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.”
John B. Bellinger III, currently Partner at Arnold & Porter LLP and former Legal Adviser to the Secretary of State (2005-2009) and the National Security Council (2001 - 2005) will discuss the challenges of international law faced by a second Obama administration, including the legality of drone use.
As the State Department Legal Adviser-a Senate-confirmed position and the most senior international lawyer in the U.S. Government-Mr. Bellinger directed more than 170 lawyers on domestic and international law matters affecting U.S. foreign relations. Before joining the State Department, Mr. Bellinger managed Secretary Rice's confirmation process and co-directed her State Department transition team. In 2009, Mr. Bellinger received the Secretary of State's Distinguished Service Award.
Mr. Bellinger has argued cases before the International Court of Justice (Mexico v. United States-(Medellin)) and the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague. He has appeared on numerous briefs in U.S. federal courts, including the Supreme Court, in litigation involving international law issues.
As Legal Adviser to the NSC, Mr. Bellinger advised the President, Cabinet officials, the National Security Adviser, and NSC staff on a wide variety of national security and international law issues. He was present in the White House during the 9/11 attacks and later represented the White House in dealings with the 9/11Commission; he was one of the principal drafters of the legislation that created the Director of National Intelligence.
Prior to his service in the Bush Administration, Mr. Bellinger served as Counsel for National Security Matters in the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice (1997-2001); Of Counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (1996); General Counsel of the Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the U.S. Intelligence Community (1995-1996); and Special Assistant to Director of Central Intelligence William Webster (1988-1991).