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.”
Former UK Ambassador to Lebanon, Tom Fletcher, and BBC war-correspondent, Paul Wood, discuss the ongoing crisis in Syria, the effects on its neighboring countries and the mass exodus of Syrian civilians to "safe" havens in the region and Europe. As the United States and Russia launch new discussions on military options vis-a-vis Syria, what are the options for the international community?
Cathryn Cluver, Executive Director of the Future of Diplomacy Project, moderates the event.
Tom Fletcher was Ambassador to Lebanon 2011-2015, and previously the Foreign Policy Adviser to three British Prime Ministers. He is a visiting Professor at NYU and Hon Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford. He is based in Abu Dhabi, as Strategy Director for the Global Business Coalition for Education, and establishing a new international security foundation. His book on the future of power is published by Harper Collins in Spring 2016.
Paul Wood is a fellow at the Shorenstein Center in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He is also a BBC foreign correspondent, most recently based in Beirut and covering Syria. He was smuggled across the border a number of times over the past four years to report on the uprising and the civil war. He received the US Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association David Bloom award for foreign reporting twice, in 2012 and 2015. His reporting has also won two US Emmys, a Peabody, a Sony Gold, the Royal Television Society’s international coverage award and he was the UK Foreign Press Association’s journalist of the year.
In 20 years of foreign reporting for the BBC, Paul has covered a dozen conflicts: in Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya, Darfur, Libya, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Algeria, Northern Ireland and Ukraine.
He was in Baghdad during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and was embedded with the US marines for the assault on Fallujah in 2004. He won the Bayeux Award for War Correspondents and a Golden Nymph at the Monte Carlo TV festival for reports from inside a crowd hit by multiple suicide bombs in Iraq in 2004.
During the NATO air war in Yugoslavia in 1999, he walked into Kosovo, sending out reports from behind Serbian lines.