James P. Danly

International Affairs Fellow, 2009-2010

James P. Danly is the managing director of the Institute for the Study of War, a military policy think tank based in Washington, DC. A former U.S. Army officer, James served two tours in Iraq, during which he received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. During his first tour, serving with an infantry company in the Dora district of Baghdad, he distinguished himself by authoring and executing Operation Close Encounters, a tactical counterinsurgency program widely employed to great effect during the Surge.

In his second tour, he served under General David Petraeus at Multi-National Force—Iraq where he conducted research and undertook projects related to the rule of law. His project, “On Close Encounters: Examining Operational and Tactical Counterinsurgency Doctrine,” explores the fundamentals of counterinsurgency operations in Iraq at the level of battalion and below, and attempts to identify the applicability of that template to other theaters of war. James holds a BA from Yale University where he studied classics and English.