American military and intelligence officials have raised concerns over Russian ships and submarines assertively functioning near the former's undersea cables, showing tendency of severing the US lines during moments of conflict.
The undersea cables conduct global communications worth at least $10 trillion per day, including financial transactions that are settled on them every second. Furthermore, over 95% of daily communications are conducted by the cables. Ordinarily lying around Miami, New York and Los Angeles, the cables top the list of "critical infrastructure" by the US Department of Homeland Security.
Although the officials of American spy agencies and Pentagon -- headquarters of United States Department of Defence -- reportedly refused to publicly discuss the situation, they are secretly observing the Russians' activities and movements and trying to come up with solutions if the cables are severed.
Furthermore, American intelligence officials have revealed that Russian ships are vigorously moving around the area from North Sea to Northeast Asia, where the former have cables conducting global electronic communications and commerce, The New York Times reported.
Last month, Russian spy ship "Yantar" reportedly travelled from US East Coast to Cuba, passing the American naval station at Guantanamo Bay. American spy satellites, which were constantly watching "Yantar" said the spy ship -- installed with two self-driven deep-sea submersible craft -- has the capacity to severe cables lying miles down under the sea.
More than anything, Pentagon officials are most worried at the Russians' trying to locate the undersea cables that are hard to keep an eye on and difficult to be detected for cuts.
Michael Sechrist, a former project manager of a Defence Department-funded Harvard-MIT project, said, "Undersea cables tend to follow the similar path since they were laid in the 1860s," due to the operators' want to install cables in known environments for long-lived agreements.
Pentagon is concerned about the special cables, planted at secret locations, that are not easily available on maps and are commissioned by American military operations. The officials are worried that the Russians might be searching for these exclusive cables.
Russia is not the only nation trying to severe undersea cables and get foreign information. In fact, in October 1971, American submarine "Halibut" entered Japan via the Sea of Okhotsk and successfully tapped cables used by Soviet nuclear forces. Codenamed "Ivy Bells", the mission resulted in a coveted world of cable tapping.
"The Yantar is equipped with a unique onboard scientific research complex, which enables it to collect data on the ocean environment, both in motion and on hold. There are no similar complexes anywhere," said Alexei Burilichev, who heads the deepwater research department at the Russian Defence Ministry, according to news reports.
Till now, no evidence of cable cutting has been found; but American military and intelligence officials are widely concerned about the expanding Russian armed forces across the globe and are seeing the Vladimir Putin-ruled nation's each move as a reminiscent of World War.