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 Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs is proud to host a Director's Seminar on "Intelligence Reform: The Impact on Counterterrorism" with John Brennan, Director (interim) , National Counterterrorism Center.
Mr. Brennan was appointed the (interim) Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) by the Director of Central Intelligence with the approval of the President on 27 October 2004. Established by Executive Order 13345 and the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, the central mission of the NCTC is to serve as the primary organization in the United States Government for analyzing and integrating terrorism information. The NCTC is also responsible for conducting strategic operational planning for counterterrorism activities. Prior to becoming (interim) Director, NCTC, Mr. Brennan served as the Director of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) from 12 March 2003 until 6 December 2004. When the NCTC was formally launched in December 2004, all functions of the TTIC were transferred to the NCTC.
Mr. Brennan began his career as an intelligence officer in 1980 with the Central Intelligence Agency's Directorate of Operations as a Career Trainee. After joining the Directorate of Intelligence in 1981, he served with the Department of State as a political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from 1982 to 1984. From 1984 to 1989, he served in a variety of analytic assignments in the Office of Near Eastern and South Asian Analysis in the Directorate of Intelligence. Mr. Brennan was in charge of terrorism analysis in the DCI's Counterterrorist Center between 1990 and 1992, including during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. After a management position in the Office of Near Eastern and South Asian Analysis, Mr. Brennan served as the CIA’s daily intelligence briefer at the White House in 1994 and 1995. Mr. Brennan was the Executive Assistant to then-DDCI George Tenet from 1995 to 1996, and he served as Chief of Station in a major Middle East capital from 1996 to 1999. Mr. Brennan served as DCI Tenet’s Chief of Staff from 1999 to 2001 and as Deputy Executive Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from March 2001 to March 2003.
Please join us for what is sure to be a stimulating and informative discussion.