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The ASG Weekly Leaf: 6/18/21

This week, President Joe Biden met with President Vladimir Putin following the NATO and U.S.-EU summits, Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year tenure as Prime Minister ended as a new Israeli government was sworn in, and the first slate of U.S. ambassador nominations was announced. Read more below.

This Week's Content Highlights

Features from Aspen Strategy Group Members


Stephen Biegun in an Arms Control Today interview: “Negotiating with North Korea: An Interview with Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun”


Michèle Flournoy and Elmira Bayrasli on Project Syndicate’s Opinion Has It podcast: “Is the U.S. Ready for War?”


Robert Gates in The New York Times: “We Cannot Afford to Turn Our Backs on Afghanistan”


Susan Glasser in The New Yorker: “Joe Biden Just Had a Summit with Vladimir Putin and Nothing Crazy Happened”


Jane Harman discussed her new book “Insanity Defense”on CSPAN’s After Words podcast


David Ignatius interviewed former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard for The Washington Post Live: “The Path Forward: Global Education”


Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times: “One Woman’s Journey Through Chinese Atrocities”


Joseph Nye in a Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation discussion: “Geopolitics After Covid: A Tour D'Horizon of Global Threats”


Anne-Marie Slaughter in a GZERO Media discussion: “Far Away and Close to Home: How U.S. Foreign Policy Impacts All Americans”


Lawrence Summers discusses the post-pandemic economy on PBS’ Firing Line


Philip Zelikow on CSIS’ Coronavirus Crisis Update podcast: “Why Do We Need a National Commission on the Pandemic?”

ASG Rising Leaders in the News


“This week’s presidential summit provides a key opportunity for our leaders to take a more strategic approach to reducing nuclear risks and eliminating these weapons. There is no time to waste.”

Read ASG Rising Leader Sahil Shah’s piece co-authored with Andrey Baklitskiy in Responsible Statecraft: “How Biden and Putin Can Work Together To Limit Nuclear Arms.”

Tweet of the Week

Things to Know

Stay Informed with Important Analysis Relevant to Aspen Security Forum Discussions


Michael Birnbaum, Anne Gearan, and Ashley Parker in The Washington Post: "NATO Expands Focus to China, A Win for Biden in His First Trip to the Battered Alliance”


Hillary Clinton on MSNBC: “Putin Needs to Understand the U.S. Is Back”


Edmund DeMarche for Fox News: “Apple Daily: Hong Kong Police Raid Offices of Pro-Democracy Paper, Make Arrests”


Kevin Liptak for CNN: “3 Takeaways from President Joe Biden's First G7 Summit”


Martin Rees and Stephen Pinker in New Statesmen: “Wagering on Catastrophe”


Keir Simmons interviews President Vladimir Putin for NBC News


Nahal Toosi for Politico: "Biden Names 9 Ambassador Nominees, Including for Israel, NATO"


Dov Zakheim in The Hill: “Netanyahu's Shadow Looms Over Israel's New Government”

Book of the Week


Putin's People: How the KGB Took Back Russia

And Then Took on the West

By Catherine Belton

“In Putin’s People, the investigative journalist and former Moscow correspondent Catherine Belton reveals the untold story of how Vladimir Putin and the small group of KGB men surrounding him rose to power and looted their country. Delving deep into the workings of Putin’s Kremlin, Belton accesses key inside players to reveal how Putin replaced the freewheeling tycoons of the Yeltsin era with a new generation of loyal oligarchs, who in turn subverted Russia’s economy and legal system and extended the Kremlin's reach into the United States and Europe. The result is a chilling and revelatory exposé of the KGB’s revanche―a story that begins in the murk of the Soviet collapse, when networks of operatives were able to siphon billions of dollars out of state enterprises and move their spoils into the West. Putin and his allies subsequently completed the agenda, reasserting Russian power while taking control of the economy for themselves, suppressing independent voices, and launching covert influence operations abroad.

Ranging from Moscow and London to Switzerland and Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach―and assembling a colorful cast of characters to match―Putin’s People is the definitive account of how hopes for the new Russia went astray, with stark consequences for its inhabitants and, increasingly, the world.”

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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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