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.”
Marc Polymeropoulos was serving as the deputy chief of CIA’s clandestine operations in Europe and Eurasia when he fell ill on a routine trip to Moscow in December of 2017. His affliction with “Havana Syndrome,” and his battle with the USG to obtain proper health care, was chronicled in a GQ article. He frequently comments on the need for health care of affected officers in the US and international media.
Adam Entous is an award winning journalist for the New Yorker who has followed this phenomena for several years. Read his coverage:
- The Mystery of the Havana Syndrome
- Are U.S. Officials Under Silent Attack?
- Vienna is the New Havana Syndrome Hotspot
Marc and Adam will discuss the origins of suspected directed energy attacks, possible scenarios which would explain what has happened and what is still occurring, health care for affected officers, and the investigation into culpability, including policy implications of the attacks.
Marc Polymeropoulos worked for 26 years at the CIA before retiring in July 2019 at the Senior Intelligence Service level. He was one of CIA’s most highly decorated operations officers who served in multiple field assignments for the U.S. government. He specialized in counterterrorism, the Middle East and South Asia, including extensive time in Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to his retirement, Marc served at CIA headquarters and was in charge of CIA’s clandestine operations in Europe and Eurasia. He frequently comments on international events in the US media, to include the Washington Post, The New York Times, Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. He also writes a weekly column on intelligence as a Washington Examiner contributor. His book, “Clarity in Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the CIA,” was published by Harper Collins in June 2021.
Adam Entous joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2018, covering intelligence, national security, and foreign affairs. While working at the Washington Post, Adam shared a Pulitzer Prize and a special Polk Award for stories that led to the firing of President Trump’s first national-security adviser and to the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Russia’s role in the 2016 Presidential election. In 2017, Adam was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in feature writing for a story about an American diplomat wrongly accused of spying. Previously, Adam worked at the Wall Street Journal, where he covered national security. Before joining the Journal, Adam served as a senior correspondent for Reuters based in Jerusalem and covered the White House and Congress.