Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Undersea Cable Trouble

There have been a series of communications disruptions involving breaks in undersea cables that carry internet communications for parts of Asia and Africa, including Iran and Egypt. This is all most interesting, and I haven't a clue whether this is all an extremely odd set of coincidences or whether something, er, more directed, might be going on.
I might comment on this when I have time to look into it more thoroughly, but in the meantime, Wretchard's discussion over at Belmont Club, the associated links and the comments to his posts are a very good starting place.
Problems with the world's undeseas communications network serve to remind us and many others of an important strategic fact of life, which Wretchard explains very well:
This map of the world underwater cable network reveals one of the least appreciated aspects of seapower. The United States Navy, by its control of the oceans, has the potential ability to impose an information blockade on any country on earth in time of war and force any belligerent into using communications channels which it physically controls. Air Force control of outer space means that this blockade ability also extends to the use of communications satellites.

Americans perhaps forget this, but lots of other people, most assuredly, do not.

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