In the modern era, there is great convergence in the technologies used by friendly nations and by hostile ones. Signals intelligence agencies find themselves penetrating the technologies that they also at times must protect. To ease this tension, the United States and its partners have relied on an approach sometimes called Nobody But Us, or NOBUS: target communications mechanisms using unique methods accessible only to the United States. This paper examines how the NOBUS approach works, its limits, and the challenging matter of what comes next.
Alexandra T. Evans is a predoctoral Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy at the Belfer Center's International Security Program and a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Virginia. Her research explores U.S. perceptions of threat and change in the international system, with a particular focus on Cold War strategy and the Middle East. Alexandra earned her M.A. from the University of Virginia and her B.A. from Vassar College. At the Belfer Center, Alexandra will continue her dissertation on the 1982–1984 U.S. intervention in Lebanon, which explores how the Reagan administration's diplomatic and military engagements in the country influenced its effort to build a regional strategy for the Middle East.Last Updated: Aug 31, 2017, 6:58pm