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.”
Robert STAVINS is the A.J. Meyer Professor of Energy & Economic Development, Harvard Kennedy School; Director, Harvard Environmental Economics Program; and Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements. He is a University Fellow, Resources for the Future; Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research; elected Fellow, Association of Environmental and Resource Economics; Member, Board of Directors, Resources for the Future; and Editor, Journal of Wine Economics. He was Chairman, Environmental Economics Advisory Board, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He was a Lead Author, Second and Third Assessment Reports, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; and Coordinating Lead Author, Fifth Assessment Report. His research has examined diverse areas of environmental economics and policy, and appeared in more than a hundred articles in academic journals and popular periodicals, plus a dozen books. He holds a B.A. in philosophy from Northwestern University, an M.S. in agricultural economics from Cornell, and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard.
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