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.”
What explains the ebbs and flows of proliferation over time? Drawing on a large corpus of data on nuclear transfers, as well as in-depth case studies, this seminar will present an argument that proliferation is a function of the competition in the nuclear marketplace, which is populated by proliferators, suppliers, and thwarters.
Eliza Gheorghe is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Belfer Center's International Security Program and Project on Managing the Atom. She holds a doctorate in International Relations from the University of Oxford. She writes on reactive proliferation within alliances, nuclear technology transfers, nuclear sharing, and smuggling networks.