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John M. Donnelly


John M. Donnelly is a senior writer for who specializes in defense and writes CQ's Executive Briefing-Defense, a blog on national security and defense issues. Prior to his arrival at CQ in 2004, he worked as a reporter (and later editor) at Defense Week, a newsletter that covered the Pentagon, the defense industry and the congressional defense panels. He has netted numerous awards for investigative reporting, and he is a frequent guest on television and radio news programs. He serves on the board of the National Press Club and is a member of the Standing Committee of Correspondents in Congress. He has a bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary and he graduated from Gonzaga College High School in Washington.

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Stories by John M. Donnelly:

Pentagon to 'Adversaries': Space Is Not A Good Place to Start War

March 17, 2015

Worried that U.S. military satellites have become increasingly vulnerable to attack, the Pentagon plans to spend a scarce $5 billion on new initiatives over the next five years to protect them.

Growing Bipartisanship in Support of a Slower Withdrawal of U.S. Troops From Afghanistan

Feb. 24, 2015

It’s starting to look like the United States will keep military forces in Afghanistan longer than planned. A growing number of key Senate Democrats have quietly joined Republicans and Pentagon leaders in advocating a slower withdrawal and a longer stay for U.S. troops because of concern about the security situation.

Obama's AUMF Is After the Fact, Beside the Point

Feb. 11, 2015

President Barack Obama sent Congress today a legislative proposal that purports to approve war against the Islamic State while limiting the U.S. role in the conflict. It does neither.

Fight Over the Fate of Gitmo Rages On in Congress

Jan. 13, 2015

Within hours of last week’s mass killing at a satirical magazine in Paris, Sen. Kelly Ayotte was on the Fox News airwaves arguing that the terrorist attack illustrated the folly of the Obama administration’s efforts to close the U.S. military-run prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Guantanamo Will Be Closed Before Obama's Term Ends, Ex-Official Predicts

Jan. 13, 2015

The former State Department official charged with closing the Guantánamo Bay detention facility predicted over the weekend that President Barack Obama will keep his promise to shutter the prison before ending his term.

Senator on ISIS War: Congress 'Giving Away' Constitutional Authority to the President

Dec. 3, 2014

As the House finalizes funding for anti-Islamic State operations, Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Angus King, I-Maine, hammered the administration on the Senate floor Wednesday for failing to seek a new war authorization, while calling on Congress to debate an authorization before recessing for the holidays.

Kaine, who has previously criticized President Barack Obama's unilateral action against the group also known as ISIS or ISIL, said failing to debate a measure would be "disrespectful of the troops," while King said it would be "one more giving away — of our constitutional authority to the executive."

"Giving this president — giving any president — a green light to wage unilateral war for five or six months without any meaningful debate or authorization would be deeply destructive of the legitimacy of the legislative branch of our government, it would be deeply disrespectful of our citizens and it would be especially disrespectful of the troops," Kaine said.

Cracked Engine Blade Grounds Entire Fleet of F-35 Fighters

Feb. 22, 2013

Defense Department officials notified Congress Friday that ground and flight operations for the entire F-35 fighter jet fleet, comprising all three variants of the plane, are being halted indefinitely.

Rise of Military Suicides Driven By More Than War

Dec. 9, 2012

An emotional Max Baucus took to the Senate floor recently to talk about an article in his home state’s top newspaper that he said “hit me in the gut.”

Navy Is Putting High Priority on Preventing Suicide

Dec. 9, 2012

The Navy’s No. 2 officer has to contend with a $156 billion budget, complex global deployments and more than 400,000 active duty and reserve sailors. But one of his highest priorities these days is suicide prevention.

Coburn Blasts Pentagon For Jerky, Brewery Funding

Nov. 15, 2012

An outspoken Republican spending hawk questioned Thursday why, in an era of austerity, the U.S. military tapped a program for developing new weapons to create a delicious new beef jerky.




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