This report examines the implications for Western security of Soviet energy exports to Western Europe. It considers energy as a potential instrument of leverage against Western Europe. It examines the Soviet record in using economic leverage and Soviet motives for promoting large-scale energy exports to the West, and it outlines several scenarios in which the Soviets might embargo exports or otherwise use energy as an instrument of political pressure. It then examines the European side of the relationship. It analyzes Western Europe's vulnerability and likely responses to two kinds of political pressure: (1) a sudden interruption of energy supplies aimed at forcing political concessions, and (2) a more gradual, long-term effort to encourage political accommodation through economic dependence. It concludes that neither of these kinds of pressure is likely to be used successfully by the Soviets, but that Western Europe's energy vulnerability is nonetheless likely to remain a factor in U.S.-West European relations.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.
This research in the public interest was supported by RAND, using discretionary funds made possible by the generosity of RAND's donors, the fees earned on client-funded research, and independent research and development (IR&D) funds provided by the Department of Defense.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.