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.”
David F. Gordon is a senior advisor at International Capital Strategies and the Eurasia Group, two leading political risk advisory firms. He is also an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and an adjunct professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
Dr. Gordon is a highly decorated former diplomat and intelligence officer. He served as Director of Policy Planning for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice after having played a leading role in the creation of the Directorate of National Intelligence (DNI) as Acting Chairman and Vice Chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC). He was also Director of Transnational Issues at the CIA. Earlier in his career he served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee staff. After leaving government service, Dr. Gordon was the Chairman and Head of Research at Eurasia Group.
During his career in government, Dr. Gordon worked to deepen strategic insight and policy options at the interface of international economics, diplomacy and geopolitics.
He led the State Department’s and the NIC’s strategic dialogues with more than 20 countries around the globe and was a principal in the Senior Dialogue with China. Dr. Gordon played a leading role in the NIC’s groundbreaking reports, Global Trends 2015 and 2020.
In the aftermath of 9/11, he supervised the intelligence community’s efforts to develop tools and strategies of financial coercion.
For ten years, Dr. Gordon represented the intelligence community on the White House coordinating committee on international economic policy. During the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, he was frequently called upon to brief congressional committees on the status of these conflicts. Dr. Gordon has personally briefed every U.S. president since George H. W. Bush.
Since leaving government, Dr. Gordon has been a frequent contributor to discussions of global politics and international economics on television and in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy. His latest book is Managing Strategic Surprise: Lessons from risk Management and Risk Assessment.
Dr. Gordon serves on the Board of the Center for Global Development. Gordon was awarded the CIA’s Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal in 2009; and, in 2011, was the recipient of Bowdoin College’s highest alumni honor, the Common Good Award. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and has taught at Michigan, William and Mary, and the University of Nairobi, in addition to his current position at Georgetown.Last Updated: