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.”
Professor Nicholas Burns, Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, will interview Mr. Dan Meridor, Harvard Kennedy School Lamont Lecturer and former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister, about US-Israel relations, Iran and Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
About Dan Meridor:
Dan Meridor, who until recently was Israel’s deputy prime minister and civilian head of intelligence, is in residence at Harvard Kennedy School through November as Lamont Lecturer, hosted by the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
Meridor has been a central player in Israeli politics for more than 30 years. He served as a cabinet secretary from 1982-84 under Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, and was first elected to the Knesset for the Likud Party in 1984. He has held a series of prominent Cabinet positions, including minister of justice in Shamir’s government from 1988-92. In 1996, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appointed Meridor as minister of finance.
Meridor and several other members of Likud and the Labor Party later formed a new party called Israel in the Center. He was reelected to the Knesset for the Center Party in 1999 and became chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, one of a number of prominent foreign affairs roles Meridor has held.
He later served as Knesset observer to the Council of Europe, and after he lost his seat in the 2003 election he served as international chair of the Jerusalem Foundation. He also was chairman of the committee that wrote Israel’s defense doctrine, submitted in 2006.
Meridor rejoined Likud and was returned to Parliament in 2009. Netanyahu appointed him minister of intelligence and atomic energy as well as deputy prime minister, a role he held until earlier this year.
The Corliss Lamont Lecture series was established in 1984 thanks to a gift from Dr. Corliss Lamont (’24). The lectureship enables a prominent academic or policymaker in the field of international security affairs to speak on issues related to international peace and nuclear arms. Past lecturers have included former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson; Andrei Kokoshin, an influential Russian politician and scholar; Mohammed Elbaradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency; Thomas Schelling, a Nobel Prize-winning ecohnomist and nuclear strategist; and former Defense Secretary William Perry, who has campaigned to eliminate nuclear weapons.