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.
Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl is an associate at the Belfer Center's Middle East Initiative and a visiting assistant professor at Harvard Kennedy School. He is an assistant professor of politics at the University of Virginia (UVA). His research interests include the conduct of civil wars, the effect of external assistance on the dynamics of conflict, and politics, development, and economic growth in the Middle East.
Prior to joining the UVA faculty, he was a fellow in regional political economy at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University. Schulhofer-Wohl's book manuscript examines the decision to continue fighting as a window into how simultaneous interactions between domestic actors and foreign states structure civil war processes. The book combines game-theoretic analysis with interviews of former commanders who participated in the civil war in Lebanon from 1975–1990, cross-country statistical evidence, and focused comparisons with other civil wars. While at the Kennedy School, Schulhofer-Wohl will be working on a second book project on the military interaction between civil war belligerents, with a core empirical focus on the Middle East through its use of disaggregated subnational data on Lebanon and Syria.Last Updated: Jul 14, 2017, 5:09pm