Washington — U.S. foreign policymaking circles are in a state of confusion after media reports revealed leaked documents confirming the CIA's knowledge of Ukraine's plans to blow up the Russian Nord Stream gas pipeline.

Several underwater explosions in September damaged the Nord Stream 1 and 2 lines, which run from Russia to Germany and from there to other European countries across the Baltic Sea.

The blasts occurred in economic zones belonging to Sweden and Denmark, both of which say the blasts were deliberate and that they and Germany are investigating the incident, but have not yet identified those responsible.

Moscow and Kiev denied responsibility for the incident, while Washington continued to point the finger at Russia.

Since the explosion of the Nova Kakhovka dam on the Dnipro River (southern Ukraine), Washington has known new confusion, especially from experts and think tanks who used to automatically accuse the Russian side of responsibility for any destruction in Ukraine.

At the same time, the State Department and the White House have reserved in their official statements about accusing any party of responsibility for the dam explosion, while Moscow and Kiev have exchanged blame for the dam explosion.

Who is behind the Nord Stream bombing?

Steve Pifer, a European affairs and disarmament expert at the Brookings Institution, said he doesn't rule out Ukraine being behind the Nord Stream pipeline explosions, but there are reasons to doubt it.

In an interview with Al Jazeera Net, Pifer added, "Kiev must understand that if it becomes known that it is responsible, it may seriously jeopardize relations with Germany and European countries, expressing doubts about the American media's version of the explosion of gas lines, saying, "If some Western governments were aware of the planned attack, why did not make any effort to dissuade the Ukrainians from this act?"

He stressed that he does not reject the theory that the Russians were behind the pipeline attacks, adding: "By last September, Moscow decided to significantly reduce gas flows to Europe, and the explosions allowed Gazprom to invoke force majeure to avoid penalties and fines for non-delivery according to the contracts signed."

Speaking to Al Jazeera Net, Matthew Whalen, chief executive of the American Security Project (a think tank focused on military affairs), did not give credence to any report that Ukraine blew up the Nord Stream pipeline.

Speaking to Al Jazeera Net, Robert Pearson, a professor of international relations at West Point (the most famous US military academy), said he could not assess the veracity of these claims that Ukraine was behind the gas pipeline explosion.

Where is Ukraine's interest?

Steve Piaver pointed to what he described as the agreement of most experts that the most likely cause of the dam's destruction was an internal explosion.

"The dam area is under the control of Russian forces and was said to have previously planted mines in the dam last year. Moreover, the destruction of the dam will have major negative environmental and economic consequences for Ukraine, some of which will last for a long time, and it is hard to imagine that Kiev will inflict these consequences on itself, as Moscow has shown little regret for the destruction of Ukraine's civilian infrastructure.

Matthew Whalen noted that "the Russian government has a very extensive history of lying, and given Russia's history and habit of lying about everything related to this war, I will not put any weight on its claims about who blew up the dam. I don't see any tactical or strategic benefits for Ukraine if it deliberately blows up its dam. "Russia has shown no consideration for protecting any civilian infrastructure in this war."

The opinion of defense expert Michael Beck did not differ from the above, as he told Al Jazeera Net that the dam is located in Ukrainian territory, "so the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian economy is the one who will suffer."

"Ukraine may have an incentive to destroy the dam if its counteroffensive fails, and it wants to dislodge Russian defenses by sinking them. But why hit the dam now when the counteroffensive has not yet begun?"

Accusations against Russia

Military expert Robert Pearson said early evidence and logic suggested that this was a deliberate Russian operation to destroy the dam, adding: "Construction experts suggest that it would be very difficult to cause such a breach through a rocket or artillery attack."

"In fact, I understand that the dam was originally designed to withstand a major external attack, and in order to destroy the dam it would have required the interior to be mined with a lot of explosives. Since Russia is the de facto controlling the dam, the only logical conclusion is that Russia likely mined and blew up the dam."

The destruction of the dam has created an economic, humanitarian and environmental catastrophe with serious long-term consequences for Ukraine, and complicates the Ukrainian war effort in the coming months. "In other words, Ukraine will gain nothing, and it will lose a lot if it destroys the dam itself."

Russia has a well-established record of unleashing the terrible suffering of civilians, with no regard for humanitarian consequences. "Logically, Russia is the party that benefits from the bombing of the dam, and it is the only party that has the means and motivation to carry out this attack," he said.