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The ASG Weekly Leaf: 10/23/20

Updated: Oct 30, 2020

Aspen Strategy Group Releases a Call to Action on National Service

The Aspen Strategy Group has released a bipartisan statement calling for the renewal of America’s national service programs, following the discussions that took place during its annual Summer Workshop.

The statement, signed by leading foreign policy and national security experts across party lines, details the benefits of investing in a strong national service initiative which would help heal America’s domestic divisions while bolstering the nation’s pandemic response. As the document states, “America needs a renewed common purpose” and national service is an important investment in the future of our national security.

Read the full statement here.

This Week's Content Highlights

Features from Aspen Strategy Group Members


Sylvia Burwell on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell

Kurt Campbell and Stephen Hadley on Transition Lab podcast: “Steve Hadley and Kurt Campbell on National Security Transitions”

Ash Carter and Nicholas Thompson in Wired: “The Tech That's Championing the Public Good”

Anja Manuel in The Wire China: “China Memos for the Next President”

Joseph Nye in Foreign Policy: “COVID-19 Might Not Change the World”

Anne-Marie Slaughter and Stephen Walt in a Miller Center debate: “Democracy & Strategy: American Statecraft in the 21st Century”

James Steinberg in Chicago Council on Global Affairs discussion: “Decoupling or Recoupling US-China Relations”

Frances Townsend and Sylvia Burwell co-chair a Council on Foreign Relations report: “Improving Pandemic Preparedness: Lessons From COVID-19”

Robert Zoellick in The Wall Street Journal: “Trump Is Losing His New ‘Cold War’ with China”

Things to Know

Stay Informed with Important Analysis Relevant to Aspen Security Forum Discussions


CSIS survey: “Mapping the Future of U.S. China Policy: Views of U.S. Thought Leaders, the U.S. Public, and U.S. Allies and Partners"

The Guardian: “Russia Calls on Armenia and Azerbaijan to Respect Ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh”

Brad Lendon on CNN: “North Korea Unveils Massive New Ballistic Missile in Military Parade”

Anja Manuel in the Financial Times: “U.S., Europe, and UK Must Unite To Keep Chinese Tech At Bay”

John McLaughin on Ozy: “China: Charting a Course Between Conflict and Accommodation”

Charles Race in Navy Times: “The Navy Celebrates 245 Years of Service, But It Wasn’t Always Such A Sure Thing”

Marietje Schaake in Foreign Affairs: “The Lawless Realm: Countering the Real Cyberthreat”

Megan Specia and Matina Stevis-Gridneff in The New York Times: “World Food Program Awarded Nobel Peace Prize for Work During Pandemic”

Catherine Thorbecke on ABC News: “In History-Making First, the World Trade Organization Will Be Led by a Woman”

Upcoming Events


President Trump's National Security Agenda



with Robert O'Brien

National Security Advisor

Moderated by Stephen Hadley

Former National Security Advisor

Partner, Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel LLC


Introduction by Anja Manuel

Partner, Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel LLC &

Director, Aspen Strategy Group


Friday, October 16, 2020

9 – 10 a.m. ET

Register Here


Aspen Strategy Group Cybersecurity Event


The Perfect Weapon


with David Sanger

National Security Correspondent and Senior Writer, The New York Times &

Author, The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage and Fear in the Cyber Age


and John Maggio

Director, HBO’s The Perfect Weapon


Moderated by Nicholas Burns

Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and

International Relations, Harvard Kennedy School &

Executive Director, Aspen Strategy Group


Global Tech Policy

with Anja Manuel

Partner, Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel LLC &

Director, Aspen Strategy Group

Friday, October 23, 2020

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Register Here


Save the Date: Aspen Strategy Group Policy Book Launch

Domestic and International (Dis)Order: A Strategic Response

Thursday, October 29, 2020

9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Join us for the launch of our latest book of strategic policy recommendations stemming from our conversations at the 2020 Aspen Strategy Group Summer Workshop.

This edition covers four themes: race, democracy, and political divisions in America; the state of U.S.-China relations; the global economic recession; and foreign policy priorities for 2021.

Program to be announced

Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope


By Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Drawing us deep into an “other America,” the authors tell this story, in part, through the lives of some of the people with whom Kristof grew up, in rural Yamhill, Oregon. It’s an area that prospered for much of the twentieth century but has been devastated in the last few decades as blue-collar jobs disappeared.

About a quarter of the children on Kristof’s old school bus died in adulthood from drugs, alcohol, suicide, or reckless accidents. While these particular stories unfolded in one corner of the country, they are representative of many places the authors write about, ranging from the Dakotas and Oklahoma to New York and Virginia.

With their superb, nuanced reportage, Kristof and WuDunn have given us a book that is both riveting and impossible to ignore.

Partner Events



October 20 and 21 starting at 7 pm ET

Democracy takes work — but it’s empowering and joyful work that you can do as a part of your everyday life. Join us for this free, 2-night digital event celebrating an inclusive, nonpartisan view of civic engagement. We’ll talk about what happens before and after you vote. Elections may seem like all-important, do-or-die events, but they are just one part of the work that keeps our democracy functioning. We’ll show you how to engage in critical topics that will help ensure a future you want to live in.

Brought to you by the creators of the Aspen Ideas Festival.

Register Here

Please consider donating today to support our work as a critical forum for nonpartisan debate about the most pressing foreign policy challenges of our times.

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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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