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.”
William Tobey directs the Office of National Security and International Studies at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He is also a Senior Fellow with the Avoiding Great Power Wars Project at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center.
From 2009-2021, Tobey was a Senior Fellow and Lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
Tobey served as Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation at the National Nuclear Security Administration from 2006-2009. There, he managed the U.S. government's largest program to prevent nuclear proliferation and terrorism by detecting, securing, and disposing of dangerous nuclear material. He also served on the National Security Council Staff under three presidents, in defense policy, arms control, and counter-proliferation positions. He has participated in international negotiations ranging from the START talks with the Soviet Union to the Six Party Talks with North Korea.
Tobey also has a decade of experience in investment banking and venture capital.
He currently chairs the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board of the National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine, and the board of the World Institute for Nuclear Security. He is also on the executive committee of the nonproliferation division of the American Nuclear Society.