Jeffrey Laurenti

Jeffrey Laurenti has served as director of Policy Studies at the United Nations Association of the USA and was senior fellow at The Century Foundation (TCF) on international affairs. He has 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, UN reform, international law and justice, and other issues dealt with by the multilateral system. Graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude in government from Harvard University, Laurenti earned his Master's in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He speaks Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese.
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Is Nikki Haley Hoping to Climb the Ladder?

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley could be a mortal threat to the ambitions of the many white male Republicans hungering for the Oval Office. The uncanny success of Nikki Haley in becoming the most public and quotable voice on President Donald Trump’s foreign policy team, combined with the telegenic UN ambassador’s apparent disinterest in the nuts and bolts of how the United Nations actually... Continue Reading

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Trump Upends US Foreign Policy… And He’s Not Even Sworn In

The one foreign policy arena where Trump’s post-election moves are arousing bipartisan political resistance in Washington is Russia. Never has a president-elect so roiled American foreign policy before even taking office. On a dizzying range of fronts—Russia, China, Europe, the Middle East—Donald Trump has dissented from longstanding US policy, challenged the outgoing president as he has... Continue Reading

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“Foreign Fighters” Reach the Security Council

Obama's UN "foreign terrorist fighter" resolution follows templates set by the Bush administration.  The escalating international response to this summer’s victories and barbarities of the self-styled caliphate of the “Islamic State” of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) dominated headlines when world leaders convened for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly in September. Military... Continue Reading

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Obama’s Tenuous Middle East Coalition

At the UN, Obama sought strong support for his campaign to defeat ISIS, but the coalition turns out to be tenuous. US President Barack Obama devoted nearly half of his 39-minute address at the United Nations General Assembly appealing to world leaders to join Washington in turning back the jihadist offensive in Syria and Iraq of a self-styled “Islamic state.” By the time the foreign... Continue Reading

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Qaddafi's Ghost and the ISIS Campaign

Muammar Qaddafi’s ghost has hovered over every effort to find a solution to Syria’s catastrophic civil war. President Barack Obama will seek Americans’ support for a carefully tailored, multi-year strategy to “defeat” the shadowy Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). Unlike the other localized war into which Obama has led the United States, the air campaign that led to the... Continue Reading

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Afghans' Vote Re-Shuffles the Diplomatic Deck

Amid the country's presidential election, Afghans have created new opportunities for Afghanistan. Afghans' surprisingly enthusiastic participation in their presidential campaign and the election on April 5 should jolt citizens and foreigners alike out of their pessimism about the country's future. Afghanistan is on its way to having its first unequivocally legitimate government... Continue Reading

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

Karzai genuinely appears to want to leave Afghan peace as his legacy. 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 to forget the point of US involvement there. Troop casualties fell 60% with last year's drawdown in forces, and a comfortable majority sees no need to keep any US forces... Continue Reading

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Credible Threats and Credible Outcomes on Syria's Gas

Syria's appalling civil war must come to an end. The agreement that US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently hammered out in Geneva 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 country that has used weapons of mass destruction... Continue Reading

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Afghan "Zero" Option Moves Front But Not Center

Is Obama's "zero option" a wise choice in Afghanistan? 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 might... Continue Reading

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Tunis Hints of Backpedaling on Syria

Tunisia's experience of Islamism has changed the lens through which many now view Syria. 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... Continue Reading

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