O’Hanlon is the author of Bending History: Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy with Martin Indyk and Kenneth Lieberthal (Brookings Institution Press March 2012); The Wounded Giant: America’s Armed Forces in an Age of Austerity (Penguin Press 2011); A Skeptic's Case for Nuclear Disarmament (Brookings Institution Press 2010); Toughing It Out in Afghanistan with Hassina Sherjan (Brookings Institution Press 2010); and The Science of War (Princeton University Press 2009). He continues to coauthor Brookings’s Afghanistan Index. He and Bruce Riedel wrote A Plan A- for Afghanistan in the Winter 2010/2011 issue of The Washington Quarterly and published a paper on Afghanistan and Pakistan for Brookings’s Campaign 2012 project.
His other recent books include A War Like No Other, about the U.S.-China relationship and the Taiwan issue, with Richard Bush (Wiley 2007); a multi-author volume, Protecting the Homeland 2006/2007 (Brookings Institution Press 2006); Defense Strategy for the Post-Saddam Era (Brookings Institution Press 2005); The Future of Arms Control, co-authored with Michael Levi (Brookings Institution Press 2005); Neither Star Wars nor Sanctuary: Constraining the Military Uses of Space (Brookings Institution Press 2004); and Crisis on the Korean Peninsula with Mike Mochizuki (McGraw-Hill 2003).
He has written several hundred op-eds in newspapers including The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Times, The Financial Times, The Japan Times, and Pakistan’s Dawn paper. O’Hanlon has appeared on television or spoken on the radio about 2,000 times since September 11, 2001.
O'Hanlon was an analyst at the Congressional Budget Office from 1989-1994. He also worked previously at the Institute for Defense Analyses. His Ph.D. from Princeton is in public and international affairs; his bachelor's and master's degrees, also from Princeton, are in the physical sciences. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Congo/Kinshasa (the former Zaire) from 1982-1984, where he taught college and high school physics in French.