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  • Writer's pictureThe Aspen Strategy Group

The ASG Weekly Leaf: 1/22/21

This week, Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States. On his first day in office, he took actions to address the COVID-19 pandemic, reenter the Paris climate agreement, reverse the U.S. withdrawal from the WHO, halt the development of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and cease construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. Read more below.


This Week's Content Highlights

Features from Aspen Strategy Group Members

Madeleine Albright in TIME: “'Us vs. Them' Thinking Is Tearing America Apart. But Here's Why I'm Still Hopeful About the Future”

Nicholas Burns, David Sanger, et al in an Estonian Foreign Policy Institute discussion: “Fresh Ideas to Revive Transatlantic Power”

Ash Carter in WIRED: “Former DOD Head: The U.S. Needs a New Plan to Beat China on AI”

Peter Feaver in Duke Today: “Lessons from the U.S. Capitol Riot”

Anja Manuel in a Pacific Council discussion: “How Should President Biden Respond to a Rising China?”

Joseph Nye in The National Interest: “The U.S.-China Relationship Is At a Crossroads”

William Perry, Jerry Brown, and David Holloway in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: "Our Advice to President-Elect Biden: Break the Dangerous Pattern of Nuclear Competition with Russia"

Condoleezza Rice reflects on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Tweet of the Week


Upcoming Events

The View from Kabul:

A Live Conversation with the President of Afghanistan

Friday, January 29, 2021

10:00 - 10:40 AM ET


Ashraf Ghani

President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

In Conversation With

Carol Lee


NBC News

Introduced By

Nicholas Burns

Executive Director, Aspen Strategy Group

Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations,

Harvard Kennedy School

Save the Date

The View from Bogotá:

A Live Conversation with the President of Colombia Iván Duque Márquez

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

9:00 a.m. ET


Iván Duque Márquez

President of Colombia


Things to Know

Stay Informed with Important Analysis Relevant to Aspen Security Forum Discussions

Santiago Billy and Oliver de Ros for AP News: “Large Migrant Caravan Dissolves In Guatemala”

The Economist: “Assassinations Rise in Afghanistan Amid Negotiations”

Bo Erickson for CBS News: “Biden Signs Executive Actions on COVID, Climate Change, Immigration and More”

Steven Gratan for Al Jazeera: “Four Years After FARC Peace Deal, Colombia Grapples with Violence”

Louisa Loveluck and Mustafa Salim in The Washington Post: “Rare Twin Suicide Bombings Rock Baghdad Market, Killing At Least 32”

John McLaughlin on Ozy: "Biden's Big Iran Challenge Looms"

Gideon Rachman et al in Financial Times: “Joe Biden in the White House: Which World Leaders Stand To Lose Out?”


Book of the Week

By Kurt Campbell

"There is a quiet drama playing out in American foreign policy far from the dark contours of upheaval in the Middle East and South Asia and the hovering drone attacks of the war on terror. The United States is in the midst of a substantial and long-term national project, which is proceeding in fits and starts, to reorient its foreign policy to the East. The central tenet of this policy shift, aka the Pivot, is that the United States will need to do more with and in the Asia-Pacific hemisphere to help revitalize its own economy, to realize the full potential of the region's dramatic innovation, and to keep the peace in the world's most dynamic region where the lion's share of the history of the twenty-first century will be written.

This book is about a necessary course correction for American diplomacy, commercial engagement, and military innovation during a time of unrelenting and largely unrewarding conflict. While the United States has intensified its focus on the Asia-Pacific arena relative to previous administrations, much more remains to be done.

The Pivot is about that future. It explores how the United States should construct a strategy that will position it to maneuver across the East and offers a clarion call for cunning, dexterity, and ingenuity in the period ahead for American statecraft in the Asia-Pacific region."



Building Political Will in the Americas

In this conversation, three leaders — Madeleine Albright in the United States, Lloyd Axworthy in Canada, and Mayu Brizuela de Ávila in El Salvador — will discuss proposed domestic actions and policies as well as the international peace and security diplomacy needed to build political will and transform governance to reset the response to forced displacement. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof will moderate the event.

This event is presented by the Aspen Ministers Forum and the World Refugee Council and Migration Council.


Partner Events


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As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Aspen Institute is nonpartisan and does not endorse, support, or oppose political candidates or parties. Further, the views and opinions of our guests and speakers do not necessarily reflect those of the Aspen Institute.


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