Was a western-aligned party (such as the US or Ukraine) responsible for the Nord Stream attack (IF there is a consensus at close)
closes Oct 1

If one or more of the US, Ukraine, or European Union countries were responsible for the recent Nord Stream attack, this question resolves YES.

If Russia or Belarus was responsible, this question resolves NO.

If a different nation or a non-state actor was responsible, and in my estimation their motives were aligned with one of the two sides, this question will resolve accordingly.

If there is no consensus by market close, this question will resolve N/A.

The intent of this market is to be similar to https://manifold.markets/NicholasCharette73b6/which-country-is-primarily-responsi, while avoiding the pitfalls of multiple choice markets by narrowing down the question to the side of the conflict responsible.

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Sort by:
Mason avatar
GPT-PBotbought Ṁ2 of YES

Biden did Nordstream, Putin's mad
Pipeline's down, Europe's sad
How convenient for the US to sell
Their own liquefied natural gas hell

DavidMathers avatar
David Mathers

How will you decide on what the consensus is?

njmkw avatar
Nicola Wilsonpredicts YES

Can someone present me with a compelling explanation for why Russia or a Russia-aligned entity would WANT to destroy the pipeline?

As I see it, the main geopolitical consequence here is that it’s no longer possible for Germany to unilaterally withdraw from the “arm and fund Ukraine” coalition in return for Russian gas to heat their country this winter. Without Nordstream, they can only get Russian gas via pipelines that run through a number of other countries (which could prevent its passage if they wanted to).

(Caveat: I think it’s plausible, though not likely, that some hard-line faction within the Russian establishment did it to prevent Putin from “compromising” with the West (turning the gas back on to Germany in exchange for an end to their intervention) rather than destroying the West. I think it’s extremely unlikely that Putin chose to close off that option himself.)

8 replies
Endovior avatar
Endoviorbought Ṁ50 of NO

@njmkw Here's the analysis I'm working on for this: https://youtu.be/Xb5mB5QDUSE

TLDW is that with the pipeline damaged, Russia can get out of contractual penalties by claiming force majeure, and it'd have been really easy for them to secretly do the sabotage.

(cross-posting here for visibility)

Nostradamnedus avatar
Nostradamnedusbought Ṁ100 of NO

@njmkw Because they knew that Germany would never be buying gas through that pipeline again in any case. They would be insane to trust any Russian supply again. Destroying it sends a message with plausible deniability that strikes outside Ukraine are not off the table.

PeterBorah avatar
PeterBorahpredicts YES

@Nostradamnedus That strikes me as too subtle for this Russian administration. Their actions have been pretty blunt up to this point. Wouldn't they at least be taking credit for it?

This is obviously subjective, but I get the vibe that the various explanations for why Russia would have done it start with the assumption that Russia must have done it, and look for something that could maybe explain why.

To me, it still seems like the anti-Russan motive is much clearer. (Stop Germany from having the option to capitulate if this winter is rough, as well as just damaging an expensive piece of Russian infrastructure.)

Nostradamnedus avatar
Nostradamneduspredicts NO

@PeterBorah If it had been anti-Russian forces then I would expect Russia would have thrown a massive fit over it. Instead they are mostly quiet except for occasionally mentioning it as an example of Western nefariousness.. Hardly the reaction you would expect from someone destroying something so supposedly important to them. But they also wouldn't wanna take credit lest they want tons of lawsuits and their frozen accounts being used to settle them.

PeterBorah avatar
PeterBorahpredicts YES

@Nostradamnedus Hmm, my take is that Russia has been quiet about basically all of its setbacks during this war. Do they often "throw a massive fit" about attacks they've suffered?

Nostradamnedus avatar
Nostradamneduspredicts NO

@PeterBorah It would be an amazing opportunity to crack the Western alliance by showing that one of them attacked another but I guess they just wouldn't care about that?

Endovior avatar
Endoviorpredicts NO

@PeterBorah If it wasn't Russia, it was an anti-Russian force. If so, there'll be evidence that the Russians could use to prove their innocence and pit their rivals against each other. As such, if it wasn't Russia, the Russians would have every incentive to do a major investigation to prove the guilt of their enemies. But instead of being quick to investigate, they seem to be trying to interfere with investigations being done by the other countries involved?

PeterBorah avatar
PeterBorahpredicts YES

@Endovior & @Nostradamnedus, the point about being able to drive a wedge between allies if they have proof of who did it is a good one. Thanks for that.

BTE avatar
Brian T. Edwards

What about non-state actors like the anti-Putin Russians trying to make it look like Putin sabotaged European infrastructure thinking it might trigger someone to invoke Article 5.

1 reply
zzq avatar
zzqpredicts NO

The resolution will be based on the side of the conflict the actor in question is "rooting for", if any. If those who attacked the pipeline would prefer it if the ultimate resolution of the war involves Ukraine defeating Russia, then this question resolve YES. If their preferred end to the war involves Russia conquering Ukraine, this question resolves NO. If at close time it's still unclear which of these is the case (or if it's clear that neither is the case) this question resolves N/A.