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.”
Mark Pascale is the Director of the Harvard Belfer Center's Intelligence Project, joining the Belfer Center in July 2023.
Mark previously had a distinguished career with CIA and was the only officer in the organization’s history to serve as Chief of Station in three of the most challenging operational environments in the world. He is fluent in Arabic, Mandarin, and Russian and spent 14 years of his adult life in China, Russia, and Syria. He served multiple additional tours throughout the Middle East, East Asia, and the former Soviet Union. After his career at CIA, Mark served as Vice-President of Intelligence for Strider Technologies, a strategic intelligence firm that enables clients to manage risk associated with state sponsored IP theft and supply chain vulnerabilities.
Mark holds a BA in International Relations from Colgate University and an MA in Security Studies from Johns Hopkins SAIS. In the early 1990s, he was one of a few American students to be enrolled for twelve months at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).Last Updated: