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: Mayumi Fukushima, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom Postdoctoral Fellow
What explains differences in junior allies' behavior in their asymmetric alliance relationship with their patron? Measured by their speed of military capability buildup and their degree of coordination with their patron, state alliance behavior can be categorized into four different, mutually exclusive types, some of which may increase the chances of deterrence failure and alliance entrapment - i.e., a senior alliance partner getting entrapped in an unwanted war.
As the first systematic analysis of variation in allied behavior in the context of asymmetric alliances, this seminar offers a new realist theory about what causes the differences among junior allies and should be able to contribute to current scholarly debates over whether the United States should strengthen its security commitments to its allies in different regions — and help answer critical policy questions such as: Should the United States maintain its strategic ambiguity with regard to Taiwan, and if the United States were to end some of its legacy alliances, where could it start retrenching safely without causing instability?
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