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  • Writer's pictureThe Aspen Strategy Group

The ASG Weekly Leaf: 5/28/21

This week, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko sparked international outrage by forcing a Ryanair flight to land in order to seize a dissident journalist onboard.

In other news, Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to the Middle East amidst the Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire; the top White House official for Asia, Kurt Campbell, said that the period of engagement with China was over; and President Biden announced that he will meet with President Vladimir Putin in June. Read more below.


This Week's Content Highlights

Features from Aspen Strategy Group Members

Madeleine Albright gives the 2021 SIPRI lecture

Robert Blackwill’s keynote address from a conference sponsored by the Asia Pacific Initiative: “U.S.-China Relations and Geoeconomics: The U.S.-Japan Alliance in a New Situation”

Nicholas Burns provides the inaugural Alexander Philon lecture for the German Marshall Fund of the United States

Ash Carter, Gideon Lichfield, and Safiya Umoja Noble in the Belfer Center’s Tech Spotlight Virtual Ceremony

Robert Gates on CBS’ Face the Nation: “Robert Gates Sees "Very Little Prospect" of Peace Between Israel and Palestinians”

Jane Harman, Brad Smith, Ian Bremmer, Wolfgang Ischinger, and Juliette Kayyem in a GZero Media discussion: “A (Global) Solution for Cybercrime”

Kay Bailey Hutchison, Jim Golby, and William Inboden on the Horns of a Dilemma podcast: “A League of Like-Minded Nations”

David Ignatius in The Washington Post: “Biden Learned from His Predecessors’ Mistakes in the Middle East — And Probably Saved Lives”

Anja Manuel et al on China File: "How Should the U.S. Respond to China's Civil-Military Fusion Strategy?"

Jack Reed and Kevin Hassett in a Hoover Institution discussion: “Making Congress Work: A Bipartisan Policy Discussion with Senator Jack Reed”

David Sanger and Annie Karni in The New York Times: “Why Biden Used A Light Touch While Pressing Netanyahu”

Lawrence Summers in The Washington Post: "The Inflation Risk Is Real"


ASG Rising Leaders in the News

“The ransomware attack that shut down the nation’s biggest fuel pipeline prompted an all-too familiar question in the corridors of power in Washington and boardrooms across the country: Can anyone stops debilitating hacks?”

ASG Rising Leader Alyza Sebenius recently covered the Colonial Pipeline hack for Bloomberg news. Read her article co-authored with Jennifer Dlouhy and Brody Ford here.


Tweet of the Week


Upcoming Events

The View from Accra:

A Live Conversation with the President of Ghana


Nana Akufo-Addo

President of the Republic and

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ghana

Wednesday, June 9

12:00 - 1:00 PM ET


Things to Know

Stay Informed with Important Analysis Relevant to Aspen Security Forum Discussions

Lara Jakes in The New York Times: “Blinken Leaves Middle East with Cease-Fire Intact but Aid Uncertain”

Peter Martin for Bloomberg News: “Biden’s Asia Czar Says Era of Engagement With China Is Over”

John McLaughlin for Ozy: “Israel vs. Hamas: Winners, Losers and What Comes Next”

Nate Schenkkan in Foreign Affairs: “The Authoritarian Assault on Exiles: Belarus’s Skyjacking Reflects a Global Threat That Democracies Must Confront”

Yaroslav Trofimov for The Wall Street Journal: “Can the U.S. Lead a Human-Rights Alliance Against China?”

Dov Zakeim in The Hill: “Increase DARPA's Funding — And Then Make Sure Its Projects Reach the Battlefield”

Jeff Zeleny and Chandelis Duster for CNN: “Biden and Putin Summit to Take Place Next Month in Switzerland”


Book of the Week

By Michael Hanlon

“An informed modern plan for post-2020 American foreign policy that avoids the opposing dangers of retrenchment and overextension Russia and China are both believed to have “grand strategies”—detailed sets of national security goals backed by means, and plans, to pursue them. In the United States, policy makers have tried to articulate similar concepts but have failed to reach a widespread consensus since the Cold War ended. While the United States has been the world’s prominent superpower for over a generation, much American thinking has oscillated between the extremes of isolationist agendas versus interventionist and overly assertive ones. Drawing on historical precedents and weighing issues such as Russia’s resurgence, China’s great rise, North Korea’s nuclear machinations, and Middle East turmoil, Michael O’Hanlon presents a well‑researched, ethically sound, and politically viable vision for American national security policy. He also proposes complementing the Pentagon’s set of “4+1” pre‑existing threats with a new “4+1”: biological, nuclear, digital, climatic, and internal dangers.”


Partner Events

The Alma and Joseph Gildenhorn Book Series presents

Insanity Defense: Why Our Failure to Confront Hard National Security Problems Makes Us Less Safe


Congresswoman Jane Harman

President Emerita, Wilson Center

in conversation with

Ambassador Nicholas Burns

Professor, Harvard Kennedy School

Thursday, June 3rd, 2021

12:00-12:45 p.m. ET


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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