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Douglas J. Feith

Director, Center for National Security Strategies

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Douglas J. Feith served as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from July 2001 until August 2005. In that position, he helped devise the U.S. government's strategy for the war on terrorism and contributed to policy for the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns. Mr. Feith's duties included managing the Defense Department's international relations and representing the Department in interagency policy making. War and Decision, Mr. Feith's best-selling memoir of his Pentagon work on the war on terrorism, was published in 2008.

Mr. Feith helped plan the worldwide changes in the U.S. defense posture, develop new U.S. strategic partnerships with India and Pakistan, promote NATO enlargement and reform and craft U.S. policy toward China. Mr. Feith advised President Bush and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld on the range of national security issues, including the nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran, the counter-insurgency in Colombia and Palestinian-Israeli peace diplomacy.

Before President Bush appointed him in July 2001, Mr. Feith was for fifteen years the managing attorney of the Washington, D.C. law firm Feith & Zell, P.C. In the Reagan Administration, Mr. Feith worked at the White House as a Middle East specialist for the National Security Council and then served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy.

After each of his Pentagon tours, Mr. Feith received the Distinguished Public Service Medal, the Defense Department's highest civilian award.

Mr. Feith's writings on foreign and defense affairs have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Commentary, The New Republic and elsewhere. He has contributed chapters to a number of books, including James W. Muller, ed., Churchill as Peacemaker; Douglas J. Feith, et al., Israel's Legitimacy in Law and History; and Uri Ra'anan, et al., eds., Hydra of Carnage: International Linkages of Terrorism. War and Decision, Mr. Feith's memoir of his Pentagon work on the war on terrorism, was published in 2008.

Mr. Feith was a Belfer Center Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He held the position of Professor and Distinguished Practitioner in National Security Policy at Georgetown University from 2006 to 2008 and was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He holds a J.D. (magna cum laude) from the Georgetown University Law Center and an A.B. (magna cum laude) from Harvard College.

Featured Research

The Fatal Flaw in Obama's Dealings With Iran

Douglas J. Feith

Taking a collaborative approach to negotiating with bad actors always turns out badly. Better to coerce them....

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“Minimum Deterrence: Examining the Evidence”

Organizing the U.S. Government to Counter Islamist Extremism

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Doug Feith cited in The Diplomat on the US defense budget

Doug Feith quoted in Politico about President Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia