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The ASG Weekly Leaf: 2/12/21

Today, we celebrate the Lunar New Year, welcoming the year of the ox!


In other news this week, Secretary of State Tony Blinken announced that the U.S. will rejoin the UN Human Rights Council, demonstrators continued to protest the military coup in Myanmar, and the UAE became the fifth nation to reach Mars.


On a sad note, we also mourned the loss of former Secretary of State George Shultz who passed away at the age of 100. Read ASG Co-Chair Condoleezza Rice's tribute to his legacy, as well as some of Shultz's final words of wisdom from his December 2020 Washington Post article below.

This Week's Content Highlights

Features from Aspen Strategy Group Members


Robert Blackwill and Philip Zelikow in a Council on Foreign Relations special report: “The United States, China, and Taiwan: A Strategy to Prevent War”

Nicholas Burns, Robert Mnookin, and James Sebenius’ statement: “Harvard Professors Reflect on the Life and Impact of Secretary George P. Shultz”


Michael Green in Foreign Policy: “The Myanmar Coup Is the First Test for Biden’s Democracy Agenda”


Anja Manuel in a Farm Credit Council discussion

Joseph Nye in Project Syndicate: “Biden’s Asian Triangle”

William Perry in a Clinton Center discussion: “Bridge Builders: An Inspiring Conversation with Dr. William Perry and Joan Rohlfing”

Condoleezza Rice in The Washington Post: “George Shultz Will Be Remembered As One of the Most Influential Secretaries of State In Our History”


David Sanger on Deep State Radio with Kori Schake and Ivo Daalder: “America's Not the Only Place Democracy is Under Sieg‪e”


Tweet of the Week


Things to Know

Stay Informed with Important Analysis Relevant to Aspen Security Forum Discussions

The Economist: “Myanmar’s Generals Face Growing Protests Against Their Coup”


John Hudson in The Washington Post: “U.S. Rejoins U.N. Human Rights Council, Reversing Trump-Era Policy”


Rhea Mogul and Yuliya Talmazan for NBC News: “India's Glacier Collapse: At Least 19 Dead, More Than 200 Missing”


Eric Schmidt in Financial Times: “US’s Flawed Approach to 5G Threatens Its Digital Future”


George Shultz in The Washington Post: “The 10 Most Important Things I’ve Learned About Trust Over My 100 Years”

Book of the Week


The Dragons and The Snakes: How the West Learned to Fight the Rest


“In The Dragons and the Snakes, the eminent soldier-scholar David Kilcullen asks how, and what, opponents of the


West have learned during the last quarter-century of conflict. Applying a combination of evolutionary theory and detailed field observation, he explains what happened to the 'snakes'-non-state threats including terrorists and guerrillas-and the 'dragons'-state-based competitors such as Russia and China. He explores how enemies learn under conditions of conflict, and examines how Western dominance over a very particular, narrowly-defined form of warfare since the Cold War has created a fitness landscape that forces adversaries to adapt in ways that present serious new challenges to America and its allies. Within the world's contemporary conflict zones state and non-state threats have increasingly come to resemble each other, with states adopting non-state techniques and non-state actors now able to access levels of precision and lethal weapon systems once only available to governments.


A counterintuitive look at this new, vastly more complex environment, The Dragons and the Snakes will not only reshape our understanding of the West's enemies' capabilities, but will also show how we can respond given the increasing limits on U.S. power."



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