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Stephen Schlesinger
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Stephen Schlesinger is an Fellow at the Century Foundation in New York City. He is the former Director of the World Policy Institute at the New School University in New York City (1997-2006). Mr. Schlesinger received his BA from Harvard University and his JD from Harvard Law School. In the early 1970s, he edited and published The New Democrat Magazine. Thereafter he spent four years as a staff writer at Time Magazine. For twelve years, he served as Governor Mario Cuomo’s speechwriter and foreign policy advisor. In the mid 1990s, he worked at the United Nations at Habitat, the agency dealing with global cities. He is coeditor of "The Letters of Arthur Schlesinger Jr." published by Random Hiouse in 2013 and of Journals 1952-2000 by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. published by Penguin in 2007. He is also the author of three books, including Act of Creation: The Founding of The United Nations which won the 2004 Harry S. Truman Book Award; Bitter Fruit: The Story of the U.S. Coup in Guatemala (with Stephen Kinzer), which was listed as a New York Times "Notable" book for 1982 and has sold over 100,000 copies; and The New Reformers. He is a specialist on the foreign policy of the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations. He is a frequent contributor to magazines and newspapers, including The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation Magazine, and The New York Observer. In 1978, he was a finalist for the National Magazine Award. He has appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe", "Hardball" with Chris Matthews, "The Daily Rundown" with Chuck Todd, The Today Show, CNN, Fox TV, NPR and other media outlets. His website is: He can be reached at

Entries by Stephen Schlesinger

Why Republicans Are Stuck With Obama's ISIS Strategy

(23) Comments | Posted February 5, 2016 | 9:30 AM

However much Republican presidential candidates may complain about President Obama's strategy to defeat ISIS, they will end up embracing his policies in the end should any of them actually win the White House. Why? Because, given that the American public is against further military involvement in the Middle East, most...

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Trump's Magical Realism: Banning Muslims

(23) Comments | Posted December 7, 2015 | 10:55 PM

Donald Trump wants to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, including tourists and businessmen. I am sure, as he always does, that he has put a lot of his deep thought into this grand scheme. After all, he is a leader with big plans for many things, but...

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Let's Be Pragmatic About the United Nations

(3) Comments | Posted December 1, 2015 | 7:08 AM

It is a well-known story that the five world powers at the founding conference of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945 -- the United States, the Soviet Union, China, Great Britain, and France -- set up the organization in such a way that they alone could control it....

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Why ISIS May Be on the Verge of Collapse

(33) Comments | Posted November 18, 2015 | 9:38 AM

The world may be looking at the attacks in Paris through the wrong lens. The actions of ISIS may constitute measures of desperation rather than any evidence of its expanding power. The recent successful ISIS assaults on the Russian plane, its killings in Lebanon, and its successive plots in France...

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Robert Redford on Dan Rather's Feud With George W. Bush

(16) Comments | Posted October 9, 2015 | 10:59 AM

Robert Redford appeared at a forum sponsored by the New York Times on Thursday evening in New York City talking about a new film in which he stars called "Truth". The movie is about an incident that occurred during the presidential election of 2004 when CBS anchorman Dan Rather narrated...

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The Trump Magic

(3) Comments | Posted August 5, 2015 | 12:37 PM

There have been conflicting theories about why Donald Trump has proven to have such appeal to the Republican Party electorate. Most center on the notion that he has captured the zeitgeist of today's political world -- namely the anger and resentment that many voters feel against "politicians." But Trump's attraction...

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Congress's Phony Anger at UN Over Iran deal

(30) Comments | Posted July 21, 2015 | 3:58 PM

Some in Congress, primarily Republicans, have raised protests over the fact that the United Nations Security Council yesterday approved a resolution supporting the Iranian nuclear pact before either the U.S. House of Representatives or Senate were able to vote on the proposed agreement.

They are furious at the United...

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Roosevelt's Final Legacy -- The UN

(3) Comments | Posted May 15, 2015 | 9:32 AM

The United Nations, which this year celebrates its 70th anniversary, was the idee fixe of an American president, Franklin Roosevelt. Roosevelt originally envisaged the organization as a unique peace-making body that would harness the collective power of member-states to stop aggressors around the planet.

Roosevelt first embraced the idea...

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Today's Empire Builders

(22) Comments | Posted November 1, 2014 | 9:08 AM

Empire builders appear to be back in style. They are with us today both in reality and in fantasy. They present the world with the same dilemma that has troubled victims in the past -- how does the rest of the planet deal with them.

One of the recurring...

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Turkish Leader Erdogan's Misstep in NYC

(111) Comments | Posted September 22, 2014 | 10:11 PM

The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has a problem. Through his battles at home in recent years to ward off criminal investigations of his administration, his insistence on dismissing wiretaps that show he and his aides involved in backroom threats against opponents, his decision to fire or imprison police...

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NATO Sobers Up

(1) Comments | Posted September 11, 2014 | 9:27 PM

Last week's NATO meeting in Wales showed an unexpected and sobering realism on the most pressing issue it has faced in some years, namely the Ukrainian crisis. Despite many pressures on the body to take some sort of decisive action to counter the Russian threat to Ukraine -- beyond sanctions...

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Obama's Hidden-Hand Foreign Policy

(102) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 11:18 AM

Over six years of his presidency, President Obama has pursued a down-sized foreign policy that has mixed diplomacy, sanctions and force in varying measures to protect American national security interests abroad -- without involving US ground forces. Obama began this approach from Day 1 of his presidency when he negotiated...

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A Few Words of Praise for the UN

(2) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 12:07 PM

When the world goes into crisis, the United Nations, despite its sometimes fitful reputation, magically reappears as a place of last resort for solving its most pressing problems. In the two major crises that have faced the planet over the last few weeks -- the tragedy of the Malaysian Flight...

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What to Do About Robert Kagan?

(3) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 8:05 PM

I am befuddled what to make of the piece in this week's New York Times on Robert Kagan. The "so-called" historian of foreign affairs and noted neo-conservative advocate and champion of the now tottering Iraqi invasion of 2003 is suddenly our newest foreign policy savant apparently because he wrote a...

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Iraq's Final Hours

(104) Comments | Posted June 15, 2014 | 12:46 PM

The United States has already sacrificed enough of its soldiers and treasury for Iraq during its eight years of involvement in that nation's so-called struggle for freedom. From the beginning, the war was based on a falsehood, namely the notion that Iraq harbored weapons of mass destruction. There turned out...

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What's So Terrible About Obama's Foreign Policy?

(115) Comments | Posted May 8, 2014 | 10:06 AM

The latest round of attacks on President Obama's foreign policy by his right-wing critics are ginning up the notion that Obama has lost credibility because of his failures to resolve the Ukraine crisis. In Op-Ed pieces, congressional statements, issues papers and media appearances, neo-conservatives and hard-line Republicans have hammered Obama...

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Randy Mastro Strikes Out

(23) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 10:11 PM

You know that you've failed when a Republican like Joseph Scarborough, host of the MSNBC show Morning Joe, says on his program that Randy Mastro, the so-called "independent" lawyer investigating Gov. Christie's bridge-closing scandal, sounded like Baghdad Bob at his press conference Thursday, and the political writer, Al Hunt --...

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Finally, the UN Exercises Moral Authority

(1) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 4:37 PM

In the last 48 hours or so, the United Nations has acted in ways its founding fathers would have hoped for when it wrote the UN Charter. In the face of immense pressures, several of its organs have taken public positions on controversial issues that have advanced the goals of...

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Ban Ki Moon Is MIA on Crimea

(29) Comments | Posted March 21, 2014 | 6:24 PM

UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon's trip to Moscow to meet with President Putin yesterday was, at best, an exercise in pro forma UN diplomacy. It seems mostly designed to show to UN member-states that Secretary-General was acting expeditiously to resolve the Crimean crisis but without really advancing any innovative or...

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The Rogue CIA

(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 1:53 PM

How surprised can anybody really be that the CIA surreptitiously attempted to thwart an investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee of the agency's torture of al Qaeda militants? The CIA is a body that has long believed that it can act unilaterally without consideration for normal constitutional principles or democratic...

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