Seize the Road
For Captain Hammer!
Yes,Which is why you should be very careful when playing a card that lowers Defcon in the headline. Since the card with the highest Ops value will be resolved first (with ties to the US), your opponent could lower the Defcon (usually from 3 to 2) before your card is resolved (with you lowering Defcon to 1 and losing).
The phasing player is whoever actually played the card.