Oil and gas has been the greatest worry for Europe and their dependency on Russia makes Europe vulnerable politically and also from strategic point of view. The hell fired political and strategic compulsion to 'gobble' up the erstwhile Soviet dependent countries after the collapse of the USSR and the economic greed of the commercial companies of the West has led to this half baked thrust to exploit the CAR region for oil (supposed to be having the largest untapped resources of hydrocarbons) and pipe it down to Europe has now become an albatross around the West's neck. Not only these pipelines have come a economic disaster, but politically and strategically it has failed to achieve the desired result. Azerbaijan which was in the early days being given substantial aid and military hardware by the US, seems to have come of political age and are in the game to extract maximum benefits of their resources and so are up for the grabs to the highest bidder. It has already thwarted the US requirement for bases for the Afghan war. There is a suspicion that Azerbaijan is still under the spell of Russia since the Russian bear's breath can turn hot. Unless the US and EU govts pump in money to salvage the project or the alternative, there will be serious strategic and political fallout which will be to the advantage of Russia and to the disadvantage of the West. If Russia continues to get a rich dividend in supplying oil to Europe, then it will only help in bolstering the Russian defence industry and put it back in the reckoning to be a challenge to the West. Can the US and the West be able to manage two contenders - Russia and China and still aim to remain the sole superpower in the world? That is the question!