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. Michael Sulmeyer is a former Cyber Project Director for the Belfer Center. In January, 2021, he became Senior Director for Cyber with the NSC in the Biden administration.
While at the Belfer Center, Sulmeyer was also a Contributing Editor for the national security blog Lawfare. Before Harvard, he served as the Director for Plans and Operations for Cyber Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. For this work, he received the Secretary Medal for Exceptional Public Service. Previously, he worked on arms control and the maintenance of strategic stability between the United States, Russia, and China. In the mid-1990s, he was the System Operator (SysOp) of The Summit BBS in Santa Barbara, California. Michael received his PhD (DPhil) from Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar, his M.A. in War Studies from King's College London, and his B.A. and J.D. from Stanford University. You can follow him on Twitter @SultanOfCyber.Last Updated: Jan 21, 2021, 11:37am