The Simons Forum: Repairing the U.S.-NATO-Russia Relationship and Reducing the Risk of the Use of Nuclear Weapons

Rapporteur: Nola-Kate Seymoar, Ph.D. Contributor(s): Bruce G. Blair, Ph.D. Nancy Teeple, Ph.D.

Retrieved from

The Simons Foundation Canada and Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. (27-28 September 2018).

ISBN: 978-1-77287-058-9


The predominant concern of The Simons Foundation is nuclear disarmament, although we also have programs in Arctic Security; Space and Cyber Security; Disarmament Education; and International Law and Human Security, particularly the prevention of genocide (See the report of The Simons Forum 2017 “The Responsibility to Protect: Re-energizing the Key Players”).

In 2018 The Simons Forum focused on repairing the U.S.-NATO-Russia relationship and reducing the risks of the use of nuclear weapons. The Forum brought together former military personnel, arms control negotiators, scholars, non-governmental organizations and government officials seeking to evaluate and remedy the deteriorating relations between these key powers, which we fear could further a deadly arms race and, either deliberately or inadvertently, lead to a nuclear confrontation. The Forum sought avenues to defuse tensions and repair relationships so that the U.S. and Russia can attain a measure of their earlier détente, not engage in nuclear war – and resume bilateral cuts to their nuclear weapons through the extension of the new START Treaty.

If only NATO, with its three core tasks – collective defense, crisis management, and cooperative security, had disbanded when the Warsaw Pact did, it might have empowered the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which could have provided cooperative security and crisis management from Vancouver to Vladivostok and precluded many of the elements of the problems we are facing today.

The 2018 Simons Forum drew on the expertise of many of the leaders of Global Zero, and its Nuclear Crisis Group, particularly the insights and experiences of Dr. Bruce Blair, co-founder of Global Zero and Jon Wolfstahl, Director of the Nuclear Crisis Group. Together they wrote the Conference Framework Statement, identified potential invitees, chaired, led panels and crafted the closing consensus document, which Dr. Blair then took to Ottawa to brief the Canadian Government. For this and all of their other work to prevent nuclear war, I am profoundly grateful.

The following report captures the key themes discussed and identifies the actions that may lead us forward on these issues.

Jennifer Allen Simons

October 2018

Full report can be accessed here.

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