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.”
Marking the passage of 20 years since the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom, MEI Faculty Director Professor Tarek Masoud will moderate this panel featuring: Meghan O’Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, HKS; Kanan Makiya, Professor Emeritus of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University and author, Republic of Fear: The Politics of Modern Iraq (University of California Press, 1989); and Emma Sky, OBE, founding Director of Yale’s International Leadership Center and former political advisor to the Commanding General of U.S. Forces in Iraq.
Meghan L. O’Sullivan is the Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs and the Director of the Geopolitics of Energy Project at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. She is also a Partner at the strategic consulting firm Macro Advisory Partners and is the Chair of the North American Group of the Trilateral Commission.
Meghan draws on her broad experience in government, business, diplomacy, and academia to shed insights into foreign policy and national security, energy markets, the transition to a net-zero global economy, and the geopolitics of that transition to benefit her students and colleagues, the U.S. government, global businesses, and the public debate.
Meghan has extensive experience in policy formulation and in negotiation. She is currently a member of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s Foreign Policy Advisory Board. Between 2004 and 2007, she was special assistant to President George W. Bush and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan during the last two years of her tenure. Meghan's full bio can be found here.
Kanan Makiya is a Senior Fellow at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies and Professor Emeritus of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University. Born in Baghdad, Makiya left Iraq to study architecture at MIT, later joining Makiya Associates to design and build projects in the Middle East. In 1981, he left the practice of architecture and began to write a book about Iraq. Kanan has written several books and is widely published. Republic of Fear: The Politics of Modern Iraq (University of California Press, 1989) became a best-seller after Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. In 2003, he founded the Iraq Memory Foundation, a NGO based in Baghdad and the US that is dedicated to issues of remembrance, violence, and identity formation. The Iraq Memory Foundation has collected and digitized nearly 10 million pages of Ba’th era documents and has been supported by both the Iraqi and US governments as well as many foundations. Makiya recently authored the novel, The Rope (Pantheon, 2016), which quickly became an international bestseller.
Emma Sky is the founding Director of Yale’s International Leadership Center. She is a lecturer at the Yale Jackson School where she teaches great power competition, global affairs and Middle East politics. She is a member of the Wilton Park Advisory Council and a trustee of the HALO Trust. She is the author of the highly acclaimed The Unravelling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq (2015) and In a Time of Monsters: Travelling in a Middle East in Revolt (2019).
Emma served as political advisor to the Commanding General of US Forces in Iraq; as development advisor to the Commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan; as political advisor to the US Security Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process; and as Governorate Coordinator of Kirkuk for the Coalition Provisional Authority.
Prior to that, Emma worked in the Palestinian territories for a decade, managing projects to develop Palestinian institutions; and to promote co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians. In addition, Emma has provided technical assistance on poverty elimination, human rights, justice public administration reform, security sector reform, and conflict resolution in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa.
- Director of Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
- Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
- Member of the Board, Belfer Center
- Faculty Affiliate, Middle East Initiative