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.”
Mouni Rabbani is an independent writer and analyst specializing in Palestinian affairs and the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is a senior fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies and is a Contributing Editor to the Middle East Report. His articles have also appeared in The National and he has provided comments for The New York Times.