About Cmdr. Daniel Dolan, USN (Retired)

Cmdr. Dolan teaches Strategy & War with the Naval War College’s Distance Education program, and history as an adjunct professor at the University of Maine. He is a former EP-3E/Special mission P-3 naval flight officer, and frequent contributor to USNI News and Proceedings.


Recent Posts By the Author


Opinion: A Campaign With No Name

Opinion: A Campaign With No Name

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An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Valions of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 15 takes off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). US Navy Photo

An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Valions of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 15 takes off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). US Navy Photo

The first Iraq War was called Operation Desert Storm, the second Iraq war was called Operation Iraqi Freedom, but what will the third Iraq war be called? Read More

Opinion: Searching for a Strategy to Defeat ISIS

Opinion: Searching for a Strategy to Defeat ISIS

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An undated photo of an ISIS fighter.

An undated photo of an ISIS fighter.

The news on the crisis with Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) is moving so fast that last week’s top story on the situation now seems like ancient history. Last week global news outlets repeatedly made the point that by fighting to defeat ISIS, the United States is, by default, aiding the regime of Bashar al Assad in Syria. Read More

Opinion: The Two Sides of The Third Iraq War

Opinion: The Two Sides of The Third Iraq War

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Sailors direct aircraft as an F/A-18E Super Hornet attached to the Tomcatters of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 31 takes off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). US Navy Photo

Sailors direct aircraft as an F/A-18E Super Hornet attached to the Tomcatters of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 31 takes off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). US Navy Photo

America announced its overt military support of the struggling Iraqi government in Baghdad with F/A-18 Hornets dropping two 500 lb. bombs on Iraq and Syria Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) targets near Irbil, Iraq, on Aug. 7.

The strike, launched from the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77), was followed by a speech from President Barack Obama who said, “there is no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq. The only lasting solution is for Iraqis to come together and form an inclusive government—one that represents the legitimate interests of all Iraqis, and one that can unify the country’s fight against [ISIS].”

American airstrikes have continued. Read More

Opinion: The Third Iraq War

Opinion: The Third Iraq War

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Undated photo of ISIS militants

Undated photo of ISIS militants

In the Naval War College’s Strategy and Policy course students have an opportunity to critically analyze both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). These two historical case studies are commonly referred to by students and faculty alike as the First Iraq War and the Second Iraq War. Now, before us we see the Third Iraq War unfolding. Despite what some pundits and former administration officials are saying America is still playing an active role in Iraq’s wars. Read More

Opinion: U.S. Air Power Won’t Defeat ISIS

Opinion: U.S. Air Power Won’t Defeat ISIS

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An F/A-18E Super Hornet prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on June 15, 2014. US Navy Photo

An F/A-18E Super Hornet prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on June 15, 2014. US Navy Photo

As Iraq and Syria Islamic State (ISIS) insurgent forces advance on Baghdad, some American political leaders, led by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), have urged that the United States begin airstrikes immediately to stop the growing unrest in Iraq. Although air power may be the only expedient and politically acceptable option, there are several reasons why that all-too-familiar impulse to use our asymmetric advantage in airpower will not defeat ISIS. Read More