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.”
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The Honorable Eric Rosenbach is a Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School and is the Director of the Defense, Emerging Technology, and Strategy Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He previously co-led the Belfer Center with former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. Rosenbach currently serves on the Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board and on the Secretary of Defense’s Defense Business Board.
Rosenbach teaches graduate courses in policy development, strategy execution, and international security. He also teaches two online courses for HarvardX on managing cyber risk and public sector strategy execution.
Rosenbach previously held several senior-level appointee jobs in government. As the Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense from 2015-2017, Rosenbach was one of the senior-most leaders in the Department of Defense. He served as Secretary Ash Carter’s closest strategic advisor on key policy initiatives, such as the war to defeat ISIS, the “rebalance” to Asia, and the effort to check Russian aggression. Rosenbach also led the Department’s efforts to improve innovation by forging and managing key initiatives such as the Defense Digital Service and the Defense Innovation Unit.
Before serving as Chief of Staff, Rosenbach was the Senate-confirmed Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Security and Homeland Defense. His diverse portfolio as Assistant Secretary included cyber, space, countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, antiterrorism, continuity of government, and defense support to civil authorities. Earlier, Rosenbach served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cyber Policy.
Rosenbach previously served as national security advisor for then-Senator Chuck Hagel and as a professional staff member on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, where he led oversight of Intelligence Community counterterrorism programs. A former Army intelligence officer and commander of a telecommunications intelligence unit, Rosenbach led a team that worked closely with the NSA to provide strategic intelligence in direct support of commanders in Bosnia and Kosovo.
Rosenbach has published widely and authored several books, including Confronting Cyber Risk: An Embedded Endurance Strategy. The LA Times called his book Find, Fix, Finish, co-authored with Aki Peritz, “an important volume in the secret history of a nasty war.”
As a Fulbright fellow, he conducted research on privatization programs in Eastern Europe. He holds a Juris Doctor from Georgetown, a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a Bachelor of Arts from Davidson College.Last Updated: Jul 26, 2023, 5:00pm