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.”
Nadiya Kostyuk is a Fellow for the Cybersecurity Project at the Belfer Center and is completing her PhD at the University of Michigan in Political Science and Public Policy. She is also as a research fellow at the Cybersecurity, Internet Governance, Digital Economy, and Civic Tech Initiative at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs during the 2017-2018 academic year. Nadiya's research interests are states' cyber capacities; cyber attacks as coercive tools; mapping physical and 'digital' fronts. Her regional expertise include post-Soviet countries. She is currently a fellow at EastWest Institute of Global Cooperation in Cyberspace Initiative.