Will undersea infrastructure be attacked in 2023?
119
937
1.3k
resolved Jan 1
Resolved
YES

Spirit of the market: Will another attack like Nord Stream 2 happen in the rest of 2023, or on smaller internet cables.

There is a lot of undersea infrastructure that is very vulnerable to attack, not well patrolled and easy to target. Largely not under attack because everyone is at peace with each other.

Will resolve yes if undersea cables or pipelines are, beyond reasonable doubt, the target of attacks. Could be internet cables, power cables or gas pipelines. Has to be outside of the Ukraine/Russia conflict.


As this is somewhat subjective I will not bet in this market.

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Intend to resolve this YES:
The primary case is the Newnew Polar Bear, the chinese ship. It was in the area when some ship drug it's anchor over 100 miles across the sea floor across the bay of finland, where a gas pipeline and 2 telecommunications cables were damaged. That's incredibly likely to have been Newnew Polar Bear, which was missing it's anchor.

The key question for this market is, did it intentionally drag it's anchor across the sea floor, or was it an accident.

If I explain to an unbiased friend that a chinese ship coming out of a russian port had it's anchor out for 100 miles across the sea wreaking some havoc, and I told them no one on the ship noticed a thing and it was all an accident, then they would giggle and go 'ohh come on'.

It's much more likely that the ship did it intentionally, than that it was just an accident.

I'm not counting as evidence that they then ran away to China asap, because if I were an innocent chinese ship captain who had just done a major whoops, I would also go back to china asap.

Therefore I'm joining the stances of Finland's Minister of European Affairs Anders Adlercreutz and Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur.


Will resolve, do feel free to comment if you agree or think differently. This market was surprisingly hard to judge compared to what I would have expected beforehand.

predicted YES

@Fedor You accidentally resolved it NO

@Tumbles BIG whoops! Sorry, all my other markets resolved no, so it was automated sleepy button pressing

bought Ṁ100 of YES

I will debate Acceleration Bot about the implications of international posture and the behavioral differences between historically true denials and those believed to have been false.

predicted YES

@Panfilo Ohhh, thanks!

@EvanDaniel It's a new standpoint of a government official, though they mostly mention their suspicions and how it looks really obvious. The finnish minister is stating it's beyond reasonable doubt. Though there's not any new evidence about the intentions of the chinese ship.

predicted YES

@Fedor Yeah, I don't think there's any new evidence here, but I do think there's new public analysis.

predicted YES

@EvanDaniel I guess people have slightly differing definitions of evidence, but this is something that substantially raises my credence that there was a deliberate attack

@JoshuaWilkes It's definitely bayesian evidence for a deliberate attack, though not new facts about the incident.

Noting that just because I haven't resolved the market yes yet doesn't mean I won't based on the current evidence. I'm planning to look at the evidence in more depth soon after the close date.

bought Ṁ10 of NO

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/finland-retrieves-anchor-seabed-near-broken-gas-pipeline-2023-10-24/

Looks like an anchor dragged along. Unclear whether intentional or not at this time.

Send like it would have to be intentional to be an attack.

@EvanDaniel Alright, will wait for further confirmation on the finish pipeline.

predicted NO

@EvanDaniel It's going to be really hard to assign blame. China can say "oops, our crew made a mistake/the anchor winch was broken and we had to drag anchor until we got to port" and how do you say that's not the case?

@ChristopherMelton I am not expecting attribution 'Who did it', though they do say they're not making any ruling on 'it was intentional' vs 'it was an accident'. Though it seems pretty likely to be intentional.

predicted NO

@Fedor Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence.

bought Ṁ100 of YES

@Fedor It sure seems like it happened, but I'm surprised this is enough to reach the "beyond reasonable doubt" standard. I'd expect at least a little public evidence of what happened and why they think it isn't damage from an anchor or something. Or corroborating statements from uninvolved countries (like the US) or an official NATO statement.

@EvanDaniel Don't want to surprise anyone. Swedish government putting out an official statement is very weighty, though they are involved and not wholly independent. They are a trustworthy government.
Furthermore, it seems unlikely a-priori that the cable was damaged entirely by accident, so if they investigated it and say 'yes this is some external force or tampering' that makes it very likely it was.

predicted YES

@Fedor I don't think it counts yet, "has been damaged by means of external force or tampering" does not rule out accidental damage, however unlikely.

@sulliwan Will wait till the end of the year to see if there's more definitive report. Though even if there isn't, I am inclined to resolve it yes based on this report.

What's the resolution if an investigation goes "we think so but we cannot determine who is responsible"?

predicted YES

@ChristopherMelton

if undersea cables or pipelines are, beyond reasonable doubt, the target of attacks

Presumably if there is reasonable doubt, we keep waiting. I'd assume this means we're looking for things like unequivocal statements from multiple governments and/or media outlets.

@ChristopherMelton They don't have to do attribution, meaning they don't need to determine who is responsible, just point out it was an attack. An unnatural explosion in this case. (Which I think is looking likely but I haven't looked into it)

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