Thu. May 23rd, 2024

A billion people are in danger: the vice admiral of NATO spoke about the threat of underwater “hybrid warfare”

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Apr19,2024

A billion people are in danger: the vice admiral of NATO spoke about the threat of underwater

Didier Maleter believes that the underwater infrastructure does not have the necessary protection against Russian threats.

Almost a billion people in Europe, the USA and Canada cannot feel in safety due to Russia's attempts to damage numerous weak points of the underwater infrastructure, including offshore wind farms, cables and pipelines.

The Guardian writes about this with reference to the words of the Deputy Commander of the NATO Naval Command, Admiral Didier Maletera.

The admiral explained that energy supply and communication between Europe and North America depend on the network of underwater cables and pipes. The design and construction of this network of underwater facilities, unfortunately, did not take into account the current situation in the world and cannot withstand the “hybrid war” waged by Russia and other NATO enemies.

“We know that the Russians have conducted a series of hybrid warfare operations underwater to disrupt the European economy, through power cables, internet cables and pipelines. All of our economic underwater facilities are at risk. And I will say for maximum clarity: we know about the Russian developments in the field of application of nuclear submarines. Therefore, we are not naive, and we work together,” – Maleter emphasized.

The admiral's comments appeared after two cases of alleged sabotage of gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea over the past year and a half – first on the “Nordic Streams” in September 2022, and then on the Balticconnector in October 2023.

“Despite extensive multi-state investigations, both remain unsolved, although Finland said in December that 'everything indicates' that a Chinese ship deliberately damaged the Balticconnector with its anchor,” – the article says.

According to Maleter, recently the environment has changed very dramatically, so most of the underwater infrastructure facilities developed by the private sector have become extremely vulnerable.

“They didn't know that such a hybrid war would develop so quickly. Over 90% is located under water. All of our communications between the US, Canada and Europe are transmitted under water, so there are many vulnerabilities. This is a very important issue, as it concerns the security of almost billion civilians of NATO countries. We must be protected and reliably supplied by our vital underwater infrastructure,” – Maleter emphasized.

Concerns about underwater security have grown so much that NATO is in the process of establishing a center dedicated to the issue at Marcom's UK headquarters in Northwood, next to NATO's transport hub.

< Finland's joining the NATO fleet last year, and more recently Sweden, which became a full member of NATO in March, is seen as an important step to ensure the protection of the Baltic and Arctic. Sweden's experience in both regions will increase NATO's ability to detect and deter any regional aggression.

“And when we talk about aggression, we obviously think about Russia,” – emphasized Maleter.

The admiral also added that Sweden's membership, in particular, led to the appearance of submarines, mine-defense ships, special forces and fast and powerful boats.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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