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.”
Bill Rapp is a former Lecturer in Military Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center and former Faculty Chair of the Senior Executive Program in National and International Security and the National Security Fellows program.
Rapp joined the faculty at HKS in 2017 after serving more than 33 years as an active duty Army officer, retiring as a Major General. During his career, he served over five years in Germany, a year in Japan, and three and half years in Iraq and Afghanistan. He commanded an airborne engineer company in the First Gulf War, an engineer brigade in Iraq in 2005-6, and was Deputy Commander (Support) for U.S. Forces in Afghanistan in 2011-12. He was the Army’s senior liaison to the U.S. Congress, Commandant of the United States Military Academy, and most recently served as the Commandant of the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. His research interests include civil-military relations and organizational leadership. A graduate of West Point in 1984, he holds a Masters in Strategic Studies from the US Army War College and a Masters and PhD in Political Science from Stanford University.Last Updated: Jul 7, 2021, 2:22pm