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Sending subs to prowl around narrow waterways between islands implies intents beyond nuclear threats (deterrence) and implies that it is shipping they want to deter. Anti-shipping attacks are still done with torpedoes or in some cases cruise missiles or even missiles that put a torpedo in the water near a target ship. Sonobouys, air search helicopters with dipping sonar based off destroyers and similar things have made it just as hard to hide a sub as it ever was, in fact it was much easier to hide a sub in WWII than it was in the 1980's or now.