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November 10, 2015

Passing the Baton

A Bipartisan 2016 Agenda for the Veteran and Military Community

By Amy Schafer, Dr. Jason Dempsey, Katherine L. Kuzminski and Phillip Carter

As the 2016 election cycle moves into full swing, four CNAS experts lay out a comprehensive overview of issues facing the veteran and military community and a plan with substantive recommendations for how the next President can best serve the veteran and military community.

The report is authored by Military, Veterans, and Society Program Director Phillip Carter, Adjunct Fellow Jason Dempsey, Bacevich Fellow Katherine Kidder, and Research Assistant Amy Schafer.

Key recommendations of the report include:

  • Continued focus by the next administration on immediate issues such as access to health care, transition to civilian employment, and support to veterans in crisis (like those facing homelessness or legal problems).
  • Structural reform of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to better serve veterans, including better alignment of the VA’s resources and requirements.
  • Expanded data sharing between the government, private, and non-profit sectors that enables needs assessment, resource allocation, and future planning.
  • Elimination of barriers to public-private-nonprofit partnerships that could help veterans better succeed in civilian life.
  • Identification of normative outcomes, and rigorous evaluation of how public, private and nonprofit programs perform against these outcomes.


  • Amy Schafer

    Former Research Associate, Military, Veterans, and Society Program

    Amy Schafer is a former fellow at the Center for a New American Security, where she focuses on civil-military relations, issues facing military families and veterans, and mili...

  • Dr. Jason Dempsey

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Military, Veterans, and Society Program

    Jason Dempsey is an Adjunct Senior Fellow of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Dr. Dempsey has written extensively ...

  • Katherine L. Kuzminski

    Deputy Director of Studies, Director, Military, Veterans, and Society Program

    Katherine L. Kuzminski (formerly Kidder) is the Deputy Director of Studies, and the Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society (MVS) Program at CNAS. Her research special...

  • Phillip Carter

    Former Senior Fellow and Director, Military, Veterans, and Society Program

    Phillip Carter was the former Senior Fellow and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security. His research focused on issu...

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