The Simons Forum: Assessing Current Relations with Dr. Bruce G. Blair

September 27, 2018 - September 28, 2018

The Simons Forum

On September 27 and 28, the 2018 Conference and Forum on Repairing the U.S.-NATO-Russia Relationship and Reducing the Risks of the Use of Nuclear Weapons, was convened by the Simons Foundation and Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, under the auspices of The Simons Visiting Chair on International Law and Human Security.

The Conference Framework Statement identified the aim of the 2018 Simons Forum to evaluate the current situation and develop concrete steps to advance engagement and security among the key actors. It examined:

  • the deterioration of U.S.-Russia and NATO Russia relations since the end of the Cold War;
  • the risks and dangers of current tensions escalating to the level of nuclear confrontation;
  • the role and impact of applicable treaties and agreements and impact on strategic and crisis stability;
  • steps needed to restore trust, confidence and security cooperation, reduce the risks of escalation, and surmount the geopolitical and domestic political obstacles; and
  • the roles of NATO countries in addition to the U.S., particularly Canada and civil society organizations and academics to help find common ground among the key actors.

Following the forum, SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue and Dr. Bruce G. Blair conducted series of meetings in Ottawa with the Government of Canada. This visit engaged various groups, including private meetings with a Senator, the Privy Council Office and Global Affairs Canada. The purpose of the visit was to provide an advance look at the findings from the 2018 Simons Conference as well as to discuss Dr. Blair’s recent release of Alternative Posture Review.   

Academic Community

Dr. Blair hosted an academic seminar with Dr. Nicole Jackson and engaged 20 undergraduate/graduate students and faculties at SFU. He shared his view on “Nuclear Deterrence: Theory vs Practice,” based on his experience as a ICBM launch control officer.

Recommended Reading

George Butler and Franklin Miller, "Masters of the Nuclear Weapons Enterprise," in George Butler, Uncommon Cause: A Life at Odds with Convention (ms, 2018), ch. 23; Jonathan Schell, The Gift of Time, (New York: Metropolitan Books, 1998), pp. 72-81; Bruce Blair, "Mad Fiction," Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 21, No. 2 (2014), pp. 1-12.  Bruce Blair, "Strengthening Checks on Presidential Nuclear Launch Authority," Arms Control Today, January/February 2019, pp. 6-13.

About Bruce Blair

Bruce G. Blair is expert in nuclear security and a research scholar in the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University and is co-founder of the Global Zero movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons. He has held positions at the World Security Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. Dr. Blair served in the U.S. Air Force as a Minuteman ICBM launch control officer and as a support officer for the Airborne Command Post of the Strategic Air Command.

For more information on Bruce G. Blair and a complete biography, please visit Princeton's Program on Science and Global Security and Global Zero.

Select Media & Commentary

CBC The Early Edition with Stephen Quinn (2:20:27-2:28:14)   

“Conversations That Matter: The Nuclear Threat is once again on the Rise” – with Stu McNish, Special to the Sun   

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