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.”
The Commission on the National Defense Strategy will release a report in the fall of 2024, addressing Congress, the President, and the American public. This report will serve as a crucial resource for shaping future budget requests, legislation, appropriations, and Department of Defense operations and planning. During the seminar, attendees can expect an in-depth discussion on the forthcoming recommendations from both the Chair and Vice Chair of the Commission.
Rep. Jane Harman served nine terms in Congress as the U.S. representative for California’s 36th congressional district and was ranking member of the Intelligence Committee after 9/11. Since leaving the House in 2011 to become the first woman president and CEO of the Wilson Center, she has served on numerous government advisory boards (CIA, DNI, DOD and State Department) and currently serves on boards for DHS and NASA. She also chairs the board of Freedom House, is a Trustee of the Aspen Institute, a Hauser Leader at the Kennedy School, a Presidential Scholar at USC and was selected by Congress in January 2023 to chair the Commission on the National Defense Strategy. Harman’s book, “Insanity Defense: Why Our Failure to Confront Hard National Security Problems Makes Us Less Safe,” was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2021.ssumed duties as Commander, U.S. European Command, July 1, 2022, and Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), July 4, 2022.
Ambassador Eric S. Edelman retired as a Career Minister from the U.S. Foreign Service on May 1, 2009. He is currently Practitioner in Residence at the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Counselor at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, and a non-resident senior fellow at the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the United States Institute of Peace and Co-Chaired the National Defense Strategy Commission, 2017-2018.
Ambassador Edelman served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republics of Finland and Turkey in the Clinton and Bush Administrations and was Principal Deputy Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs. From 2005 to 2009 he was the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. In other assignments he served as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of State, special assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and special assistant to Secretary of State George Shultz. He also served in the State Department Operations Center, Prague, Moscow, and Tel Aviv, where he was a member of the U.S. Middle East Delegation to the West Bank/Gaza Autonomy Talks.
He has been awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award and several Department of State Superior Honor Awards. In January 2011 he was awarded the Legion d’Honneur by the French Government. He holds a BA from Cornell University and a PhD in Diplomatic History from Yale.
This event will be off-the-record, in-person, and is restricted to Harvard ID holders. If your RSVP has been confirmed, you will receive confirmation and event details prior to the session.