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Cablegate: Ct Task Force: Critical Infrastructure

VZCZCXRO9731
OO RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHYG
DE RUEHTH #0216 0461602
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 151602Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY ATHENS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1216
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS ATHENS 000216

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC ECON PTER PREL PGOV ETTC EAID EFIN GR
SUBJECT: CT TASK FORCE: CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE

REF: SECSTATE 6461

1. (U) As requested in Reftel, this message contains Embassy
Athens' assessment of critical infrastructure and key
resources in Greece which, if destroyed, disrupted, or
exploited, might have an immediate and deleterious effect on
the United States.

2. (U) Greek Shipping Industry: Greek companies own almost
3,400 merchant vessels, making the Greek-owned merchant fleet
the largest in the world. The Greek-owned fleet represents
8.4 percent of the world,s total number of cargo ships and
13.7 percent of the world,s tonnage. Greek-owned ships are
docked all over the world, and fly under a variety of flags.
We assess that while an attack or natural disaster that
incapacitated this industry would have a direct and negative
impact on US commerce, the diffuse nature of the industry
makes such events highly improbable.

3. (U) Port of Piraeus: With an annual throughput of
approximately 1.4 million TEUs (twenty feet equivalent
unit),the Port of Piraeus is one of the ten busiest container
traffic ports in Europe and the top container port in the
eastern Mediterranean. In 2007, approximately 5,500
containers were shipped from the port to the United States.
The port is also the largest passenger port in Europe and one
of the largest in the world. We assess that an attack or
natural disaster at the port, depending upon its nature and
severity, could have severe consequences in terms of lives
lost and regional transport and could impact directly on US
commercial interests.

4. (U) Energy Pipelines: By 2013, Greece will be home to two
of the most important energy pipelines in Southern Europe:
The Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline and the
Turkey-Greece-Italy gas interconnector (TGI). Damage to the
former pipeline, which will bring Caspian crude to the Aegean
in a way that bypasses the Bosporus, could have a moderate
impact on international oil markets. If it were just one part
of a joint attack or major disaster in the Straits, this
could be a severe blow to global oil markets. A disruption of
the TGI would have a devastating effect on the Italian gas
market, which will be receiving 8bcm of gas through TGI. We
assess that it would have no effect on the US gas market.

5. (U) Souda Bay, Crete: Naval Facility Souda Bay, Crete is a
major logistics and support base for U.S. forces flowing
through the Mediterranean, both in and out of the Middle
East. A catastrophic attack or natural disaster, conventional
or unconventional, would likely have a significant, but not
catastrophic, short term impact on US and coalition
operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although difficult to
implement, other basing options could be quickly amended to
ensure the maintenance of logistics support to Coalition
Forces. An attack on US forces at Naval Facility Souda Bay
would have a significant effect on US military operations in
the Mediterranean, particularly U.S. Navy and Air Force.

6. (U) Rail/Road Lines in Northern Greece: Major logistics
support to ISAF forces flow overland via rail and road
through Thessaloniki. A catastrophic attack or disaster on
the rail or road lines leading into and out of Thessaloniki
toward the North would significantly impact overland support
to ISAF. However, there are other logistics options that
could be implemented quickly to reestablish logistic support
to the region.

7. (U) Submarine Telecommunication Cables: There are a number
of international fiber-optic telecommunication cables that
run through Greek territorial waters in the Mediterranean,
most notably SEA-ME-WE-3, which provides links to Europe, the
Middle East, and Asia, and Mednautilus, which connects the
Mediterranean region to Western Europe and the US. Though the
destruction of one of these cables would cause significant
damage to US communication to these areas, we assess that it
is unlikely that terrorists would have the technical
capability to cut these cables because of their location deep
in the Mediterranean. We presume that the cables were
designed to withstand natural phenomena.
SPECKHARD

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