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Top UK military official says NATO must protect underwater cables from possible attacks by Russia

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By Mark Armstrong
UK warns of possible attacks by Russia on underwater cables
UK warns of possible attacks by Russia on underwater cables

The head of the UK armed forces said on Friday that NATO and its allies must take steps to protect deep sea communications cables from attacks by Russia. He said such an incident could be catastrophic in financial terms.

Addressing and audience at the Royal United Services Insititute in London, the UK's Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Stuart Peach said Russia is aware of the potential of attacking communications:

"Russia, in addition to new ships and submarines, continues to perfect both unconventional capabilities and information warfare.....and there is a new risk to our way of life, which is the vulnerability of the cables that criss-cross the seabeds."

The cables that cross the world's oceans carry over $10 trillion in daily transactions and 95 percent of global communications. Russia has repeatedly dismissed Western concerns about its renewed assertiveness as Cold War hysteria, though Kremlin supporters praise Putin at home for putting restoring Russia's clout after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.