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.”
Nigel Sheinwald is the UK Ambassador to the United States. He joined the British Diplomatic Service in 1976 and has served in Washington (twice), Brussels (twice) and Moscow and in a wide range of policy jobs in London. He took up his position as British Ambassador to the United States in October 2007. In that role he leads the Embassy in Washington and nine Consulates-General around the United States. He had an earlier posting to Washington in 1983-87 as First Secretary (Political) in the Embassy. Before becoming Ambassador in Washington, Nigel served as Foreign Policy and Defence Adviser to the Prime Minister from 2003-2007.
Nigel was the UK Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the European Union in Brussels from 2000-2003. Before that he was Europe Director in the FCO (1998-2000). He had an earlier posting in the UK Representation in 1993-95 as Head of its Political and Institutional Section. He began his career in EU work as Deputy Head of the FCO's European Union Department in 1989-92. Nigel's first foreign posting was in Moscow in 1978-79. He was also Head of the Foreign Office's Anglo-Soviet Section in 1981-83.
Nigel has had a wide variety of other appointments in the FCO in London. From 1995-98, he was the FCO Press Secretary and Head of News Department. He was Deputy Head of the Foreign Office's Policy Planning Staff in 1987-1989, responsible for transatlantic relations and other issues. He also worked in London on the Japan Desk (1976-77) and on Zimbabwe (1979-81), including the Lancaster House Conference.