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.”
Jeffrey T. Richelson is a Senior Fellow with the National Security Archive in Washingon, D.C. He is the author of Spying on the Bomb: American Nuclear Intelligence from Nazi Germany to Iran and North Korea, The Wizards of Langley, and numerous articles on on intelligence activities. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Rochester.
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