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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

Obama's Tenuous Middle East Coalition

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 12:00 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 | 3:43 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 | 6:14 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 | 2:24 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 | 10:38 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 | 2:07 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 | 4:52 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 | 4:44 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 October 31, 2013 | 11:22 PM

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 | 8:57 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 | 3:30 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 | 2:37 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 | 12:51 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 June 30, 2013 | 11:17 PM

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 | 12:28 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 | 5:41 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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Congo Brigade Could Be 21st Century Game-Changer

(4) Comments | Posted April 1, 2013 | 5:46 PM

Last week, with scarcely a ripple in the public consciousness, a new initiative was quietly launched that could profoundly alter the world's international security landscape for decades ahead.

Before recessing for the Christian holy days, the United Nations Security Council approved, 15-0, a resolution to attach a combat-ready "Intervention Brigade"...

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'Complicated' Politics of Afghan Withdrawal

(3) Comments | Posted March 12, 2013 | 1:18 PM

"It's complicated," defense secretary Chuck Hagel repeatedly murmured during his three-day visit to Afghanistan this past weekend for a ground's eye assessment as he prepares to manage the phase-out of American military forces.

Complicated it was. For his host, Afghan president Hamid Karzai, upended all of Washington's ingrained assumptions...

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Russia on the Line for Syrian Settlement

(2) Comments | Posted February 22, 2013 | 12:03 PM

Though February is definitely low season for travel to Moscow, there's a notable uptick in Syrian travelers there now. Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Mouallem is due this weekend, and Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, president of the opposition umbrella group Syrian National Coalition, is expected there later in the week.

At a...

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Senate Conservatives Blink on North Korea

(58) Comments | Posted February 15, 2013 | 4:13 PM

Senate Republicans presumably hope that the 10-day delay they have forced on a vote to confirm their former colleague, Chuck Hagel, as secretary of defense may serve to ratchet up pressure on him regarding a cause dear to many in their party caucus: nuclear weapons.

Much has been made of...

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