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.”
Russia is headed for a very difficult period which possibly includes economic and political collapse. International sanctions along with the decline in oil and gas prices and lack of modernization have taken a devastating toll on Russia's economy. Parliamentary elections in September 2016, if marked by voting irregularities, could spur major demonstrations across the country. Meanwhile, Russia's global ambitions have not changed substantially. What has changed, however, is the nature of Russia's engagement in key regions, as well as the international community's response.
Where is Russia Headed? It's future is in question.
Ambassador Paula Dobriansky is a foreign policy expert and former diplomat specializing in national security affairs. She is a Senior Fellow at the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Vice Chair of the National Executive Committee, U.S. Water Partnership.
From 2010 - 2012, Ambassador Dobriansky was Senior Vice President and Global Head of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Thomson Reuters. In this position, she was responsible for designing and implementing a corporate approach for engagement in Washington, D.C. and other key capitals around the globe. During this time, she was also appointed as the Distinguished National Security Chair at the U.S. Naval Academy.
From 2001 to 2009, Ambassador Dobriansky served as Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs. Among her primary accomplishments, she established and led the U.S.-India, U.S.-China, and U.S. - Brazil Global Issues Fora that advanced crucial work and international cooperation on environment, energy, health, development, and humanitarian issues. Additionally, she was head of delegation and lead negotiator on U.S. climate change policy.