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.”
Come hear veteran investigative journalists Catherine Collins and Douglas Frantz discuss their years of research into the U.S. hunt for nuclear traffickers. Collins and Frantz earned strong reviews for their 2011 book, Fallout: The True Story of the CIA’s Secret War on Nuclear Trafficking. That book follows up the in-depth work they did to produce their 2007 book, The Nuclear Jihadist (published in paperback as The Man From Pakistan), a study of the nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan and his dangerous global proliferation network that fed nuclear programs in Iran, Libya and North Korea – at the least.
Their latest book makes the case that the CIA waited far too long before finally opting to shut down the Khan network, preferring to keep monitoring the network’s operatives and gathering more intelligence rather than dismantling it. They argue that institutional errors and misguided policy choices along the way that contributed to proliferation rather than slowed it.
Frantz has been managing editor of the Los Angeles Times, a foreign correspondent based in Istanbul, and a senior investigative reporter and editor for the New York Times. He is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and was part of a Pulitzer-winning reporting team. In 2009 he became chief investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and earlier this year joined Kroll, the international risk and security firm, as a managing director. Collins has been a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, has contributed to numerous publications, and has co-authored several books with Frantz, including Death on the Black Sea.
The seminar is part of a series sponsored by the Belfer Center’s Managing the Atom project . No RSVP required.
Please join us! Coffee, tea, and decaf will be provided.