Word reached me this weekend that Bill Van Cleave, one of my grad school mentors and one of the top conservative defense policy intellectuals over the past few decades, had passed.
Here’s an excerpt from a fitting tribute to Dr. Van Cleave by longtime associate Frank Gaffney:
There’s a certain historic symmetry that we mark the thirtieth anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s historic unveiling of his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) within days of the passing of a man who played a central role in inspiring it. We must take the occasion of celebrating the former to honor the latter: Dr. William Van Cleave, an unsung hero of the War for the Free World, and most especially the part of that long and continuing conflict known as the Cold War.
How fitting as well that the same day Dr. Van Cleave died in his Southern California home, the Obama administration was forced publicly to reverse course on its systematic efforts to diminish the direct manifestation of Mr. Reagan’s SDI program. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced on March 15th that the modest array of U.S. missile defenses now in place would be enhanced in the face of a growing threat from the increasingly truculent regime in North Korea. Bill Van Cleave would consider that to be the very least we can do given Pyongyang’s declaration that it is prepared to launch a nuclear attack against us.
The entire post is here.