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.”
Afreen Siddiqi is an Affiliate of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and an adjunct lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. She is also as a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her research expertise is at the intersection of technology, policy, and international development. She combines quantitative tools and qualitative methods for complex socio-technical systems analysis. Her current work is in natural resources planning and scientific capacity and industrial development in emerging countries. In the first area, her work focuses on critical linkages between water, energy, and food security at urban, provincial, and national scales in the water-scarce Middle East and in the water rich but energy-starved Indus Basin of Pakistan. In the second area, her research is on analyzing engineering education and scientific research enterprise in emerging economies in Middle East and Europe for seeding new industrial sectors, innovation, and competitive diversification.
Siddiqi has an B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Aerospace Systems, all from MIT. She has been a recipient of the Amelia Earhart Fellowship, Richard D. DuPont Fellowship, and the Rene H. Miller Prize in Systems Engineering. She has engineering experience in National Instruments (in Austin, Texas) and Schlumberger (in Houston, Texas), consulting experience with BP, Lockheed Martin, and Aurora Flight Systems, and teaching experience at MIT and Universita della Svizzera italiana in Switzerland.Last Updated: