Frank O'Donnell, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow National Security Affairs
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Frank O’Donnell is a postdoctoral fellow in the National Security Affairs Department, and a consultant and nonresident fellow in the Stimson Center South Asia Program. He researches the intersection between strategic cultures, technical force developments, deterrence conceptions, and stability challenges within nuclear rivalries, with a particular focus on Southern Asia. He has been a Stanton Junior Faculty Fellow and associate in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, and an assistant professor at Plymouth University at the Britannia Royal Naval College.

Areas of Expertise

  • Nuclear
  • Pakistan


Ph.D, King's College London, 2015, Defense Studies

M.Sc. (Distinction), University of Aberdeen, 2010, Strategic Studies

M.A. (First Class), University of St. Andrews, 2008, International Relations and Middle East Studies

C.V. or Resume

Related Credentials

Lecturer, Boston College Department of Political Science, Fall 2018

Visiting Fellow, Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, 2018

Visiting Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Nuclear Policy Program, 2015

External Research Associate, US Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, 2014-15

Visiting Fellow, Jawaharlal Nehru University School of International Studies, 2013

Visiting Fellow, Calcutta University Institute of Foreign Policy Studies, 2012

Research Contributions and Publications

“India and Nuclear Asia: Forces, Doctrine, and Dangers”
(Georgetown University Press, 2018)
(co-authored with Yogesh Joshi)

“Stabilizing Sino-Indian Security Relations: Managing the Strategic Rivalry After Doklam (Carnegie Paper),”
Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, Beijing, June 2018.

“Trump’s Nuclear Review Could Trigger a Chain Reaction in Asia,”
Axios, February 8, 2018

“Launching an Expanded Missile Flight-Test Notification Regime,”
Stimson Center, May 3, 2017

“India’s Evolving Nuclear Force and Implications for US Strategy in the Asia-Pacific”
(Carlisle, PA: US Army War College Press, 2016)
(co-authored with Yogesh Joshi and Harsh V. Pant)

“New Depth to Indian Ocean Nuclear Deterrence,”
Dartmouth Centre for Seapower and Strategy, March 3, 2016

“Indian Defense Reforms: Institutionalizing Clarity and Cohesion in Defense Planning,”
Center for the Advanced Study of India, University of Pennsylvania, November 16, 2015.
Reprinted as “Our Muddled Defence Establishment,” The Hindu Business Line, November 17, 2015

“Aim for Higher Testing Standards,”
Daily Pioneer, July 27, 2015

“Review: Aqil Shah, The Army and Democracy: Military Politics in Pakistan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014),”
International Journal of Military History and Historiography Vol. 37 Issue 2 (2017)
DOI: 10.1163/24683302-03702005

“Afghanistan Needs an Economic Surge,”
Daily Pioneer, November 20, 2013

“India’s Missile Defense: Is the Game Worth the Candle?,”
The Diplomat, August 2, 2013 (coauthored with Yogesh Joshi)

“India and Pakistan in 2013: Nuclear Extroversion, Political Introversion,”
European Leadership Network, June 4, 2013

“Pakistan’s Nuclear Labyrinth and the Future of Democratization (Asia Pacific Bulletin No. 210),”
East West Center, April 25, 2013 (co-authored with Yogesh Joshi)

“Managing India’s Missile Aspirations (IDSA Comment),”
Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, February 10, 2013

“India’s Nuclear Choices,”
Times of India, April 23, 2012 (co-authored with Shashank Joshi)

“New Delhi’s New Missile: A Watershed for India’s Nuclear Arsenal,”
RUSI Analysis, April 20, 2012 (co-authored with Shashank Joshi)

“India’s Space Ascent Gains New Boost,”
ISN Insights, May 11, 2011

“Managing Asia’s Nuclear Rivalry,”
ISN Security Watch, June 16, 2010

Awards and Decorations

Appointed U.S. Naval War College Institutional Member of US Strategic Command Academic Alliance, US Strategic Command

News, Media, & Events

Lectures of Opportunity: "Futures of Surface Naval Combatants"

Sep. 18, 2019
12:00 p.m.
Conolly Hall, U.S. Naval War College, 686 Cushing Road, Newport, RI 02841

Special Operations: Out of the Shadows

Oct. 01, 2019
Lynne Rienner Publishers
Article Publication

Material and external links contained herein are made available for the purpose of peer review and discussion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Naval War College, Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense.