Rufus C. Phillips III (born August 10, 1929) is an American writer, businessman, politician, and Central Intelligence Agency employee.
Phillips was born in Middletown, Ohio and was raised in rural Charlotte County, Virginia. He was educated at Woodberry Forest School and Yale University and was a young Central Intelligence Agency officer in Saigon in the 1950s. In 1954, Phillips joined the United States Army and served as a military advisor to the South Vietnam government. Phillips was a protégé of General Edward Lansdale and participated in the 1962 RAND Counterinsurgency Symposium alongside other counterinsurgency experts such as David Galula and Frank Kitson. In Vietnam, Phillips was one af the architects of the Chieu Hoi program to persuade Vietcong fighters to defect. Phillips then lived in Fairfax County, Virginia and was president of the Inter-Continental Consultants, Inc. He served on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and was a Democrat. He ran for the United States House of Representatives, in 1974 and lost the primary election.
Phillips is the author of Why Vietnam Matters: An Eyewitness Account of Lessons Not Learned. He is a regular guest on The John Batchelor Show and discusses topics on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Kennedy, Charles Stuart. "Interview with Rufus C. Phillips, III". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
-  Hosmer, Stephen T. and S. O. Crane. Counterinsurgency: A Symposium, April 16–20, 1962. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2006.
- Gerwehr, Scott; Hachigian, Nina (August 26, 2005). "In Iraq's prisons: A little tenderness can turn around insurgents". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2010.
- 'Fairfax Democrat Joins Senate Race,' The Washington Post, Ken Ringle, November 20, 1977
- OurCampaigns.com.-Rufus Phillips
- "Vietnam, Allied invasion of Italy". The Washington Times. February 22, 2009. Retrieved August 1, 2010.