Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Robert J. Loewenberg

  • Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies: Founder
  • Society of Americans for National Existence: Board member

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Robert Loewenberg is the founder of the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS), a Jerusalem-based think tank that has promoted hawkish Israeli and U.S. defense policies. Loewenberg has also served on the board of the Society of Americans for National Existence (aka SANE Works for US), an anti-Islamic group whose head, David Yerushalmi, has been a leading advocate of criminalizing sharia, or Islamic law, in the United States.

The IASPS website provides an obscure description of its work, stating that “Its focus is the Redirection of Western societies by Science (Certainty)—the OpenSociety-History (Uncertainty). This is the so-called visible Reciprocal. It refers to the mechanical action of Certainty as effecting political and social order as one of two possible orders in the Redirection, these being “totalitarianism” in its active and passive phases, viz., the Open Society or Democracy toward a World State, and the World State itself. This conception and affiliated terminology reflects the research of R. J. Loewenberg.” It adds: “What is the action of this policy basis in the Redirection? In particular it is the projects of SANE. SANE (Society of Americans for National Existence) is part and parcel of the Institute’s extended consideration of the policy undertaking. SANE was founded by David Yerushalmi in 2006. Information about these projects, some of which are discussed at IASPS, can be found at http://www.saneworks.us.”[1]

At one time considered to be a mildly influential think tank closely tied to Israel’s right-wing Likud Party as well as many U.S. neoconservatives, IASPS has appeared to be largely defunct in recent years. Until 2005, IASPS also had an official address in the United States and filed tax forms with the IRS. However, since then, it has not filed any tax forms.

IASPS’s biggest claim to fame is its 1996 publication entitled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm." During the lead-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, observers noted that many of the publication’s recommendations, which were directed at the Israeli government, appeared to serve as a blueprint for the efforts of policymakers in the George W. Bush administration.[2] The paper's recommendations pressed Israel's then-incoming Likud government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu to scrap the peace process in favor of a hardline posture aimed at attacking states like Syria and Iraq.[3] Several people associated with the production of the report—including Douglas Feith, David Wurmser, and Richard Perle—years later obtained posts in the Bush administration.

The study group that produced "A Clean Break" included eight individuals representing a number of neocon think tanks. Perle, with the American Enterprise Institute, served as "study group leader;" James Colbert represented the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs; Feith was a partner at the Feith and Zell Associates law firm; Jonathan Torop represented the Washington Institute for Near East Policy; and David Wurmser and Loewenberg represented IASPS. Three of these individuals were tapped to serve in the Bush administration: Feith became deputy undersecretary of defense for policy; Perle was chosen to be chairman of the Defense Policy Board; and Wurmser became Middle East advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney.

The Bush administration appeared particularly sensitive to accusations of affiliation with "A Clean Break." In 2004, Feith responded to a Washington Post article by writing a letter to the editor in which he denied direct authorship. He wrote: "David Wurmser, as the group's rapporteur, drafted the report. There were no coauthors, and the discussion participants were not asked to clear the final text of the paper." He added: "[The report's] introductory paragraph said, 'The main substantive ideas in this paper emerge from a discussion in which prominent opinion makers, including [myself] participated.' Thus, there is no warrant for attributing any particular idea, let alone all of them, to any one participant."[4]

The “Clean Break” report argued that a "focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq [was] an important Israeli objective in its own right." It advocated working closely with "Turkey and Jordan to contain, destabilize, and roll back" regional threats, and using "Israeli proxy forces" based in Lebanon for "striking Syrian military targets in Lebanon." If that should "prove insufficient, [Israel should strike] at select targets in Syria proper." Further, "Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, even rolling back Syria." This would create a "natural axis" between Israel, Jordan, a Hashemite Iraq, and Turkey that "would squeeze and detach Syria from the Saudi Peninsula." This "could be the prelude to a redrawing of the map of the Middle East, which could threaten Syria's territorial integrity."[5]

As of mid-2011, among the most recent material posted on IASPS’s site was an August 2010 article titled “The Mosque.” The article, which carried Loewenberg’s initials RJL, included a number of enigmatic claims and referred to arcane entities like the “Speech Elite community” in an effort to argue that the West is in effect being taken over by Islamists. It stated: “Frank Gaffney posted an interview with [Glenn] Beck this week. These two, excellent men, disclose the scope of the problem such men (conservatives, but still participants in the Speech Elite community) face—and, too, participate in. … Such men as I have mentioned, know even if only intuitively, this order, in its two phases—the coming Completion of the first or passive phase which is typically to be followed by the active phase (totalitarian dictatorship and murder), is the looming Muslim purpose in the World State. This, now the Caliphate side by side with the Western Elites, has introduced its Avatar. Of course this is the Brotherhood's Mosque. The core of Islam.Here is the response Beck and Gaffney must focus—even if they will not themselves accept what this focus is really. The focus is this: There can be no Muslims in America. Geert Wilders is quite right, and the Swiss have already moved in this direction (and the Swiss response is especially relevant as you will see here in a moment). … But here in America, where the scales are plainly tilting toward the worst possible ‘alternative,’ I mean the Convergence of Islam and Western Elites, what we have in fact accelerated with the America President, a literal incarnation of the substance this Convergence, tells anyone who is prepared even to listen, the alternative has at least to be focused. This is the opportunity of the Mosque; and the responsibility of men such as Gaffney and Beck, with others.”[6]

Many IASPS publications have attacked President Barack Obama. IASPS contributors have called Obama a tyrant or dictator,[7] claim he was “born a Muslim and schooled as one,”[8] and that “We should not be surprised if he proves to be the last president.”[9]

According to the IASPS website, “Loewenberg took his PhD from Yale University in 1972 after several years of teaching at Hotchkiss Prep School in Lakeville, Connecticut. Prior to that, he attended Columbia University (BA 1962), which he attended after three years in the U.S. Navy. His published books and monographs include The Peace Process: An Introductory Essay (part 1); The Israeli Fate of Jewish Liberalism (with Edward Alexander); Emerson, An American Idol; Freedom's Despots; and Equality on the Oregon Frontier. He has edited other books and contributed to collections on a wide range of subjects including SDI, foreign aid and economic policy, and has also published numerous articles in scholarly journals as well as opeds in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Times, Insight Magazine, The Los Angeles Times and elsewhere. He oversees all IASPS activities.”[10]

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[1]IASPS, About IASPS, http://www.israeleconomy.org/about.htm.

[2]See, for example, Jim Lobe, “The Wurmser Turns,” Inter Press Service, October 29, 2003, available at http://www.lewrockwell.com/ips/lobe4.html.

[3]"A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," July 8, 1996, IASPS, http://www.israeleconomy.org/strat1.htm.

[4]Douglas Feith, "Credit for Israel Report Clarified," Washington Post, September 16, 2004.

[5]"A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," July 8, 1996, IASPS, http://www.israeleconomy.org/strat1.htm.

[6]IASPS, “The Mosque,” August 26, 2010, http://www.iasps.org/nbn/article_show.php?article_id=573.

[7]Robert Loewenberg, “The Obama Acceleration: A Tyrant?”, IASPS, April 28, 2009, http://www.iasps.org/nbn/article_show.php?category_id=13&lang=2&main=&type=1&article_id=561.

[8]Dan Pen, “Pious Muslim,” IASPS, December 26, 2009, http://www.iasps.org/nbn/article_show.php?category_id=13&lang=2&main=&type=1&article_id=569.

[9]Robert Loewenberg, “Rush Limbaugh and Others cited for Sedition,” IASPS, April 21, 2010, http://www.iasps.org/nbn/article_show.php?category_id=13&lang=2&main=&type=1&article_id=570.

[10]IASPS, About IASPS, http://www.israeleconomy.org/about.htm.

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Robert J. Loewenberg Résumé


  • Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies: Founder
  • Society of Americans for National Existence: Board member


  • U.S. Navy: 3 years service


  • Yale: PhD
  • Columbia University: BA (1962)


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