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.”
Andrew Light is Acting Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy. During the second half of the Obama administration, Andrew served as Senior Adviser and India Counselor to the U.S. Special Envoy on Climate Change in the U.S. Department of State, as well as a staff climate adviser in Secretary of State John Kerry’s Office of Policy Planning. In that position he was U.S. Director of the U.S.-India Joint Working Group on Combating Climate Change, Chair of the U.S. Interagency Climate Working Group for creation and negotiation of the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals, and worked on the senior strategy team for the UN climate negotiations. Outside of government, Andrew has been a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and Distinguished Senior Fellow at the World Resources Institute, where he led high-level climate and energy dialogues between non-governmental U.S. participants and counterparts in India, China, and the European Union. Since 2008 he has also been at George Mason University, where he is currently on leave as University Professor of Philosophy, Public Policy, and Atmospheric Sciences.