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: Connecting the Dots on Recent Incidents with Iranian and Russian Forces

Opinion: Connecting the Dots on Recent Incidents with Iranian and Russian Forces

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

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

Some critics attribute the increased number of aggressive air-to-air intercepts and incidents at sea to what they argue is the current administration’s weak foreign policy. That claim raises some interesting points when analyzed. There is a strong counter-argument to such claims. Read More

Analysis: A Year After the Iran Nuclear Deal

Analysis: A Year After the Iran Nuclear Deal

Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Geneva on January 14 for a bilateral meeting to provide guidance to their negotiating teams before their next round of discussions, which begin on January 15. US State Dept. Photo

Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Geneva on January 14 for a bilateral meeting to provide guidance to their negotiating teams before their next round of discussions, which begin on January 15. US State Dept. Photo

If measured only by the ton, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly referred to as “the Iran nuclear deal,” would be considered a smashing success. Read More

Opinion: Winning the Protracted War Against Radical Islamic Terrorists

Opinion: Winning the Protracted War Against Radical Islamic Terrorists

Soldiers of the personal security detachment for Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Redhorse, patrol the villages in the Bagram Security Zone in 2011. US Army Photo

Soldiers of the personal security detachment for Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Redhorse, patrol the villages in the Bagram Security Zone in 2011. US Army Photo

President Barack Obama’s recent decision to leave 8,400 U.S. forces in Afghanistan through next year and NATO’s announcement over the weekend to support the United States with another 3,000 troops—as well as $1 billion in financial support— means the effort to secure a lasting peace in Afghanistan will enter its 16th year with U.S. forces still operating on the ground and in the air above Afghanistan. Two U.S. administrations have now pursued an elusive peace in this region of the world at a staggering cost in blood and treasure. Read More

Opinion: What the Iranian Election Results Mean

Opinion: What the Iranian Election Results Mean

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani casts his vote during elections for the parliament and Assembly of Experts, which has the power to appoint and dismiss the supreme leader, in Tehran Feb. 26, 2016. Iranian Government Photo

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani casts his vote during elections for the parliament and Assembly of Experts, which has the power to appoint and dismiss the supreme leader, in Tehran Feb. 26, 2016. Iranian Government Photo

Last week’s elections in Iran served as a good barometer for gauging the mood of the Iranian electorate following the implementation of the P5+1 nuclear agreement in late 2015. Read More

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