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.”
Speaker: Evan Perkoski, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program
Why do insurgents recruit experienced fighters at some times and untrained novices at others? Research suggests that insurgent organizations place a premium on committed members who demonstrate political devotion. But research also suggests that groups are willing to compromise on commitment when compelled by other priorities. The speaker will argue this extends to recruitment of experienced fighters who are capable and knowledgeable, but also less committed and generally riskier. Specifically, he expects groups will accept these risks and recruit veteran fighters when initially building their organization, when transitioning to new modes of warfare, and when competing with peer organizations for dominance.
At other times, groups should more readily focus their efforts on novices who can be molded to fit their less urgent operational needs. The speaker will evaluate this theory with a case study of Al Qaeda in Iraq and its successor, the Islamic State. This research sheds light on an understudied component of insurgent recruitment that has implications for organizational behavior, counterinsurgency, intergroup conflict, and civilian victimization
Everyone is welcome to join us via Zoom! Register before the seminar here: