Purdue FORCES Report suggests undersea telecommunication cables can be a new strategic chokepoint

Undersea cables are vital components of the global economy and international security.  97% of global communications are transmitted by these cables and are part of an estimated 212 cable systems containing 750,000 miles of fiber.  Individual days may see $10 trillion in financial transfers via these cables and 15 trillion financial transactions processed.  These cables also play vital roles in the military communications of the U.S., its allies, and adversaries.  Repairing these cables requires determining the location of the breaks using a built-in monitoring system, contacting cable repair sites, and allowing multiple hours or days to repair these cables.  Global rupturing of these cables would disrupt international communications and the Internet and adversely affect areas such as international finance, military logistics, medicine, agriculture, energy flows, and food supply deliveries. 

Undersea Cables:  The Ultimate Geopolitical Chokepoint by Professor Bert Chapman (Government Information, History, and Political Science Librarian chapmanb@purdue.edu) emphasizes the vital importance of this infrastructure to the world. The report strives to enhance public awareness of its importance and makes military, political, and technical recommendations for the U.S. and its allies to ensure that this infrastructure continues to function and is not disrupted by hostile international countries and groups.

Full Report on the FORCES e-pub site FORCES Initiative: Strategy, Security, and Social Systems | College of Liberal Arts | Purdue University