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.”
Dr Tim Oliver is a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, and an Associate of LSE IDEAS, the LSE’s foreign policy think tank. He is the author of ‘Understanding Brexit: A concise introduction’ (Polity Press, 2018) and ‘Europe’s Brexit: EU Responses to Britain’s Vote to Leave’ (Agenda, 2018). He was previously a Dahrendorf Fellow at LSE IDEAS, has taught at the LSE, UCL, and for several years as a lecturer at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and been a researcher and visiting fellow at NYU, RAND, the SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations, and the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik. He has also worked in the House of Lords and the European Parliament.