Cutting the cable: Russian submarines and sub-marine infrastructure

A few thoughts on Russian submarines and sub-marine cables

A number of news stories concerning the sub-marine environment have emerged recently that suggest that the depths of the sea and the seafloor are very much on the geopolitical agenda. The presence of a Russian submarine near US undersea cables is one such story and it provides an opportunity to engage with how the sub-marine matters in geopolitics today and to ensure that this space is not neglected from our geopolitical and geographical imaginaries.

Last week, reports emerged of a Russian submarine ‘aggressively operating’ near US undersea cable infrastructure. According to the New York Times and a subsequent report by CNN, the presence of Russian subs near such vital infrastructure has prompted fears that Russia might be planning to ‘attack’ the cables in ‘times of tension or conflict’. The ‘cable’ posing a security threat is not a new phenomenon. During the Cold War for example, cable tapping was a…

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