Herbert LinNov 22, 2021
Cyber Threats and Nuclear Weapons
Stanford University Press 2021
What does America’s growing dependence on modern information technology systems mean for the management of its nuclear weapons? In his new book, Cyber Threats and Nuclear Weapons (Stanford University Press, 2021), Dr. Herb Lin explores the promise and peril of managing the bomb in the digital age.
A Senior Research Scholar at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, Dr. Lin cautions that management of the future nuclear enterprise will require a series of difficult tradeoffs: between integrity and reliability, functionality and security, and usability and security. Moving beyond a historical focus on the command and control of nuclear forces, Lin argues that these compromises will affect each aspect of the US nuclear enterprise, from technology acquisition and maintenance to operations and employment.
On the podcast, I talk to Dr. Lin about what historical near-misses can tell us about future nuclear threats, how digitization could magnify the risks of deception and misperception, and the applicability of Silicon Valley-style software development practices for the Pentagon.
John Sakellariadis is a 2021-2022 Fulbright US Student Research Grantee. He holds a master’s degree in public policy from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia and a bachelor’s degree in History & Literature from Harvard University.