The top British military chief warned the nation this week about a new threat posed by Russia: They have the capability to sever critical underwater communications cables.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, the head of Britain’s Armed Forces, was speaking to a group of military insiders at a forum organized by the Royal United Services Institute, a military think-tank. Peach said the potential risk is dramatic, as the interruption of those cables could cripple Western economies. He said that any such disruption could have far-reaching consequences which could be grave and potentially catastrophic.
“There’s a new risk to our way of life, which is the vulnerability of cables which crisscross the seabeds,” Peach reportedly said. “Can you imagine a scenario where those cables are cut or disrupted … which would immediately, and potentially catastrophically, affect our economy and other ways of living if they were disrupted?”
According to the Register, Peach singled out Russia as a likely perpetrator of such an act. He “specifically highlighted Russia as the most likely nation-state that might go around cutting cables and causing chaos,” it was reported.
“In response to the threat posed by the modernization of the Russian Navy, both nuclear and conventional submarines and ships, we, along with our Atlantic allies, have prioritized missions and tasks to protect the sea lines of communication,” Peach was quoted as saying.
Peach made his remarks as he gave the Chief of the Defence Staff Lecture, covering topical defense, security and geopolitical issues.
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