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.”
Svenja Meike Kirsch was a Fellow from Germany. Her research focused on perspectives for European security policy amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Specific issues she was interested in include the future role of NATO and the EU, implications of Germany's increased security spending for transatlantic and EU-internal relations, the role of the private sector as a safeguard of economic freedom around the world, paths to European energy independence, and implications for liberal democracies arising from the rise of cyberwarfare.
Prior to joining the Belfer Center, Kirsch was a Fulbright and DAAD scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School from which she graduated with a Master in Public Policy degree. At Harvard, she led the Corporate Responsibility Sector of the Business and Government Professional Interest Council, served as Sustainability Leadership Council Representative, and worked as a research assistant at the M-RCBG. Her experience includes positions in sustainability management, social mission consulting, political campaigning and think tank research. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a minor in Global Economics and Management.