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.”
Olivia Leiwant is the Coordinator for the Defense, Emerging Technology, and Strategy (DETS) program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. In this role, she manages the DETS program’s research, events programming, and operations. Olivia also facilitates the Harvard Kennedy School’s National Security Fellowship. Her research interests include the future of European security, democratic resilience, transatlantic cooperation, and the nexus of national security and emerging technologies.
Prior to joining the Belfer Center, Olivia worked on democracy and governance programming at the National Democratic Institute, covering the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Turkey. Olivia also worked at the Brookings Institution for Ambassador (ret.) Norman Eisen, at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and in the 115th United States Congress.
Olivia holds a B.A. in International Affairs with honors from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.Last Updated: