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The ASG Weekly Leaf: 10/9/20

This week, negotiations to extend the New START arms control treaty between the U.S. and Russia stalled, Angela Merkel met with Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, President Trump tested positive for COVID-19, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Asia-Pacific allies in Japan. Read more below.

This Week's Content Highlights

Features from Aspen Strategy Group Members


Zoë Baird moderates Markle discussion: “Rework America Alliance: Empowering Workers to Recover Stronger”

Nicholas Burns on CNAS’ Brussels Sprouts podcast: “Kicking-off the Next Season of Brussels Sprouts with Amb. Nicholas Burns”

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

Joseph Nye in Project Syndicate: “Post-Pandemic Geopolitics”

Condoleezza Rice in Hoover Institution discussion: “Condoleezza Rice on China and Digital Authoritarianism”

Anne-Marie Slaughter in Munich Security Council report: “A View from the United States: 21st-Century Globalism”

Frances Townsend on CBS News: COVID Diagnosis for President Trump Raises Possible National Security Concerns”

Robert Zoellick in The Wall Street Journal: “Leave No Country Behind in the Post-COVID Recovery”

Things to Know

Stay Informed with Important Analysis Relevant to Aspen Security Forum Discussions


Shannon Bugos and Kingston Reif in Arms Control Today: “U.S., Russia Hit Impasse on New START”

DW: “Angela Merkel Meets Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Belarus Opposition Leader Visits Berlin Wall”

David Ignatius in The Washington Post:The Rest of the World Is Taking Advantage of A Distracted America”

Wolfgang Ischinger for the Wilson Center: “Building Back a Better EU Foreign Policy: Climate and Security after COVID-19”

Alexandra Odynova on CBS News: “Why Armenia and Azerbaijan Are Fighting, and Why It Could Get Uglier”

Motoko Rich in The New York Times: “Pompeo’s Message in Japan: Countering China Is Worth Meeting Face to Face”

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

The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal


By William Burns

In The Back Channel, Burns recounts, with novelistic detail and incisive analysis, some of the seminal moments of his career. Drawing on a trove of newly declassified cables and memos, he gives readers a rare inside look at American diplomacy in action. His dispatches from war-torn Chechnya and Qaddafi’s bizarre camp in the Libyan desert and his warnings of the “Perfect Storm” that would be unleashed by the Iraq War will reshape our understanding of history—and inform the policy debates of the future. Burns sketches the contours of effective American leadership in a world that resembles neither the zero-sum Cold War contest of his early years as a diplomat nor the “unipolar moment” of American primacy that followed.

Ultimately, The Back Channel is an eloquent, deeply informed, and timely story of a life spent in service of American interests abroad. It is also a powerful reminder, in a time of great turmoil, of the enduring importance of diplomacy.

Don't Miss


Aspen Strategy Group member David Sanger’s best-selling book The Perfect Weapon is being adapted into a new HBO documentary on cybersecurity, coming out October 16. Check out the trailer here:



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