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William Van Cleave

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William van Cleave is Emeritus Professor at the Department of Defense and Strategic Studies, Missouri State University[1], a Department he founded and headed until July 2005. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, and a member of the National Security Advisory Council of the Center for Security Policy. He is a current member of the State Department's International Security Advisory Board (ISAB).

U.S.-Israel Policy

He is Co-Director of Division for Research in Strategy at the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies in Jerusalem. That group, which is associated with Likud, produced a 1996 a strategy document for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm."[2] The document recommended Israel "work closely with Turkey and Jordan to contain, destabilize, and roll-back" regional threats, help overthrow Saddam Hussein, and strike "Syrian military targets in Lebanon" and possibly in Syria proper. Van Cleave's specific involvement with it is not known.

Reagan Administration

In Ronald Reagan's Presidential campaign (1979-1980), he was Senior Defense Advisor and Defense Policy Coordinator during Ronald Reagan's 1979-1980 Presidential campaign. After the election, he was the Director of the Department of Defense Transition team. His government roles included:[3]

  • Acting Chairman, President's General Advisory Committee on Arms Control
  • Member, "B-Team" on the Presidential panel to review national intelligence on USSR, to produce competitive National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), and to advise on improvements in national intelligence analysis and estimates
  • Resident Consultant, Office of Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Atomic Energy and the Assistant Secretary of Defense (ISA)
  • Member, U.S. Delegation to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks with the USSR
  • special Assistant, Office of Secretary of Defense.

He has been Co-Director, Annual Seminar on International Security Affairs, Christian Albrecht University, West Germany; Chairman, American-Russian Working Group on Russian Military Reform (International Security Council). For the State Department, he has been a member of various delegations to numerous countries and has provided frequent testimony to Congress and U.S. Congressional Committees.

National Institute for Public Policy: Participant, U.S. Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Study

Academic career

Between 1981 and 1996, he was a Senior Research Fellow for the Hoover Institution. From 1997 to 1987, he was Professor of International Relations and Director of Defense and Strategic Studies Program at the University of Southern California.


  • California State University: B.A., political science
  • Claremont Graduate School: M.A., Ph.D