09/18/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Energy Imperialism? Is The Georgian Conflict All About Oil?

Could the Kremlin's latest bid for energy dominance boomerang and finally wake up the West?

The prevailing wisdom says Russia's military incursion into Georgia was really all about "energy imperialism." The Kremlin doesn't like any challenges to its energy hegemony, which Georgia's part of the BTC pipeline clearly represents. And Russia's strong response, the thinking goes, basically ends any Western hopes of getting other Central Asian countries to stand up to Moscow with pipeline projects of their own.

But could Russian tanks and gunships galvanize a serious Western plan for energy security in a way that cutting off winter gas supplies to Europe two years ago didn't?

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