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.”
Graham Allison is the Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at Harvard University and a leading analyst of national security with special interests in nuclear weapons, Russia, China, and decision-making. He was the “Founding Dean” of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and until 2017, served as Director of its Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs which is ranked the “#1 University Affiliated Think Tank” in the world. As Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Clinton and Special Advisor to the Secretary of Defense under President Reagan, he has been a member of the Secretary of Defense’s Advisory Board for every Secretary from Weinberger to Mattis. His first book, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis (1971), ranks among the all-time bestsellers with more than 500,000 copies in print. Dr. Allison’s latest book, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? (2017), is a national and international bestseller.
Emily Channell-Justice is the Director of the Temerty Contemporary Ukraine Program at the Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University. She is a sociocultural anthropologist who has been doing research in Ukraine since 2012. She has pursued research on political activism and social movements among students and feminists during the 2013-2014 Euromaidan mobilizations. She received her PhD from The Graduate Center, City University of New York, in September 2016, and she was a Havighurst Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of International Studies at Miami University, Ohio from 2016-2019.
Mary Elise Sarotte
An expert in the history of international relations, Mary Elise Sarotte is the inaugural holder of the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Distinguished Professorship of Historical Studies. She is also a research associate at Harvard University's Center for European Studies. Sarotte earned her AB in History and Science at Harvard and her PhD in History at Yale University. She is the author or editor of six books, including The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall and 1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe, both of which were selected as Financial Times Books of the Year, among other distinctions and awards. Following graduate school, Sarotte served as a White House Fellow, then joined the faculty of the University of Cambridge, where she received tenure before accepting an offer to return to the United States to teach at USC. Sarotte is a former Humboldt Scholar, a former member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Her most recent book is Not One Inch: America, Russia, and the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate, on what the fight over NATO expansion did to Western relations with Russia.