Re: "Can you imagine a scenario where those cables are cut or disrupted?"
"Can you imagine a scenario where those cables are cut or disrupted?"
Yes, this means that the traffic goes the backup route around the UK into the North Sea landing in Europe north of Rotterdam (if we assume the optical level backup of the same links). As a result UK can no longer snoop on them and we have to ask the Dutch for a favour. Oh my god the world just ended.
To put it bluntly, if the hostilities reach a point where cables will be cut physically there will be P800 Onix and Kalibr going one way, Tomahawks the other shortly followed by nuclear tipped Khs Radugas and AG-86M exchanges and culminating with a Bulava vs Minuteman handshake.
Simply, the navy and the military need more toys. The threat of Russia doing this does not exist. At the point where they do it, undersea cables will be the least of our worries. There will be no traffic on them anyway with the EMP knocking out all Internet exchanges and transmission huts on the cable routes.
Now, there is a very clear threat of fringe groups, terrorists, self-declared states led by bearded lunatics, etc. That is different - it is the threat of them hijacking two trawlers or just buying them on the cheap (last time I checked - under 20 grand a piece for a couple of decommissioned ones) and having an excursion around Cornwall and around the Dutch coast north of Hook of Holland on the same day. All they need is a couple of AK47s on board - the only thing the UK coast guard has nowdays are inflatables. Not sure what the Dutch have (probably nothing much better either).
That is different though - you cannot get any cool toys to deal with this. Nothing like the toys BAE will concoct to deal with an imaginary Russian threat in mid-atlantic (*).
(*)Do not even get me started about ex-Generals getting consluttant positions in companies like BAE after they have "served their country". Everywhere - Russia too.