of Bornholm heading to northwestern Poland, where it circled for about an hour above land before flying at around 0244 GMT to the area where the gas leak was reported.

It came as close as some 24 kms (15 miles) to the reported leak site, circled once and flew towards the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, a frequent focus for surveillance, analysts say.

There is flight data missing between 0339 GMT and 0620 GMT, but on its way back, around 0700 GMT, the plane flew some 4 kms north of the reported leak site.

Reuters used a partial flight map from U.S.-based tracking website Radarbox complemented by data provided to Reuters by Sweden-based Flightradar24 to reconstruct the P-8's path.

Flightradar24 data showed the plane taking off and landing at Reykjanes peninsula in southwestern Iceland, where Keflavik Air Base is located along with reported P-8 hangar facilities.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The timing:
Article:
On 26 September at 02:03 local time (CEST), an explosion was detected originating from Nord Stream 2; a pressure drop in the pipeline was reported and natural gas began escaping to the surface southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm. Seventeen hours later, the same occurred to Nord Stream 1, resulting in three separate leaks northeast of Bornholm.

The NS2 explosion south of Bornholm occurred at 0:03 GMT, the two NS1 leaks closer to Sweden occurred at 17:04 GMT. This is the Swedish seismic data finding.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Both aircraft (if they're different?) arrived over the Baltic Sea after the first explosion, and flew only approximately in the correct area.
 

Duke

Active Member
Both aircraft (if they're different?) arrived over the Baltic Sea after the first explosion, and flew only approximately in the correct area.
That could make tactical sense. You would not want the a/c in the area during a clandestine ingress and while setting charges. After their cover was blown with the first blast, the P-8 could provide top cover, comm relay, and surveillance. The P-8 is well equipped for all three efforts. It's also well armed to deal with surface and sub threats to cover their egress. In that case, it would be tactically sound to keep the a/c between the withdrawing forces and wherever you'd expect an adversary to advance on them from. Wouldn't be a surprise to learn there were Eagles flying high CAP with transponders turned off.

As I said, the presence of the P-8 presents interesting possibilities.
 
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Mauro

Senior Member
That could make tactical sense. You would not want the a/c in the area during a clandestine ingress and while setting charges. After their cover was blown with the first blast, the P-8 could provide top cover, comm relay, and surveillance. The P-8 is well equipped for all three efforts. It's also well armed to deal with surface and sub threats to cover their egress. In that case, it would be tactically sound to keep the a/c between the withdrawing forces and wherever you'd expect an adversary to advance on them from. Wouldn't be a surprise to learn there were Eagles flying high CAP with transponders turned off.

As I said, the presence of the P-8 presents interesting possibilities.
Or, more probably, they were just sent out to investigate after the first explosion was reported.
 

Duke

Active Member
Or, more probably, they were just sent out to investigate after the first explosion was reported.
I hope you're correct. My comments were mere supposition based on Mendel's analysis and the "US did it" premise of the article I posted, an "if the guy is right" observation.

I have no idea who sabotaged the pipeline, nor can I come up with a rational explanation why any nation would have done so. I still believe the Swedes will determine "how" and "what," but not "who."
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
That could make tactical sense. You would not want the a/c in the area during a clandestine ingress and while setting charges. After their cover was blown with the first blast, the P-8 could provide top cover, comm relay, and surveillance. The P-8 is well equipped for all three efforts. It's also well armed to deal with surface and sub threats to cover their egress. In that case, it would be tactically sound to keep the a/c between the withdrawing forces and wherever you'd expect an adversary to advance on them from. Wouldn't be a surprise to learn there were Eagles flying high CAP with transponders turned off.

As I said, the presence of the P-8 presents interesting possibilities.
Was the P8 weapons loaded? Also, the P8 being able to provide "top cover?" It's a converted 737 not a fighter. The air-to-air missiles are for its own defense.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Or, more probably, they were just sent out to investigate after the first explosion was reported.
From the texts I quoted, alledgedly the P8s were already underway at the time. They could have been diverted IF there was actually a reporting chain from the Swedish seismographs to US military ops, or if the US military was able to detect these explosions on their own in real time.

However, from the maps it appears they did not overfly the leaks directly, which I'd expect to happen if they were diverted to investigate them.
 

Duke

Active Member
Was the P8 weapons loaded? Also, the P8 being able to provide "top cover?" It's a converted 737 not a fighter. The air-to-air missiles are for its own defense.
Not cover against fighters, against surface and sub threats. Its lack of air-to-air capability is why I mentioned Eagles. Who knows what its weapons load out was, if any?
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Was the P8 weapons loaded? Also, the P8 being able to provide "top cover?" It's a converted 737 not a fighter. The air-to-air missiles are for its own defense.
Article:
The P-8 operates in the anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) roles. It is armed with torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons, can drop and monitor sonobuoys, and can operate in conjunction with other assets, including the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton maritime surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

If the US had (possibly unreliable) intelligence that Russia was doing a covert operation in the Baltic Sea that night, that would be a good aircraft to send to keep an eye out.
 
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Duke

Active Member
To my knowledge, P-8s don't carry AAMs, but it probably could be made AAM capable without too much effort. During the Falklands War, in pretty short order the Brits rigged a few of their Nimrod ASW a/c with Sidewinders. However, they were not added for the purpose of self defense against Argentina fighters, but rather to allow them to shoot down an Argentine 707 "snooper" that shadowed the RN task force after it left Ascension en route to the South Atlantic.

wyje714o85691.jpg
The Sidewinders can be seen on a pylon outboard of the engine intakes on the starboard wing in this photo.
 
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LilWabbit

Senior Member
Related news.

Article:

'Malicious and targeted' sabotage halts rail traffic in northern Germany​


BERLIN, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Cables vital for the rail network were intentionally cut in two places causing a near three-hour halt to all rail traffic in northern Germany on Saturday morning, in what authorities called an act of sabotage without identifying who might be responsible.

The federal police are investigating the incident, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said, adding the motive for it was unclear.

The disruption raised alarm bells after NATO and the European Union last month stressed the need to protect critical infrastructure after what they called acts of sabotage on the Nord Stream gas pipelines.
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
Not cover against fighters, against surface and sub threats. Its lack of air-to-air capability is why I mentioned Eagles. Who knows what its weapons load out was, if any?
You're right. Even less capable with a full load out which we don't know if it had.
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
Article:
The P-8 operates in the anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) roles. It is armed with torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons, can drop and monitor sonobuoys, and can operate in conjunction with other assets, including the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton maritime surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

If the US had (possibly unreliable) intelligence that Russia was doing a covert operation in the Baltic Sea that night, that would be a good aircraft to send to keep an eye out.
Or it could have been doing a post maintenance check flight. There is way too much speculation in this thread. Is there one piece of concrete, non circumstantial evidence?
 

Duke

Active Member
Or it could have been doing a post maintenance check flight. There is way too much speculation in this thread. Is there one piece of concrete, non circumstantial evidence?
FCFs are usually flown relatively close to the base where the maintenance was performed, in case additional work on the system(s) that received the maintenance is required. Having to divert to another base that doesn't operate the specific a/c type involved often means transporting spares, support equipment, and maintainers certified on type to that base if anything beyond transient maintenance ("gas-and-go" in maintainer speak) support is required. DCMs hate that.
 
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