Britain's top military chief warned this week that Russia has the capability to sever critical underwater communications cables, potentially crippling Western economies.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, the head of Britain's Armed Forces, told a group of military insiders that the risk of such action is grave and potentially catastrophic.
"There's a new risk to our way of life, which is the vulnerability of cables which crisscross the sea beds," Peach was quoted as saying during a forum organized by the Royal United Services Institute, a military think-tank. "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."
The military leader "specifically highlighted Russia as the most likely nation state that might go around cutting cables and causing chaos," according to the Register.
"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.