Washington, D.C., July 21, 2020 - The National Security Archive is grievously saddened by the sudden passing of Bruce G. Blair on July 19, 2020. A co-founder of Global Zero and a research scholar in Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security, Bruce was a friend of the Archive for decades and a source of great inspiration for its work. He was a collaborator in the great Atomic Audit project at the Brookings Institution, and an informal adviser on many of the Archive’s postings in the Nuclear Vault. We will miss in so many ways his sage advice and the wealth of experience that informed it.
A former launch control officer at a Strategic Air Command Minuteman base, Bruce brought to his scholarly writing and his analysis as a public intellectual his unique and intimate knowledge of the things that could go wrong and bring the world to nuclear disaster. Bruce’s books Strategic Command and Control: Redefining the Nuclear Threat and The Logic of Accidental Nuclear War remain classics in the field.
It was his knowledge of the terrible danger of nuclear weapons, buttressing his remarkable intellect and personal charisma, that gave him leadership roles in the movement to abolish nuclear weapons. May Bruce's work inspire the rest of us to open the hidden histories of nuclear policy, reverse the absurd secrecy that still enables nuclear arms races, and reach that vision Bruce articulated so passionately and so well, of a global zero.