Michael O'Hanlon

Essay
2014
James B. Steinberg and Michael O'Hanlon

The geopolitical rivalry between China and the United States in Asia is heating up. As it does so, both Washington and Beijing need to avoid increasing tensions further than necessary -- which means taking care to dispel false fears and make threats credible.

Snapshot
Michael O'Hanlon

U.S. President Obama -- increasingly accused of having a listless foreign policy that, in the eyes of some, made Russian President Vladimir Putin believe he could get away with stealing Crimea -- is doing much better on the world stage than his critics allow. But he does still have to address one significant problem.

Snapshot
Michael O'Hanlon

Should Russia march into eastern Ukraine, the best way to respond would be to set up a permanent brigade of American light forces in the most vulnerable NATO members, namely, the Baltics -- Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Letter to the Editor
Nov/Dec
2013
Michael O'Hanlon
Snapshot
Michael O'Hanlon and Bruce Riedel

The United States has increasingly preferred to base its combat aircraft in the Middle East on aircraft carriers in and near the Persian Gulf. But now it should change course, moving more of them on land to bases in Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

Capsule Review
May/June
2012
Lawrence D. Freedman

O’Hanlon, a leading specialist on military budgets, argues that cuts can be made but should not be too drastic and should not usher in a disengaged foreign policy.

Postscript
Michael O'Hanlon

The U.S. campaign was a success but a provisional and limited one. Qaddafi is gone, but his ouster will not become a model for future interventions.

Snapshot
Michael O'Hanlon

Although the Libya mission has been effective in averting a humanitarian debacle so far, it has been ugly in some ways. But as Ivo Daalder and I argued about the Kosovo war a dozen years ago, an ugly operation is not the same as a failed operation.

This article appears in the Foreign Affairs/CFR eBook, The New Arab Revolt.

Essay
Sep/Oct
2010
Michael O'Hanlon

Americans have growing doubts about the U.S. mission in Afghanistan that U.S. President Barack Obama seems to share. But the United States should and will maintain a major presence in Afghanistan for years to come.

Postscript
Michael O'Hanlon

The Obama administration's cancellation of a missile-defense network in Europe is not a sign of misguided weakness, but rather the result of a prudent reexamination of U.S. priorities. But what will come in its place?

Essay
Nov/Dec
2003
Michael O'Hanlon

Conventional wisdom holds that Bill Clinton presided over a disastrous downsizing of the U.S. military. But this claim is wrong. In fact, Clinton's Pentagon maintained high levels of readiness and enacted a bold military modernization program that bore fruit in Bosnia and Kosovo -- and in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Comment
Mar/Apr
2001
Michael O'Hanlon

America should not abdicate its military duties abroad. But careful cuts in the number of U.S. troops overseas could alleviate some current problems -- such as poor troop morale and low readiness -- without sacrificing U.S. interests or strategic goals.

Essay
Nov/Dec
1999
Michael O'Hanlon

Ronald Reagan's dream never died; it only faded slightly. Star Wars is still with us in a scaled-back form. Although theater missile defenses -- popularized by the Gulf War's Patriots -- are now widely accepted, debate still rages over a nationwide system. Republicans worry about rogue states and terrorists with nukes, Democrats worry about angering Russia and violating treaty obligations, and neither side listens to the other. America is pouring billions of dollars into research and development, ignoring the fundamental flaws that missile defense has yet to overcome.

Essay
Jul/Aug
1997
Carol Graham and Michael O'Hanlon

Decades ago, donors saw aid as a transfer of resources from rich to poor countries. Today they see it more as a means of improving recipient countries - use of domestic resources. And though aid has had its successes in humanitarian relief and family planning, its record is mixed when it comes to promoting economic growth. Many nations in sub-Saharan Africa are poorer than when they began receiving aid. The solution is not to end foreign aid, but for donors to know when to say when, cutting off countries that fail to adopt sound economic policies and rewarding those that do.