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  • Writer's pictureThe Aspen Strategy Group

The ASG Weekly Leaf: 4/9/21

This week, U.S Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the U.S and Iran held indirect talks on reentering compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called for a global minimum corporate tax rate, and the IMF and World Bank Group held their spring meetings virtually. Read more below.


This Week's Content Highlights

Features from Aspen Strategy Group Members

Nicholas Burns interviews President Bill Clinton for the Harvard Kennedy School's Stephen W. Bosworth Memorial Lecture

Ash Carter and David Ignatius in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce discussion

Michèle Flournoy and Demetri Sevastopulo in the Financial Times Rachman Review podcast: "Are the U.S. and China entering a Cold War?"

Michael Green et al for CSIS: “The Return of the Quad: Will Russia and China Form Their Own Bloc?”

Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times: "Here's How to Handle the 'Genocide Olympics' in Beijing"

Joseph Nye in Project Syndicate: “Biden and Human Rights”

David Sanger, Steven Erlanger, and Farnaz Fassihi in The New York Times: “U.S. and Iran Agree to Indirect Talks on Returning to Nuclear Deal”

Frances Townsend, James Stavridis, and Sandy Winnefeld on the Intelligence Matters podcast: "Maintaining U.S. Technological Superiority"


ASG Rising Leaders in the News

“The U.S. and Australia must leverage their strong relationship to deepen existing partnerships, build nascent strategic ties, and find new ways to cooperate in the face of an aggressive China bent on exerting itself across the Indo-Pacific region.” – Erik Jacobs

Independent author and researcher/ASG Rising Leader Erik Jacobs' latest report for the Centre for Independent Studies unpacks how the U.S. and Australia can work together to counter China's influence.

"Cybersecurity is often difficult to balance with privacy…Now, after a spate of sprawling hacks that have been linked to China and Russia, privacy experts are worried that the U.S. government's response will fall too close to the security side of the scale." – Alyza Sebenius

Read ASG Rising Leader and Bloomberg News Journalist Alyza Sebenius' recent article on cybersecurity, privacy, and the SolarWinds cyberattack.

"Both sides must show flexibility in how the JCPOA’s restoration is synchronised, especially given domestic political considerations in Washington and Tehran." – Sahil Shah

Sahil Shah - ASG Rising Leader and Policy Fellow at the European Leadership Network - spoke with France24 this week about the indirect U.S.-Iran nuclear talks. Read his interview here.


Tweet of the Week


Upcoming Events

The Biden Administration's First 100 Days in Review

Friday, April 30th

9:30 AM - 12:30 PM ET


Jake Sullivan

Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

Kathleen H. Hicks

Deputy Secretary of Defense

Stephen Beigun

Former Deputy Secretary of State

Thomas E. Donilon

Chairman, BlackRock Investment Institute and Former National Security Advisor

Mike Froman

Vice Chairman and President, Strategic Growth, Mastercard and Former U.S. Trade Representative

Jennifer Griffin

National Security Correspondent, Fox News

Helene Cooper

Pentagon Correspondent, The New York Times

Gerald F. Seib

Executive Washington Editor, The Wall Street Journal

A Live Conversation with

Christine Lagarde,

the President of the European Central Bank


Christine Lagarde

President of the European Central Bank

In Conversation With

David Rubenstein

Co-Founder and Co-Chairman

The Carlyle Group

Wednesday, April 28

10:00 - 11:00 AM ET


Things to Know

Stay Informed with Important Analysis Relevant to Aspen Security Forum Discussions

The Economist: "Tracking Joe Biden's First 100 Days"

Anne Gearan, Loveday Morris, and Kareem Fahim in The Washington Post: “Talks on Reviving Iran Nuclear Deal Begin on ‘Right Track,’ Tehran Envoy Says”

Scott Horsley for NPR: “Janet Yellen Proposes Bold Idea: The Same Minimum Corporate Tax Around the World”

Carolynn Look and Alexander Weber for Bloomberg Economics: "Lagarde Says Ambitious, Coordinated Fiscal Aid Still Crucial"

Lisa O'Carroll in The Guardian: "Northern Ireland Unrest: Why Has Violence Broken Out?"

Nicholas Reimann for Forbes: “IMF Cancels Debt Payments For Poorest Countries As Yellen Calls For Boosted Covid Relief”

Ashok Sharma for AP News: “India Reaffirms Pledge to Paris Accord in Meeting With Kerry”

Dov Zakheim in The Hill: “Reform the Pentagon’s Budget Process, or Lose Our Military and Tech Advantages”


Book of the Week

By Patrick Radden Keefe

In December 1972, Jean McConville, a thirty-eight-year-old mother of ten, was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders, her children clinging to her legs. They never saw her again. Her abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as The Troubles. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the I.R.A. was responsible. But in a climate of fear and paranoia, no one would speak of it. In 2003, five years after an accord brought an uneasy peace to Northern Ireland, a set of human bones was discovered on a beach. McConville's children knew it was their mother when they were told a blue safety pin was attached to the dress--with so many kids, she had always kept it handy for diapers or ripped clothes.

Patrick Radden Keefe's mesmerizing book on the bitter conflict in Northern Ireland and its aftermath uses the McConville case as a starting point for the tale of a society wracked by a violent guerrilla war, a war whose consequences have never been reckoned with. The brutal violence seared not only people like the McConville children, but also I.R.A. members embittered by a peace that fell far short of the goal of a united Ireland, and left them wondering whether the killings they committed were not justified acts of war, but simple murders. From radical and impetuous I.R.A. terrorists such as Dolours Price, who, when she was barely out of her teens, was already planting bombs in London and targeting informers for execution, to the ferocious I.R.A. mastermind known as The Dark, to the spy games and dirty schemes of the British Army, to Gerry Adams, who negotiated the peace but betrayed his hardcore comrades by denying his I.R.A. past--Say Nothing conjures a world of passion, betrayal, vengeance, and anguish.”


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