Cyber, Technology and Geopolitics

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Join RUSI for a discussion with leading cyber scholar Dr Ben Buchanan on the evolving role of cyber as a tool of statecraft and the hard choices facing Western governments.

Recent high-profile attacks attributed to Russia and China have pushed hostile state cyber activity to the front of the agenda. The use of cyber as an operational tool is being increasingly incorporated into existing national strategies, including through the UK’s new National Cyber Force. Meanwhile, Western governments are coming to terms with the consequences of other states owning or playing a controlling role in their communications and technology infrastructure. Both the UK and the US are at an inflection point on cyber strategy. The UK’s Integrated Review set out a bold vision on cyber and technology, while the Biden administration is rapidly filling key cyber leadership roles, with a significant infusion of new thinking on strategy.

Nonetheless, the cyber debate still generates more heat than light, and many aspects of cyber as a state tool remain opaque and misunderstood.


Dr Ben Buchanan is a leading expert on the interface between cyber, technology and geopolitics and a highly accomplished interpreter of this complex field. He is Director of the Cyber AI Project at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology and an Assistant Teaching Professor at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, where he conducts research on the intersection of cybersecurity and statecraft. He is the author of two influential works on cyber, The Hacker and the State: Cyber Attacks and the New Normal of Geopolitics (Harvard University Press, 2020) and The Cybersecurity Dilemma (Oxford University Press, 2017).

The discussion is moderated by Conrad Prince, RUSI Distinguished Fellow and former Director General for Operations at GCHQ.

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