Is The Ocean Safe? NATO Raises Alarm Over Undersea "Hybrid Warfare" Impacting 1 Billion

Incidents of suspected sabotage on gas pipelines in Baltic in last 18 months underscore vulnerability of critical infrastructure to malicious actions.

Is The Ocean Safe? NATO Raises Alarm Over Undersea 'Hybrid Warfare' Impacting 1 Billion

Hybrid warfare is a complex military strategy that goes beyond traditional fighting.

A senior NATO official has raised concerns about Russia's potential attacks on underwater infrastructure, putting nearly 1 billion people at risk, according to The Guardian.

Vital undersea cables and pipelines carrying data, power, and communication lines are seen as weak points. These connections are crucial for the internet, phone systems, and even power grids in some regions.

The undersea network is largely unguarded, making it susceptible to accidental damage or deliberate sabotage. This vulnerability has become a growing security concern, especially with Russia's suspected "hybrid warfare" tactics.

Vice Admiral Didier Maleterre, deputy commander of NATO's Allied Maritime Command, suggests this infrastructure wasn't built to withstand such hybrid tactics, which could combine conventional military actions with cyberattacks and other disruptive methods.

NATO is urging vigilance in protecting these critical underwater connections to safeguard communication, energy, and daily life for millions across Europe and North America.

"We know the Russians have developed a lot of hybrid warfare under the sea to disrupt the European economy through cables, internet cables, and pipelines. All of our economy under the sea is under threat," stated Vice Admiral Maleterre.

"And, to be very clear, we know what Russians have developed as far as nuclear submarines to operate under the sea. So we are not naive, and we [Nato countries] are working together."

Also Read | Finland-Estonia Gas Pipeline Damaged: Here's Why Is It Crucial

Recent incidents involving pipelines in the Baltic Sea, namely Nord Stream and Baltic Connector, have raised concerns about potential sabotage. Investigations are underway, with Finland indicating a Chinese vessel as the culprit behind damage to the Baltic Connector. Vice Admiral Maleterre, a submariner with extensive underwater experience, underscores the vulnerability of critical infrastructure. Originally constructed by the private sector without accounting for modern security threats, it now confronts a significantly altered landscape.