Phillip Carter

  • Military, Veterans, and Society

Phillip Carter is Senior Fellow, Counsel and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security.  His research focuses on issues facing veterans and military personnel, force structure and readiness issues, and civil-military relations.

Mr. Carter began his career as an Army officer, serving for several years in the active and reserve components as a military police and civil affairs officer.  He deployed to Iraq in 2005-06, where he served as an embedded adviser with the Iraqi police in the Diyala province, and worked closely with the State Department’s Provincial Reconstruction Team.  After coming home, Mr. Carter became increasingly involved in veterans and national security policy issues.   In 2007, Mr. Carter helped stand up the Obama campaign’s veterans policy committee; in 2008, he joined the campaign as its national veterans director, responsible for policy and political engagement with the veterans and military community. In 2009, Mr. Carter served as a political appointee in the Obama administration, responsible for detainee policy issues. 

In addition to his military and government experience, Mr. Carter has worked in the private sector as an attorney and business leader.  He previously practiced law with a major international law firm, where his work focused on government contracts, export controls, and national security law.  Mr. Carter authored briefs in the landmark national security cases Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (relating to military commissions at Guantanamo Bay), FAIR vs. Rumsfeld (relating to military recruiting on university campuses) and Al-Aulaqi v. Obama (a challenge to U.S. targeting of al Qaeda personnel in Yemen).  Following his law practice, from 2011 to 2013, Mr. Carter served as chief operating officer for Caerus Associates, a private-sector strategy and design firm. 

Mr. Carter currently teaches as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University.  He serves on the editorial board of the Journal for National Security Law & Policy, and the veterans advisory council for the Jericho Project, a non-profit organization in New York devoted to ending homelessness through innovative supportive housing programs.  He continues to write extensively on legal and national security issues, with recent work appearing in the Washington Post, Slate, and Foreign Policy, and other publications, also comments on national security issues as @inteldump on Twitter. 

A native of Southern California, Mr. Carter attended college and law school at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  

  • December 13, 2013
  • Phillip Carter, Katherine Kidder
  • Policy Briefs

Needs Assessment: Veterans in the Western United States

Senior Fellow Phillip Carter and Research Associate Katherine Kidder have released a study that examines the struggles that some veterans are confronting in adjusting  to civilian life as well as the service related issues some suffer later in life.

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  • November 25, 2013
  • Phillip Carter
  • Policy Briefs

Expanding the Net: Building Mental Health Care Capacity for Veterans

Although the VA will spend nearly $7 billion this year on mental health care for veterans, CNAS Senior Fellow Phillip Carter argues in Expanding the Net: Building Mental Health Care Capacity for Veterans, this is not likely to be enough. The report urges the VA to rely more on the private sector and work more closely with local community and private philanthropic organizations.

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  • November 13, 2013
  • Richard Fontaine, David W. Barno, USA (Ret.), Patrick M. Cronin, Phillip Carter, Nora Bensahel, Richard Williamson, Gordon Miller, Katherine Kidder
  • Commentaries

CNAS Commentaries: The Way Forward in Syria

CNAS Commentaries: The Way Forward in Syria

Nine experts at the Center for a New American Security offer analysis and commentary on the range of issues relating to the U.S. response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Asad regime in Syria.

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  • November 13, 2013
  • Phillip Carter
  • Commentaries

International Law Constrains U.S. Action in Syria

Phil-Carter-Syria-CNAS

Two basic legal principles animate our current international system: states are sovereign, and they shall not, generally speaking, attack each other. . . . As the U.S. weighs action against the brutal Syrian regime, it must decide whether to abide by these laws, or abandon them in pursuit of some greater good to be gained through an arguably unlawful intervention in Syria.

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  • January 28, 2013
  • Jacob Stokes, Phillip Carter, Shawn Brimley
  • Factsheets

The Future of U.S. Defense Policy: Questions for Secretary of Defense Designate Chuck Hagel

The Future of U.S. Defense Policy: Questions for Secretary of Defense Designate Chuck Hagel

On January 31, the Senate will hold confirmation hearings for former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel to be President Obama’s third secretary of defense. Hagel’s hearing comes at a time of strategic and budgetary uncertainty for the United States and for the Pentagon in particular. In the memo The Future of U.S. Defense Policy: Questions for Secretary of Defense Designate Chuck Hagel, CNAS experts Shawn Brimley, Phillip Carter and Jacob Stokes suggest several possible areas for senators to consider.

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  • November 8, 2012
  • Phillip Carter
  • Reports

Upholding the Promise: Supporting Veterans and Military Personnel in the Next Four Years

Upholding the Promise: A Strategy for Veterans and Military Personnel

In Upholding the Promise: Supporting Veterans and Military Personnel in the Next Four Years, CNAS Non-Resident Senior Fellow Phillip Carter urges the Obama Administration to develop an inclusive, strategic policy approach that serves veterans and military personnel as well as they have served the nation.

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  • December 3, 2014
  • Phillip Carter, David W. Barno, USA (Ret.)
  • In the News

New defense secretary would inherit old tensions

Senior Fellows Phillip Carter and David Barno weigh in on 'old tensions' between President Obama and former secretaries of Defense.

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  • November 11, 2014
  • Phillip Carter
  • In the News

On Veterans Day, View Data About the Veterans Population

Tim Starks of Roll Call's Five by Five blog features the Military, Veterans, and Society Program's next series of its Veterans Data Project.

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  • November 7, 2014
  • Phillip Carter
  • In the News

More Than 600 Reported Chemical Exposure in Iraq, Pentagon Acknowledges

In The New York Times, Senior Fellow Phillip Carter weighs in on the Pentagon’s "failure" to organize and follow up on a report that military medical staff members believe they were exposed to chemical warfare agents in Iraq.

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  • September 24, 2014
  • Phillip Carter
  • In the News

Fence jumper brings issue of troubled veterans to Obama’s door

The Washington Post quotes Senior Fellow, Counsel and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program Phillip Carter on important questions regarding military veterans and treatment of mental illness. 

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  • August 19, 2014
  • Phillip Carter
  • In the News

Curfew Lifted in Ferguson as National Guard Arrives

Senior Fellow, Counsel and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program Phillip Carter weighs in on the arrival of Missouri National Guard soldiers in Ferguson in The Wall Street Journal

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  • August 19, 2014
  • Phillip Carter
  • In the News

Can the National Guard Really Help Calm an Already Militarized Ferguson?

The Daily Beast quotes Senior Fellow, Counsel and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program Phillip Carter in an article discussing the militarized police forces and potential role of the National Guard in Ferguson. 

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  • August 15, 2014
  • Phillip Carter
  • In the News

Losing perspective in Ferguson

Senior Fellow, Counsel and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program Phillip Carter compares Ferguson police force to "an occupying army" in POLITICO article. 

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  • August 15, 2014
  • Phillip Carter
  • In the News

Missouri protests call attention to police 'militarization'

Reuters quotes Senior Fellow, Counsel and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program Phillip Carter on the militarization of American police forces currently exhibited in Missouri. 

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  • August 4, 2014
  • Phillip Carter
  • In the News

Advocates list 7 things to fix at Veterans Affairs

USA TODAY quotes Senior Fellow, Counsel and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program Phillip Carter in an article advocating specific operational and cultural remedies for the Department of Veterans Affairs as new VA Chief Robert McDonald takes over.

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  • July 28, 2014
  • Phillip Carter
  • In the News

Survey: many combat vets worried about exposaure to ‘burn pits’ (+video)

The Christian Science Monitor quotes Senior Fellow, Counsel and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program Phil Carter in an article discussing IAVA survey results which revealed burn pit exposure as a major health concern for veterans. 

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Pages

  • August 14, 2014
  • Phillip Carter
  • Op-eds

Ferguson's Cops Are Armed Like I Was in Iraq

Senior Fellow, Counsel and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program Phillip Carter in The Daily Beast analyzes the excessive militarization of American police forces by drawing a striking comparison between U.S. armed forces in Iraq to Missouri's Ferguson Police Department.

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  • July 29, 2014
  • Phillip Carter
  • Op-eds

It’s Time to Talk About the Role of U.S. Civilians in Modern War

Senior Fellow, Counsel and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program Phillip Carter and Janine Davidson, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, advocate that deployed American civilian personnel receive "adequate support and security."

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  • July 9, 2014
  • Phillip Carter
  • Op-eds

When 9,800 Doesn't Equal 9,800

Military, Veterans, and Society Program Director Phillip Carter weighs in on President Obama's Afghan plan in a Foreign Policy op-ed.

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  • July 9, 2014
  • Phillip Carter
  • Op-eds

How to Fix the VA

Senior Fellow, Counsel and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program Phillip Carter penned an op-ed for Slate Magazine providing suggestions for how to repair the problematic VA health care system in the aftermath of Secretary Eric Shinseki's resignation.

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  • December 4, 2013
  • Ben FitzGerald, Phillip Carter
  • Blog: The Agenda

A Better Procurement Model

  • November 25, 2013
  • Ben FitzGerald, Phillip Carter
  • Blog: The Agenda

National Security Startups

  • November 22, 2013
  • Phillip Carter
  • Blog: The Agenda

A self-licking procurement ice cream cone

  • September 5, 2013
  • Phillip Carter, Nora Bensahel
  • Op-eds

Reboot

In the approaching post-war period for the U.S. Army, Deputy Director of Studies and Senior Fellow, Dr. Nora Bensahel and Senior Fellow, Counsel, and Director of the Military, Veterans and Society Program, Phillip Carter, call for the army to leverage its reserves and cut back on spending as it heads into a period of austerity in Foreign Policy.

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  • February 13, 2013
  • Phillip Carter
  • Op-eds

Not Much Better Than 'Nothing'

  • January 29, 2013
  • Phillip Carter
  • Op-eds

Final Draft

Senior Fellow and Director of the Military, Veterans and Society Program Phillip Carter writes on the array of difficulties U.S. policymakers will face on how best to support the all-volunteer force and the nation's veterans in Foreign Policy.

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Pages

  • December 3, 2014
  • Phillip Carter
  • Videos

Redesigning the All-Volunteer Force of the Future

On November 20, CNAS hosted a half-day conference on the civilian-military divide and the future of an all-volunteer force. The second panel, focused on redesigning the all-volunteer force of the future, featured Dr. Tim Kane, Margaret Harrell, Hon. Arnold Punaro, Spencer Kympton and Phillip Carter.

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  • June 19, 2014
  • Phillip Carter
  • Videos

Video: Visualizing Today's Veterans Population and Forecasting the Issues of Tomorrow

Senior Fellow Phillip Carter presents on today's veterans population at the CNAS Eighth Annual National Security Conference.

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  • May 9, 2014
  • Phillip Carter
  • Videos

Video: Under scrutiny before, VA delay allegations strike a chord

PBS NewsHour interviews Military, Veterans and Society Director Phillip Carter on allegations that dozens of patients have died because of delayed treatment at a VA hospital.

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