Swiss Expert Bosshard Looks Beyond the Cui Bono of Nord Stream Explosions
Lt. Col. Ralph Bosshard (ret.) of the Swiss Army has submitted exclusively to EIR an article entitled “Sabotage of the Nord Stream Gas Pipelines: For Once, the Question ‘Cui Bono?’ Is Not Sufficient.” From a professional technical and military standpoint, it cuts through all the baseless speculation on who sabotaged the Nord Stream pipeline, and comes to the conclusion that it could not plausibly have been the Russians.
Lt. Col. Bosshard, who served for years as an OSCE officer, first discusses the robust nature of these pipelines, that are constructed of very special steel to withstand high pressures for decades, encased in a concrete jacket and buried under the surface of the seabed where they are covered with a layer of rubble. To blow them up would require a highly complex operation, he shows. Uncovering the pipes, and penetrating the cement and then the pipe itself would require anywhere from tens of kilos of explosives to even hundreds, depending on the quality. The depth of the water, 70-90 meters, means it would be beyond the scope of “recreational divers” and would require highly professional divers and special equipment, such as decompression chambers. While such equipment is available to submarines, the relatively shallow depth would tend to rule that out, thus requiring surface ships which would have to loiter in the area for many hours, if not days.
Given the close proximity of the pipelines to Danish and Swedish territorial waters and the fact that this area is heavily monitored by NATO anti-submarine reconnaissance ships and aircraft, Lt. Col. Bosshard concludes his article by raising a completely different question than the usual who is to benefit: “Who finds it easier to carry out such an act of sabotage? If the Russian Navy had carried out an extensive sabotage operation in the middle of a sea area surrounded by NATO countries or candidate countries, 300 km from the nearest Russian naval base, then the Russians would have made NATO look ridiculous. That would have been an impressive demonstration of Russian seabed warfare capabilities. But the simple destruction of Nord Stream 1 and 2 [as happened] – with no demonstrative effect – could have been carried out by the Russians much more easily on their doorstep in the Gulf of Finland.
“In contrast, it was much easier for NATO: Just in June, the U.S. 6th Fleet, together with its NATO partners, carried out exercises just off Bornholm, in which unmanned underwater vehicles were also tested. The ‘BALTOPS 22’ exercise could have been used as a test run or as a cover-up backdrop for installing explosive devices on the natural gas pipelines. Of course, there is currently no evidence of authorship by either side, and a truly independent investigation is unlikely to ever take place. But the unbiased observer raises the question: Is this a case of a thief shouting ‘stop, thief’?”
An English translation of the full article, complete with maps and graphics will be available in the Oct. 7 issue of EIR. The original German is available on the German Schiller Institute site.