About POGO

Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis (U.S. Army, ret.)

U.S. Army, retired

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Daniel L. Davis retired from the US Army as a Lt. Col. after 21 years of active service.  He was deployed into combat zones four times in his career, beginning with Operation Desert Storm in 1991, and then to Iraq in 2009 and Afghanistan twice (2005, 2011).  He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valor at the Battle of 73 Easting in 1991, and awarded a Bronze Star Medal in Afghanistan in 2011.  He earned a Master of International Relations from Troy University in 2006 and speaks level II German and level I Russian. Davis gained some national notoriety in 2012 when he returned from Afghanistan and published a report detailing how senior US military and civilian leaders told the American public and Congress that the war was going well while in reality it was headed to defeat.  Events since have confirmed his analysis was correct.

Davis recognized a problem in the initial proposed US troop surge plan for Afghanistan in 2009, identifying a mismatch between stated strategic objectives and the operational forces and strategy allocated to accomplish the task. He sought permission from Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) supervisors, and conducted thorough analysis of situation, identified shortfalls, and then recommended alternative courses of action (an unclassified version of report located here). Virtually all the risks identified in the report with the Administration plan in 2009 did in fact come to pass.

In 2008 Davis recognized a problem with operating concept of the $20 billion modernization plan, the Future Combat Systems (FCS).  Based on his research and combat experience Davis knew the system would not adequately protect soldiers and had major, potentially fatal vulnerabilities built into the communications system.  During his assignment he identified the major problems, developed a set of recommended solutions, and presented them to senior Army leaders.  He later published an article in a professional journal outlining the problems and solutions. One year later the Secretary of Defense canceled the program, citing most of the problems outlined in Davis’ analysis.

His work on defense, foreign affairs and social issues has been published in the New York Times, Financial Times, CNN, The Guardian (UK), US News & World Report, and other publications.  Davis was also the recipient of the 2012 Ridenhour Prize for Truth-telling. Davis is a member of the Center for Defense Information's advisory board and lives in the Washington, DC metro area.

photograph of soldier's crossing with rifles

More Defense Dollars Don't Guarantee a Better Military

March 1, 2016

The truth about military spending.