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


Analysis: Implications of Turkish Shoot Down of Russian Warplane

Analysis: Implications of Turkish Shoot Down of Russian Warplane

A Russian Su-24 Fencer shortly after its was shot down by a Turkish F-16 on Nov. 24, 2015.

A Russian Su-24 Fencer shortly after its was shot down by a Turkish F-16 on Nov. 24, 2015.

The ongoing conflict in Syria took a turn Tuesday when a Turkish Lockheed Martin F-16 reportedly shot down a Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer fighter-bomber. The Fencer’s large weapon-payload capacity has made it a favorite for Russian forces supporting their ally Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The aircraft lost today reportedly was bombing targets near the Turkish border. Read More

Opinion: A New Approach to Dealing with ISIS

Opinion: A New Approach to Dealing with ISIS

French fighters leave for strikes against ISIS targets in Syria on Nov. 15, 2015. French Ministry of Defense Photo

French fighters leave for strikes against ISIS targets in Syria on Nov. 15, 2015. French Ministry of Defense Photo

The desire for some expressive use of military power to release pent-up anger in France and the Western world in response to the latest terrorist attack in Paris is reaching a new level. France responded with strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS, ISIL and also called Daesh) targets over the weekend. Read More

Opinion: Russia’s Desert Storm Moment in Syria

Opinion: Russia’s Desert Storm Moment in Syria

Russian fighters over Syria. Sputnik Photo

Russian fighters over Syria. Sputnik Photo

Russia is having its Desert Storm moment in Syria. The near-daily release of Russian fighter cockpit videos and missiles being launched from Russian ships in the Caspian Sea is making millions of Russians feel proud and strong. For instance, on Oct. 21, Russian media reported that 53 strike sorties struck 72 “terrorist targets.” Oddly those same reports are even convincing some in the United States that Russia is somehow more effective in Syria than the United States and its allies. Read More

Opinion: Finding Common Interests with the Russians in Syria

Opinion: Finding Common Interests with the Russians in Syria

syria-russia-us

The increased presence of Russian forces in Syria has added another layer of complexity to an already confusing array of warring factions—a good estimate is that 18 to 20 factions now are fighting for one cause or another in Syria. The Russians assuming an active role in the Syrian battle space took the United States by surprise. For many American political, military, and media voices it is evident that Russia’s recent actions stuck a nerve. Read More

Opinion: The Problem with Bombing Iran

Opinion: The Problem with Bombing Iran

An undated photo of the reactor building of Iran’s Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant. Iranian Students News Agency photo

An undated photo of the reactor building of Iran’s Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant. Iranian Students News Agency photo

Nearly 60 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are visiting Israel this month to discuss with Israeli political leaders the proposed nuclear deal with Iran. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is attempting to influence these members of congress to vote against the proposed P5+1 nuclear agreement when it comes to the floor in September. Read More

Opinion: Are Critics Right About the Iran Nuclear Talks?

Opinion: Are Critics Right About the Iran Nuclear Talks?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry - flanked by National Security Council Senior Director for Iran, Iraq, Syria and the Gulf States Robert Malley, U.S. Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, and European Union Deputy Secretary General Helga Schmid - addresses reporters as he sits across from Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. US State Dept. Photo

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry – flanked by National Security Council Senior Director for Iran, Iraq, Syria and the Gulf States Robert Malley, U.S. Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, and European Union Deputy Secretary General Helga Schmid – addresses reporters as he sits across from Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. US State Dept. Photo

The ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran have become highly politicized. With the U.S. 2016 presidential campaign beginning to spool into high gear there has been no shortage of proclamations on why each candidate thinks the framework for the Iran nuclear talks is a bad deal. Read More

Analysis: Iran's Latest Round of Maritime Brinksmanship

Analysis: Iran’s Latest Round of Maritime Brinksmanship

An undated picture of a Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy patrol craft.

An undated picture of a Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy patrol craft.

Iran’s recent seizure and release of the Marshall Islands flagged M/V Maersk Tigris could be what Iran claims it is, a reaction to a decade-long dispute over shipping containers that were diverted to the UAE and never delivered to Iran. More likely however, it is a thinly veiled attempt at brinkmanship to remind the United States of the kind of trouble that Iran can stir up in the Strait of Hormuz. Read More

Opinion: Playing Deal or No Deal with Iran

Opinion: Playing Deal or No Deal with Iran

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as he arrives at a hotel in Vienna, Austria, on July 14, 2014, for a second day of meetings about the future of his country's nuclear program. US State Dept. Photo

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as he arrives at a hotel in Vienna, Austria, on July 14, 2014, for a second day of meetings about the future of his country’s nuclear program. US State Dept. Photo

The Art of War says “Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril.” Forty-seven members of the U.S. Senate seemed to have forgotten this timeless truth from the ancient war theorist Sun Tzu. Examining how well we know the enemy (Iran), and how well we know ourselves, is always a good place to start before taking actions that many believe are setting a course for war. Read More