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The ASG Weekly Leaf: 10/15/21

New speakers have been announced for the in-person Aspen Security Forum to be held November 2-4 in Washington, D.C.

Confirmed speakers include: Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security; Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Paul Nakasone, Commander, U.S. Cyber Command, and Director, National Security Agency; Amy Walter, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Cook Political Report; and Kathleen Sebelius, former Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Read more below.


Upcoming Events

Registration is now open for the in-person 12th Annual Aspen Security Forum, which will be held November 2 - 4 in Washington, D.C. at the InterContinental Hotel (The Wharf).

The 2021 Aspen Security Forum is Produced in Partnership with

With Special Thanks to Our Underwriters


This Week’s Content Highlights

Features from Aspen Strategy Group Members

Madeleine Albright joined the Carnegie Connects podcast

Ash Carter joined a Belfer Center discussion on Afghanistan

Robert Gates interviewed by Juan Perez Jr. for Politico: “Robert Gates: How Civics Education Became a National Security Issue”

Susan Glasser in The New Yorker: “The Battle of January 6th Has Just Begun”

Joseph Nye for the Belfer Center’s Russia Matters Project: “U.S.-Russian Cyber Stability Needs ‘Drunken Party’ Approach: Limits, Deterrence, and Communication”

Meghan O’Sullivan for Bloomberg Opinion: “Europe’s Gas Crunch Isn’t All Good News for Producers”

David Petraeus spoke at the India Today Conclave: “Afghan People Facing Humanitarian Catastrophe, Says Ex-CIA Director General David Petraeus”

David Sanger, Julian Barnes, and Katie Rogers in The New York Times: “Biden Signs Legislation to Compensate Victims of Mysterious ‘Havana Syndrome’”

Lawrence Summers in The Washington Post: “The Banking Industry Is Throwing Stones at a Key Biden Nominee. But It Lives in a Glass House.”


Rising Leaders in the News

“It's no secret that the factors affecting stability between the U.S. and Russia today are deeper and broader than just nuclear arms control.”

ASG Rising Leader Sahil Shah joined the Ploughshare's podcast "Press the Button" to discuss current U.S.-Russia strategic stability talks, the pause in talks with Iran over the JCPOA, nuclear risk reduction, and more.

Listen here.


Tweet of the Week


Things to Know

Content Relevant to Aspen Security Forum Discussions

Sadanand Dhume in Foreign Affairs: “How Democratic Is the World’s Largest Democracy?”

Andrew Higgins in The New York Times: “Czechs Defeat a Populist, Offering a Road Map for Toppling Strongmen”

Georgi Kantchev and Benoit Faucon in The Wall Street Journal: “Russia Shows Its Growing Sway Over Global Energy Markets”

Zeke Miller for AP News: “U.S. to Reopen Land Borders in November for Fully Vaccinated”

Brad Williams for Breaking Defense: “Nakasone Now Sees Ransomware, Influence Ops As ‘National Security’ Threats”


Book of the Week

By Condoleezza Rice

“When the United States was founded, it was the only attempt at self-government in the world. Today more than half of all countries qualify as democracies, and in the long run that number will continue to grow. Yet nothing worthwhile ever comes easily. Using America's long struggle as a template, Rice draws lessons for democracy around the world -- from Russia, Poland, and Ukraine, to Kenya, Colombia, and the Middle East. She finds that no transitions to democracy are the same because every country starts in a different place. Pathways diverge and sometimes circle backward. Time frames for success vary dramatically, and countries often suffer false starts before getting it right. But, Rice argues, that does not mean they should not try. While the ideal conditions for democracy are well known in academia, they never exist in the real world. The question is not how to create perfect circumstances but how to move forward under difficult ones. These same insights apply in overcoming the challenges faced by governments today. The pursuit of democracy is a continuing struggle shared by people around the world, whether they are opposing authoritarian regimes, establishing new democratic institutions, or reforming mature democracies to better live up to their ideals. The work of securing it is never finished.”


Applications Open

Brent Scowcroft Award Fellow

The Aspen Strategy Group is seeking the next Brent Scowcroft Award Fellow. Named in honor of ASG Chair Emeritus Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft, the fellowship program provides the first stepping-stone for young professionals with an interest in U.S. foreign policy to forge careers inspired by General Scowcroft’s expertise and ethos of service. Scowcroft Fellows typically join the ASG team for a period of 6 months, during which time they are encouraged to develop practical skills and build knowledge in the field of foreign policy and national security.

Applications are now open for this temporary, full-time, paid position.


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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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