HomeAbout UsBiographiesDisplay



Dr. James A. Blackwell Jr., is Research Director for the Deputy Chief of Staff, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.  In this capacity he assists the DCS in accomplishing its assigned mission responsibilities, including: formulating, evaluating, and shaping nuclear strategy, policy, doctrine, vulnerabilities, force structure and analysis; advocating for requirements, acquisition, programming, and budgeting processes for deterrence capabilities; identifying nuclear weapon related areas of interest within the Air Force Science and Technology (S&T) Program, especially among the social and behavioral sciences; participating in nuclear policy processes and analysis; guiding the development of ends, ways, and means to achieve extended deterrence and assurance for allies and partners; preparing senior leaders’ advocacy for nuclear-related issues; shaping Air Force engagement with Congress on nuclear-related matters; promoting requirements for nuclear programs in the Air Force Corporate Structure; leading Air Force efforts to integrate Air Force nuclear capabilities with the OSD, Joint Staff, Air Staff, MAJCOMs, and other agencies; supporting Air Force deterrence and assurance concept development; fostering the advancement of Air Force intellectual leadership on deterrence and assurance. 

Dr. Blackwell is directly responsible for developing a program to evaluate cutting edge developments in social, behavioral, economic, international relations, intelligence, political, historical, psychological and sociological sciences to identify promising approaches to apply to understanding 21st century deterrence. 

Dr. Blackwell is a 1974 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and has directed a number of ground-breaking studies and analyses of complex problems confronting the armed forces; he is an internationally recognized author and military analyst. He has served as an executive in both think-tanks and corporate enterprises in defense studies and analysis. In the 1990s he regularly appeared in global broadcast media as an expert in military operations. He was an Assistant Professor at West Point, and has been called upon by Secretaries of Defense to serve as Executive Director of two major investigations. Most recently he was called to serve as Executive Director of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force. He had an exemplary term of service as an Army officer in a variety command and staff positions prior to his medical retirement in 1987.

1974 Bachelor of Science, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
1982 Master of Arts, Law and Diplomacy, The Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, Mass.
1984  Ph.D., International Security Studies, The Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, Mass.

1. June 1974 – August 1975, Armor/Cavalry Officer Basic Course, Motor Officer Course, and Special Projects Officer, Armored Reconnaissance Scout Vehicle Task Force, Ft Knox Ky.
2. August 1975 – November 1978, Armored Cavalry Platoon Leader, Troop Executive Officer and Regimental Assistant S-4, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Ft. Bliss, Texas
3. December 1978 – December 1979, Commander, Troop K, 3rd ,Armored Cavalry Regiment, Ft. Bliss, Texas
4. December 1979 – June 1980, Infantry Officer Advanced Course, Ft. Benning, Ga.
5. June 1980 – July 1982, Student, The Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, Mass.
6. August 1982 – June 1985, Instructor, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
7. July 1985 – September 1985, S-4, 3rd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) Ft. Lewis, Wash.
8. September 1985 – September 1986, Executive Officer, 2nd Battalion 1st Infantry (Light Attack), 9th Infantry Division, Ft. Lewis, Wash.
9. September 1986 – November 1986, Assistant S-3 (Operations), 9th Infantry Division (Motorized), Ft Lewis, WA
November 1986 – June 1987 Special Projects Officer, 9th Infantry Division, Ft. Lewis, Wash. (Medically retired from U.S. Army June 1987)
10. July 1987 – February 1993, Senior Analyst and Director Political Military Studies, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C.
11. February 1993 – October 2006, Senior Analyst and Director, Strategic Assessment Center; Vice President, Science Applications International Corporation
12. November 2006 - March 2008, Vice President for Defense Programs, Defense Forecasts International Inc., (later known as DeticaDFI)
13. June 2008 – June 2009, Executive Director, Secretary of Defense Task Force on Nuclear Weapons Management, Washington, D.C.
14. April 2013 – March 2014, Executive Director, National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force
15. March 2014 – present, Research Director for the Deputy Chief of Staff, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.  
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, two awards
National Defense Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Army Achievement Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters

In the Laps of the Gods: The Origins of NATO Forward Defense,” Parameters, Winter 1985. Reprinted in The Parameters of War: Military History from the Journal of the U.S. Army War College, edited by Lloyd J. Matthews & Dale E. Brown, Pergamon-Brasseys, 1987.
Thunder in the Desert: Strategy and Tactics of the Persian Gulf War, (Bantam Books, 1991).
On Brave Old Army Team: The Cheating Scandal That Rocked The Nation, West Point, 1951,  (Presidio Press, 1996).
The Cognitive Domain of War,” The International Economy, Summer 2007.
Deterrence at the Operational Level of War,” Strategic Studies Quarterly, Summer 2011.
21st Century Arms Control,” DefenseNews, December 1, 2014, p. 29.
Nuclear Waste: Why Are American Nukes Still in Europe? – Let It Be,” Foreign Affairs, January/February 2015, pp. 177-178.
Busting Myths About Nuclear Deterrence,” (with Dr. Charles Costanza), Strategic Studies Quarterly Winter 2014/2015.
The Bomb That Keeps on Ticking…And Keeps Us Safer: The Case for Maintaining U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe,” Comparative Strategy November/December 2015.

(Current as of December 2015)


Facebook Twitter
RT @HQAirUniversity: AU recently partnered with @ASU to transform the distance learning experience for @USAirForce officers and civilians g…
.@GrandSlamWing leadership discusses the mission of the Combined Air Operations Center & its ability to execute air… https://t.co/9OnqXnsXLO
Air Force Col. Robert Behnken makes history alongside @USMC Col. (ret.) Douglas Hurley with the first manned launch… https://t.co/vlwqAecwrL
June Primary Elections season is coming! Contact the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) by calling 1-800-438… https://t.co/QrstiCwhez
RT @NASA: .@AstroBehnken = joint operations commander for the mission https://t.co/QuSYOgvRKK
RT @SecAFOfficial: Watch #LaunchAmerica live from @NASAKennedy tomorrow, May 27 at 4:33 p.m. ET ⬇️The @usairforce & @SpaceForceDoD are supp…
.@SecAFOfficial visited @HollomanAFB, @CannonAFB_, & @KIRTLAND377ABW during a 3-day trip. SECAF met with Airmen wh… https://t.co/NlwcJPg8k5
#ICYMI All official fitness testing has been suspended until Oct. 1 due to #COVID19. https://t.co/F7fWjfaInN https://t.co/plINnb0kj8
RT @AirNatlGuard: The @150SOW Medical Group assisted with #COVID19 testing at the Wellesley Health Center. While there, Airmen - along with…
Senior Amn Briana Cavassa conducts a medical screening for Airmen returning from deployment @AirAviano. To combat t… https://t.co/Hr99jonJtk
RT @AFmuseum: Already two years on public display! #WWII #memphisbelle https://t.co/sxbbaLeIsa
RT @DeptofDefense: LIVE: @ChiefPentSpox, @DoD_USD_PR & DOD Chief Management Officer Lisa Hershman update Pentagon reporters. https://t.co/E…
RT @DeptofDefense: WATCH LIVE: @ChiefPentSpox Jonathan Rath Hoffman, @DoD_USD_PR Hon. Matthew P. Donovan, & DOD Chief Management Officer Ho…
A F-22 Raptor from @TeamTyndall flies alongside a F-35 Lightning II from the @TeamEglin over the Emerald Coast. The… https://t.co/asgdBrptNN
A C-21A Learjet taxies to the flightline @RamsteinAirBase. @NATO’s Rapid Air Mobility initiative allowed the aircra… https://t.co/uFkj2RUbwy
Thoughts about #MemorialDay from Lt. Col. Jeremy Guenet @129RQW. @AirNatlGuard https://t.co/arwZC9MIow
RT @SecAFOfficial: #MemorialDay is a time to remember those #Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting and guaranteeing ou…