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.”
Dr. Andrew D. Taffer is a Research Fellow with the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs within the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) at National Defense University. His research areas include Chinese military and security affairs, U.S.-China relations, and East Asian strategic dynamics. Prior to arriving at INSS, Dr. Taffer was a Research Scientist in the China and Indo-Pacific Security Affairs division at the Center for Naval Analyses. He also formerly served as an analyst with the Long Term Strategy Group and a researcher with the congressionally-chartered U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
His writings have appeared in Asian Security, Contemporary Southeast Asia, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and the Washington Post, among other outlets. His work has been supported by the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Eisenhower Institute, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. Dr. Taffer was an International Security Program Postdoctoral Fellow at the Belfer Center at Harvard Kennedy School. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A.L.D. from The Fletcher School, Tufts University, and a B.A. from the University of Chicago.Last Updated: