In Memoriam: Bruce G. Blair

Dr. Bruce G. Blair was a research scholar in the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University and co-founder of the Global Zero movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons. From 2011 to 2017, he served as a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board. For many years, Blair was a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution and served as a project director at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. He previously 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. Blair held a PhD in operations research from Yale University.


Blair’s principal research interests were in technical and policy steps on the path toward the verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons – global zero – with a focus on deep bilateral nuclear arms reductions, multilateral arms negotiations, and de-alerting of nuclear arsenals. His work centered on continuing research into changes warranted in the U.S. nuclear posture if a shift toward deterrence-only is undertaken; fixing critical vulnerabilities and performance deficiencies in command, control, communications and early warning networks; assessing the costs and benefits of the different approaches to strengthening checks and balances on U.S. presidential launch authority; and developing domestic and international political strategies for pursuing adoption of no first use either as a stand-alone policy in individual countries or as a bilateral/multilateral agreement or treaty, or both.



B. G. Blair, J. Sleight and E. C. Foley, The End of Nuclear Warfighting: Moving to a Deterrence-Only Posture, Global Zero and Princeton University, September 2018.

B. G. BlairStrengthening Checks on Presidential Launch AuthorityArms Control Today, Jan/Feb 2018.

B. G. BlairWhy Our Nuclear Weapons Can Be HackedThe New York Times, March 14, 2017.

J. E. Cartwright and B. G. BlairEnd the First-Use Policy for Nuclear WeaponsThe New York Times, August 14, 2016.

De-alerting and Stabilizing the World’s Nuclear Force Postures, Global Zero Commission on Nuclear Risk Reduction, April 2015.

B. G. Blair, 00000000, Princeton University, March 2015.

B. G. Blair, Book Review: Mad Fiction, The Nonproliferation Review, 21 (2), 2014.

B. G. Blair, V. Esin, M. Mckinzie, V. Yarynich and P. Zolotarev One Hundred Nuclear Wars: Stable Deterrence between the United States and Russia at Reduced Nuclear Force Levels Off Alert in the Presence of Limited Missile DefensesScience & Global Security 19 (3), 2011.

B. G. Blair, M. Brown, R. Burt, J. Joff and J. W. Davis, Can Disarmament Work,” Foreign Affairs, July/August 2011.

B. G. Blair, V. Esin, M. McKinzie, and V. Yarynich, Smaller and Safer: A New Plan For Nuclear PosturesForeign Affairs, September/October 2010.

B. G. Blair, De-Alerting Strategic Forces, in George P. Shultz, Sidney D. Drell, and James E. Goodby (eds.), Reykjavik Revisited: Steps Toward a World Free of Nuclear Weapons, Hoover Institution Press, Stanford, CA, 2008.

B. G. BlairThe Logic of Intelligence FailureForum on Physics and Society, American Physical Society, April 2004.



Global Zero’s Alternative Nuclear Posture Review, Ploughshares Fund Annual Conference, Washington, DC, November 14, 2018.

Repairing the U.S.-NATO-Russia Relationship in a Nuclear World, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, September 26, 2018.

On the Technical Aspects of Risk Reduction, United Nations, Palais des Nations, Geneva, April 27, 2018.

U.S. Protocol for Nuclear Strike, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, November 4, 2017.

Next Steps Toward a World Without Nuclear Threat, United Nations, Palais des Nations, Geneva, May 10, 2016.

Risks – Military Incidents Involving Nuclear and Allied states, Accidental/Unauthorized Use, Escalation of Tensions, International Red Cross/Red Crescent, Geneva, April 30, 2016.

Short Fuses & Spiralling Risks: An Urgent Call to Eliminate Hair-Trigger Launch Readiness, United Nations, Palais des Nations, Geneva, April 30, 2015.

Lowering the Nuclear Threshold: The Dangerous Evolution of World Nuclear Arsenals toward Far-Flung Dispersal, Hair-Trigger Launch Readiness, and First Use Doctrines, Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, Vienna, Austria, December 8, 2014.

Risks Associated with Command and Control Systems, Meeting for National Societies of the Red Cross/Red Crescent in States Associated with Nuclear Weapon-based Military Policies on implementation of Resolution 1 of the 2011 Council of Delegates and its Plan of Action 2013-2017, The Hague, Netherlands, June 16, 2014.

Risks of Nuclear Weapons Use in an Era of Proliferation, Cyber Warfare and Terrorism, Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, Nayarit, Mexico, February 14, 2014.