Donnelly is a writer and analyst of military affairs and defense, national
security and foreign policy. Since
September 1999, he has been deputy executive director at the Project for the New
began his career as a journalist in 1978 at The Journal newspapers in the
Washington, D.C. suburbs, and moved to Army Times in 1980.
In 1985 he helped launch Defense News, becoming the paper’s
deputy editor, the number two position, in 1987.
Later that year, he returned to Army Times as editor.
During his six years as editor, he reinvigorated the paper’s design and
news coverage while writing major enterprise stories on the major military
issues of the times, including Operation Just Cause in Panama, the Gulf War, and
the mission to Somalia. In 1994, he
became executive editor of The National Interest.
1995, he joined the professional staff of the House Committee on Armed Services
and soon was named head of the policy group.
His major contributions to the committee’s work included overseeing
committee activities concerning the operations of U.S. forces in the Balkans,
leading the committee’s investigation of the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi
Arabia and worldwide readiness problems, and establishing a series of hearings
and committee white papers on American security interests in the post-Cold War
world. In addition, Donnelly
drafted significant legislative initiatives to reform the Defense Department’s
readiness reporting system, explore the promise of the current revolution in
military affairs, monitor developments in the Chinese military, understand the
military and strategic effects of an expanded NATO alliance, and shape the
requirements for the 1997 and 2001 Quadrennial Defense Reviews.
is also the co-author of two books. Operation
Just Cause: The Storming of Panama has been recognized as the most complete
work on the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama, praised by one reviewer as “the
definitive study of modern campaign planning…destined to be studied at war
colleges for years to come.” Clash
of Chariots: A History of Armored Warfare, was published by Berkeley Books
Donnelly is a Washington, D.C. native, born June 13, 1953, and educated at Sidwell Friends School; Ithaca College, from which he holds a baccalaureate degree in philosophy; and John Hopkins’ Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, from which he holds a master’s degree. He lives in the Washington suburbs with his wife and two sons.