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.”
The presentation will employ organizational culture theory to dissect the nuclear safeguards culture of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The origins and evolution of the culture since the IAEA's founding in 1957 will be examined, including the extent to which it reflects the organizational culture of the Agency as a whole and that of the United Nations. Differences between safeguards culture and safety and security cultures will be explored. A key question is the extent to which the Agency's safeguards culture has changed since the strengthening of nuclear safeguards following the discovery of Iraq's illicit nuclear weapons program in the early 1990s. The presentation will conclude with findings about the current state of the culture, the discontinuities it faces and what the IAEA might do about it.