A great deal of controversy has surrounded the development of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will transport natural gas directly from Russia to Germany once completed (see Map 1). The debate surrounding this project has prompted rising tensions between some traditional European allies. The controversial pipeline has also brought forth a variety of concerns that include the future of European energy security, political corruption, and strategic military objectives. Part I of this report will provide an overview of the substantial demand for natural gas in Europe, strategies behind the U.S. and Russian energy campaigns, and why the Nord Stream Pipeline is such a controversial project. Part II will highlight the specific risks associated with a completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline and why some European stakeholders view the project as such a threat.