Giselle Donnelly

Biography: 

Giselle Donnelly, a defense and security policy analyst, is the codirector of the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. From 1995 to 1999, she was policy group director for the House Committee on Armed Services. Donnelly also served as a member of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

She is the author, coauthor, and editor of numerous articles, essays, and books, including Operation Just Cause: The Storming of Panama and Clash of Chariots: A History of Armored Warfare. She is currently at work on Empire of Liberty: The Origins of American Strategic Culture.

Formerly Thomas Donnelly, she transitioned in 2018, and her previous work can be found here.

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Recent Commentary

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Brexit’s Losers

by Giselle Donnellyvia Military History in the News
Thursday, December 20, 2018

“Fog in the Channel,” headlined the October 22, 1957 Times of London, “Continent cut off.” This famous-but-perhaps-apocryphal bit of journalism is particularly apropos of the dank “Brexit” shroud that has settled over northwest Europe. With 100 days to go until the supposed March 29 deadline for Great Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, the fog is only getting thicker. No proposed solution seems palatable to all parties, Prime Minister Theresa May has a tenuous hold on power and no grip whatsoever on policy, and the continentals are blithely but foolishly relishing Britain’s distress.

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Unplugging From The Saudis?

by Giselle Donnellyvia Military History in the News
Thursday, December 20, 2018

One of the greatest temptations for recent American presidents has been the insidious thought that the balance of power in the Middle East is of diminishing strategic importance to the United States. This would appear to be the logic behind Donald Trump’s order to withdraw U.S. ground forces from Syria. Like Barack Obama before him, the president looks through the smaller, counterterrorism lens—fighting the Islamic State was his “only reason for being there”—rather than the regional (or global) balance-of-power lens.

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A Bon-Bon For Marlborough Buffs

by Giselle Donnellyvia Military History in the News
Monday, December 17, 2018

It may be stretching the limits of this feature to offer a movie review as “Military History in the News,” but, given the temper of our times, any film even slightly to do with Britain’s greatest soldier, John Churchill Duke of Marlborough, ought to be welcomed. And in fact, The Favourite has been widely acclaimed as one of the best offerings of the year. Deliciously filmed by director Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite tells, albeit in a gossipy way, the tale of Queen Anne’s epic feud with Sarah Churchill, the duke’s wife, the queen’s longtime “favorite,” and ruthlessly Machiavellian power behind the throne. 

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A Man Of His Times

by Giselle Donnellyvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The passing of president George Herbert Walker Bush has, inevitably, recalled his role in the most momentous moments of the late 20th century: the fall of the Berlin Wall in the fall of 1989 and the complete collapse of the Soviet empire two years later. That this came about peacefully is still something of a wonder, and is alone more than enough to enshrine our 41st president as a superb statesman.

Related Commentary

A Wobbling Goliath

by Giselle Donnellyvia Strategika
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Describing the balance of power by way of “poles,” the analytical framework so favored in recent decades by professional political scientists, is no longer that useful.