Joseph Felter

Dr. Joseph Felter is a senior research scholar at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University. Felter retired from the U.S. Army as a colonel in 2011 following a career as a Special Forces and foreign area officer with distinguished service in a variety of special operations and diplomatic assignments. He has conducted foreign internal defense and security assistance missions across East and Southeast Asia and has participated in operational deployments to Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Prior to arriving at CISAC, Felter led the International Security and Assistance Force, Counterinsurgency Advisory and Assistance Team (CAAT) in Afghanistan reporting directly to Gen. Stanley McChrystal and and Gen. David Petraeus and advising them on counterinsurgency strategy. Felter held leadership positions in the US Army Rangers and Special Forces and directed the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at West Point from 2005−2008. He is also a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Felter has published many scholarly articles on the topic of counterinsurgency and has focused on the study of how to address the root causes of terrorism and political violence. Some highlights include: "Can Hearts and Minds be Bought? The Economics of Counterinsurgency in Iraq," with Eli Berman and Jacob N. Shapiro,  Journal of Political Economy; "Do Working Men Rebel? Insurgency and Unemployment in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Philippines," with Eli Berman, Michael Callen, and Jacob N. Shapiro, Journal of Conflict Resolution; and "Iranian Influence in Iraq: Politics and 'Other Means,'" with Brian Fishman.

Felter holds a BS from West Point, an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a PhD in political science from Stanford University.

Insurgency, counterinsurgency, terrorism, political violence

Development and Conflict Research

Deterrence with Proxies