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.”
Speaker: Lt. Col. Charles Bursi, Research Fellow, International Security Program
Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's August 2022 trip to Taiwan made headlines around the world because she was the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit in decades. Her trip to this small democratic island only 100 miles from Communist China set off a firestorm of internal debates on U.S. East Asia strategy (New Yorker link). Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials trumpeted their frustration with the United States' incoherent diplomacy and launched aggressive military exercises in the Taiwan Strait. Ultimately, Pelosi's visit brought focus to the value of Taiwan in U.S. domestic and foreign policy.
Americans may understand the symbolic importance of Taiwan as a small democracy under threat from a giant autocratic bully. However, articulating the importance of Taiwan in terms of U.S. interests is more challenging. Some foreign policy experts believe that China will attempt to take back Taiwan in the next ten years. Should Americans be concerned if Taiwan is subsumed by China?
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