The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Dr. Trey Herr is the director of the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative and an assistant professor of Cybersecurity and Policy at American University's School of International Service. At the Council, his team works at the intersection of cybersecurity and geopolitics across conflict, cloud computing, supply chain policy, and more. Previously, he was a senior security strategist with Microsoft handling cloud computing and supply chain security policy as well as a fellow with the Cybersecurity Project at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center and a non-resident fellow with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He holds a PhD in Political Science and BS in Musical Theatre and Political Science.