There is a new worry among Western Europe’s NATO Allies according to Chief Marshall Stuart Peach, head of Britain’s military that the Russians could try to sever global underwater communications cables, potentially triggering catastrophic repercussions for the economy and way of life in the West.

According to military and government analysts, most of the global internet and telephone traffic that Western governments and economies rely so heavily on are carried by undersea cables that run on the seabeds of the world.

NATO has prioritized missions to protect these undersea lines of communication and is working “to match and understand Russian fleet modernization,” Chief Marshall Stuart Peach told the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a defense think tank in London.

“Your emails, what you order on Amazon, your phone calls, online banking, it’s all done through undersea cables not through satellites,” said Peter Roberts, director of military sciences at RUSI.