Michael E. O’Hanlon is a senior fellow and director of research in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, where he specializes in U.S. defense strategy, the use of military force, and American national security policy. He directs the Strobe Talbott Center on Security, Strategy and Technology, as well as the Defense Industrial Base working group, and is the inaugural holder of the Philip H. Knight Chair in Defense and Strategy. He co-directs the Africa Security Initiative as well. He is an adjunct professor at Columbia, Georgetown, and George Washington universities, and a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He also serves as a member of the Defense Policy Board at the U.S. Department of Defense. O’Hanlon was a member of the external advisory board at the Central Intelligence Agency from 2011-12. O’Hanlon’s latest book, “Military History for the Modern Strategist: America’s Major Wars Since 1861” (Brookings and Rowman & Littlefield, 2023) was published in January 2023.
O’Hanlon’s other books include “The Art of War in an Age of Peace: U.S. Grand Strategy and Resolute Restraint” (Yale, 2021); “Defense 101: Understanding the Military of Today and Tomorrow” (Cornell, 2021); “The Senkaku Paradox: Risking Great Power War over Limited Stakes” (Brookings, 2019); “Beyond NATO: A New Security Architecture for Eastern Europe” (Brookings, 2017); “The Future of Land Warfare” (Brookings, 2015); and “Strategic Reassurance and Resolve: U.S.-China Relations in the 21st Century” (with Jim Steinberg, Princeton University Press, 2014). He edited “Brookings Big Ideas for America” (Brookings, 2017). Previously, he wrote “Crisis on the Korean Peninsula” (with Mike Mochizuki, McGraw-Hill, 2003); “Winning Ugly: NATO’s War to Save Kosovo” (with Ivo Daalder, Brookings, 2000); and about a dozen other books.
O’Hanlon has written several hundred op-eds in major domestic and international newspapers. His articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, Survival, Washington Quarterly, Joint Forces Quarterly, and International Security, among other publications. O’Hanlon has appeared on television or spoken on the radio more than 4,000 times since September 11, 2001.
O’Hanlon was an analyst at the Congressional Budget Office from 1989-1994, where he won the Director’s Award in 1992. He also worked previously at the Institute for Defense Analyses. His doctorate from Princeton is in public and international affairs, where he was awarded a National Science Foundation fellowship. His bachelor’s and master’s degrees, also from Princeton, are in the physical sciences. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 1982-84, where he taught college and high school physics in French. Earlier, he worked on a dairy farm in Upstate New York, where he grew up, and attempted (unsuccessfully) with a team of Princeton experimental physicists in the “Gravity Group” to disprove Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.
Columbia University, adjunct professor
George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs, professional lecturer
Georgetown University, Center for Security Studies, adjunct professor
U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Policy Board, member
Areas of Expertise
- Arms treaties
- Asian security issues
- Homeland security
- Iraq policy
- Military technology
- Missile defense
- North Korea policy
- Peacekeeping operations
- Taiwan policy
- Military analysis
- U.S. defense strategy and budget
- Adjunct Professor, Columbia University
- Professional Lecturer of International Affairs, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University
- Adjunct Professor, Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University
- Adjunct Professor, Johns Hopkins University
- Defense and Foreign Policy Analyst, National Security Division, Congressional Budget Office (1989-1994)
- Research Assistant, Institute for Defense Analyses
- Peace Corps Volunteer, Congo
- Ph.D. (1991), M.A. (1988), M.S.E. (1987), B.A. (1982), Princeton University