Russian submarines are circling around the underwater communication cables and this makes the United States of America and its allies very worried.
“The Russian Navy, especially submarines, are doing something we haven’t seen done since the 80’s” the Commander of the NATO forces in Europe, Curtis Scaparrotti said in front of the U.S. Congress.
At the moment, more than 95% of international communication traffic is going through underwater fiber optic cables. All this information goes through fiber optic cables installed underwater which, in some cases, are just a bit thicker than a regular garden hose.
There are 620,000 km of underwater fiber optic cables, enough to surround the planet 25 times. Their locations are easily found in public maps.
This makes it easy to imagine what might happen if this super big underwater network gets destroyed. As a side note, $10 thousand billion dollars worth of financial transactions are being handled on a daily basis by these cables, most of them being owned by private companies and IT giants such as Google or Microsoft.
For example, without underwater cables, a bank from Asia will be unable to wire money to Saudi Arabia to pay for oil. Cutting such a cable might be a lethal strategic hit if we were to consider the military implications: communication between Pentagon officials and U.S. troops in the Middle East would be eliminated.
Michael Kofman, expert in Russian Army says Russia is doing its homework and in the case of a conflict or crisis Russia might cause problems.
However, not the Russian military fleet is the main threat, but the Russian Sea Research Directorate, according to NATO officials. Under the appearance of some neutral scientific activities or rescue missions, Russia’s ships and underwater drones are also doing other activities.