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.”
Nawaf Obaid is a former Visiting Fellow for Intelligence and Defense Projects at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He is also a weekly columnist for the pan-Arab daily, Al Hayat Newspaper.
He is currently the CEO of the Essam and Dalal Obaid Foundation (EDOF) and a Commissioner at the Commission for International Accountability and Justice (CIJA).
From 2004 to 2007, he was Special Advisor for Strategic Communications to Prince Turki Al Faisal, while Prince Turki was the Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Ireland, and then the United States. And from 2007 to 2011, he worked with the Saudi Royal Court, where he was seconded as a Special Advisor to the Saudi Information Minister. Most recently, he served as the Special Counselor to the Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2011 to 2015.
Obaid was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs from 2012 to 2017. He has been a Research Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), an Adjunct Fellow at Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and a Senior Fellow at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies.
He has a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and has a Master in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School. He began his doctoral coursework at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Political Science Department and completed a Master and Doctorate in War Studies from the Department of War Studies at King's College, London University.Last Updated: