A magneto-optic variable optical attenuator is provided that is used to control the intensity of a light signal. The optical attenuator includes at least one polarizing element having an optical polarization axis, wherein the polarizing element transmits a portion of an incident light signal proportional to the angular difference between an optical polarization axis of the incident light signal and that of the polarizing element. The optical attenuator also comprises a variable faraday rotator that includes a semi-transparent material, a magnetic material for applying a magnetic force to a light signal that is passed through the semi-transparent material, and a conductive wire configured to induce a magnetic field on the magnetic material. In various embodiments, the optical attenuator is employed as part of a laser package that includes a laser light source and a plurality of polarizing elements, which are in optical communication with a faraday rotator and/or a variable faraday rotator.

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