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.”
Tessa Varvares is a Project Coordinator at the Arctic Initiative, focused mainly on the Permafrost Pathways project. She works as a project liaison to external stakeholders and policymakers on matters regarding the impact of permafrost thaw on Arctic communities.
Before joining the Belfer Center, Varvares served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Venda region of South Africa. She then went on to manage an oil spill prevention and mitigation project throughout the 88 Ocean and Great Lake National Parks. She is also experienced in facilitating community efforts to build resiliency and adapt to life with wildfire. She received her B.A. in Political Science with minors in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality, and Africana Studies from the College of the Holy Cross. She also holds a M.A. in International Environmental Policy, specializing in Natural Resource Policy and Management, from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.Last Updated: