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.
Stories by John M. Donnelly:
July 29, 2015
No matter which company wins the new B-3 bomber deal, the program’s advocates will start facing the first of many budget battles before any metal has been bent.
July 29, 2015
The U.S. government is spending $110 million a year operating several hundred unused buildings for Afghanistan’s government, CQ has learned.
July 16, 2015
Senate-passed legislation intended to improve the Pentagon’s troubled acquisition system may end up having the opposite effect, according to a growing number of experts.
June 3, 2015
The equipment for America’s National Guard and Reserve is increasingly funded through an account that contains money not requested by the president, not capped by the budget law and not subject to much open oversight, according to assessments by CQ and the government spending monitors at Taxpayers for Common Sense.
May 29, 2015
Congress is girding for a showdown over how to pay a looming bill of at least $139 billion for acquiring new nuclear-missile submarines.
April 14, 2015
House appropriators unveiled a spending bill this week for military construction and veterans programs that would fall short of what the president wants, but would boost spending over the current level.
April 14, 2015
The Military Construction and Veterans Affairs bill House appropriators planned to mark up Wednesday clearly illustrates the dilemma of Republican congressional leaders this year in trying to hold the line or reduce spending while not shortchanging their most sacrosanct areas of government — national defense and the care of veterans.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.