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Jeffrey Laurenti
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Jeffrey Laurenti was senior fellow at The Century Foundation on international affairs for eight years, and served as director for TCF’s international task force on Afghanistan in its regional and multilateral dimensions and as co-director of TCF’s peace and security initiative with the Center for American Progress. He is the author of numerous monographs on subjects such as international peace and security, terrorism, U.N. reform, international law and justice, and other issues dealt with by the multilateral system. He was executive director of policy studies at the United Nations Association of the United States until 2003, and then served seven years on the association’s Board of Directors. He also served as deputy director of the United Nations Foundation's United Nations and Global Security initiative, which provided inputs to the work on international security of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change commissioned by U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He was candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey in 1986, has advised several presidential campaigns, and from 1978 to 1984 was executive director of the New Jersey Senate. He has co-edited and contributed to Breaking the Nuclear Impasse: New Prospects for Security against Weapons Threats (2007) and Power and Superpower: Global Leadership and Exceptionalism in the 21st Century (2007) and his articles and analysis have appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and on National Public Radio, the BBC, France24, AlJazeera, Russia Today, and numerous other international media and policy journals. Graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude in government from Harvard University, he earned his masters in public affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He speaks Spanish, Italian, French, and Portuguese.

Entries by Jeffrey Laurenti

U.N. Vote, Candidates' Debates Open Syria Space for Obama

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2015 | 6:32 PM

The growing, if reluctant, convergence of the Obama administration with Russia on the four-year Syrian conflict for the first time took concrete form last week in a pair of United Nations Security Council resolutions marshaling international enforcement action against Da'esh, the self-styled Islamic State, and laying out the road map...

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Obama's U.N. End Run Around Congress on Iran

(270) Comments | Posted March 14, 2015 | 12:50 PM

The 47 Senate Republicans who warned Iranians against any nuclear agreement with Barack Obama that a Republican successor could revoke "with the stroke of a pen" billed their audacious letter to the clerical regime in Tehran as a civics lesson in the American constitutional system.

It has...

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Cuba Announcement Augurs Big Breakthroughs in 2015

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 4:43 PM

President Obama's bold announcement last week on Cuba has upended the conventional narrative that his administration, buffeted by foreign policy crises throughout 2014, had lost its ability to set the international agenda. Instead, he seems poised to make 2015 a year when he at last realizes his earliest...

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Claivoyance on the Barbary Coast

(2) Comments | Posted November 20, 2014 | 10:31 PM

This week Algeria has convened long-stalled negotiations for a settlement of Mali's two-year political crisis. Its role is an acknowledgment of the North African country's continuing credibility as a mediator in the developing world, a credibility that reflects Algerian refusal to interfere in neighbors' internal affairs and the...

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Obama's Tenuous Middle East Coalition

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 1:00 AM

President Obama devoted nearly half his 39-minute address at the United Nations General Assembly last week appealing to world leaders and publics to join in turning back the jihadist offensive in Syria and Iraq of a self-styled "Islamic state." By the time the foreign minister of Cape Verde delivered the...

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Qaddafi's Ghost and the ISIS Campaign

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 4:43 PM

President Obama will seek Americans' support this week for a carefully tailored, multi-year strategy to "defeat" the shadowy Islamic State of Iraq and Shaam (the Levant). Unlike the one other localized war into which Obama has led the United States, the air campaign that led to the overthrow of Libyan...

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Obama Cautious on War, But Successor Won't Be

(1) Comments | Posted June 20, 2014 | 7:14 PM

President Obama's decision to send 300 military advisors to bolster a panicked Iraqi army in full retreat from Islamic jihadists will hardly quell the furious debate about American military intervention in the Middle East. The reaction to Iraq's continuing agony underscores that Obama's skepticism about armed intervention has planted only...

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A Chill in the Arab Spring Air

(6) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 3:24 PM

Egyptians living outside the country are voting in 114 Egyptian embassies and consulates around the world today, beginning the largest in a series of electoral exercises across the Arab world this spring. But Egypt's election, together with the others, only underscores the shattered hopes for democratic empowerment that facile Western...

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Afghans' Vote Re-Shuffles the Diplomatic Deck

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 11:38 PM

Afghans' surprisingly enthusiastic participation in their presidential campaign and Saturday's election should jolt Afghans and foreigners alike out of their pessimism about the country's future. Afghanistan is on its way to having its first unequivocally legitimate government since the ouster of King Zahir in 1973. And Taliban efforts to thwart...

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Seeking An Exit From the Ukrainian Cul-de-Sac

(0) Comments | Posted March 7, 2014 | 3:07 PM

German chancellor Angela Merkel came away from a phone conversation with Russian president Vladmir Putin this week convinced that he is living "in another world," she told Barack Obama -- an Orwellian alternative universe, perhaps, in which freedom is slavery and lies are propagated by a Ministry of Truth. The...

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Don't Give Up on Afghanistan Before Karzai's Next Pirouette

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 5:52 PM

Americans are well on their way out of Afghanistan's war, and they have not needed the country's most famous illicit export to get them already to forget the point of U.S. involvement there. Troop casualties fell 60 percent with last year's drawdown in forces, and a comfortable majority...

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The Pope's Runner-Up... the Secretary?

(2) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 5:44 PM

Seen from the perspective of one of the planet's most timeless supranational institutions, Time magazine's selection of Pope Francis as man of the year has a compelling logic -- echoed by similar designations from Vanity Fair Italia and, intriguingly, The Advocate, America's oldest gay-themed magazine.

Certainly this pope has...

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Efficient on Chemicals, Damascus Drags Feet on Peace

(6) Comments | Posted November 1, 2013 | 12:22 AM

Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki comes to the White House on November 1 to warn President Obama that Syria's bitter civil war is not just "a humanitarian tragedy" but "an immediate threat to the security of our own country." The threat, in the Iraqi leader's view, lies in...

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Credible Threats and Credible Outcomes on Syria Gas

(28) Comments | Posted September 17, 2013 | 9:57 AM

The agreement that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov hammered out in Geneva at week's end will, if implemented, prove a milestone in the century-long effort to contain the horrors of modern war. For the first time, the world community will have compelled a...

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Seeking a Viable UN Path Forward on Syria

(5) Comments | Posted September 9, 2013 | 4:30 PM

Public consternation in the United States and abroad about President Obama's planned "targeted, limited, and effective" punitive strike against Syria confirms the wisdom of his overall approach to the Syrian crisis the past two years.

In facing down the caws from Washington hawks for arming rebels, bombing missile sites,...

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Arab Reticence on Syria Strike Gives Pause

(19) Comments | Posted August 28, 2013 | 3:37 PM

The Arab League's refusal to support an American military attack against Syria in reprisal for the deadly chemical weapons attack last week east of Damascus is a flashing yellow light for the Obama administration: "Slow down!"

It is a reminder that even the most nobly intended military...

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Afghan 'Zero' Option Moves Front But Not Center

(11) Comments | Posted July 11, 2013 | 1:51 PM

President Obama's determination to keep on the table the so-called "zero option" of a complete withdrawal of all American military forces from Afghanistan next year is not simply a bargaining ploy to bring to heel the country's mercurial president, Hamid Karzai, as readers of the New York Times...

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Tunis Hints of Backpedaling on Syria

(3) Comments | Posted July 1, 2013 | 12:17 AM

As the Obama administration has parried pressures to enmesh the United States more deeply in Syria's murderous civil war, last year's high tide of international insistence on Bashar al-Assad's departure seems to be receding. One sign has been in eroding vote tallies in the United Nations. Another is...

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Iranians' Vote Can Open Closed Channels

(24) Comments | Posted June 17, 2013 | 1:28 PM

After seven years' absence from the panel, in May the United States won back a seat representing the Western group on the United Nations committee on program and coordination. When the committee reorganized on June 3, the United States took its seat -- and announced it would boycott all meetings...

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Obama Earns His Nobel Prize on Syria

(47) Comments | Posted May 16, 2013 | 6:41 PM

As pressures mount in Washington for a more aggressive American involvement on behalf of at least some rebel groups in Syria, President Obama has seemed intent on proving the Nobel committee was farsighted in awarding him its peace prize four years ago.

He sent Secretary of State John Kerry...

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