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: Trump’s Defense Increase Might Not Equal a Better Military

Opinion: Trump’s Defense Increase Might Not Equal a Better Military

 Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at the South Point Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Gage Skidmore


Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at the South Point Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Gage Skidmore

Shortly after the presidential election, USNI News ran a piece looking forward into a U.S. military under a Trump administration.

The report pieced together statements from Trump that may represent his outline for what he often stated was a need to “rebuild the military.” Briefly summarized, Trump’s plan would result in 50 new ships for the U.S. Navy, a 33-percent growth in the size of the Marine Corps, and 50,000 additional soldiers for the Army. Read More

Opinion: The Danger of Connecting Iran Nuclear Deal with Attacks on U.S. Warships

Opinion: The Danger of Connecting Iran Nuclear Deal with Attacks on U.S. Warships

USS Mason (DDG-87) fires an SM-2 during a March 2016 exercise. US Navy Image

USS Mason (DDG-87) fires an SM-2 during a March 2016 exercise. US Navy Image

This is the first of two opinion pieces examining the Iran nuclear deal and the recent attacks in Yemen.

The recent spate of Yemeni Houthi rebel anti-ship missile attacks in the strategically important littorals near the Bab el-Mandeb strait, have drawn America’s attention to Yemen’s bitter civil war. Read More

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