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The ASG Weekly Leaf: 9/25/20

This week, world leaders gathered virtually for the United Nations General Assembly that marked the organization’s 75th anniversary, the U.S. surpassed 200,000 deaths from Covid-19, and Russia announced it is selling its vaccine to other nations.

Last Friday, we mourned the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We honor her legacy as a staunch advocate for justice and a trailblazer for gender equality. You can find a collection of the wisdom she shared on the Aspen stage through the years here.

This Week's Content Highlights

Features from Aspen Strategy Group Members


Nicholas Burns on The Director’s Chair podcast: “Ambassador Nicholas Burns on Diplomacy, Presidents, and American Power”

Michael Green and Jack Reed on The Asia Chessboard podcast: “Knight on the Chessboard: Perspectives from Senate Armed Services Committee featuring Ranking Member Jack Reed”

David McCormick, Joseph Dunford, and Julia Friedlander in Atlantic Council discussion: “Re-envisioning Economic Statecraft and American Power”

William Perry on At the Brink podcast: “Fire and Fury in the Hermit Kingdom" Condoleezza Rice in CERAWeek conversation with Carlos Pascual

Susan Rice in The New York Times: “A Divided America Is a National Security Threat”

David Sanger in The New York Times: “TikTok Deal Exposes a Security Gap, and a Missing China Strategy”

Anne-Marie Slaughter in Democracy Journal: “Reinventing the State Department”

Robert Zoellick in TIME Magazine: “The 100 Most Influential People of 2020: Kristalina Georgieva”

Things to Know

Stay Informed with Important Analysis Relevant to Aspen Security Forum Discussions


Al Jazeera: “Palestine Quits Arab League Role in Protest Over Israel Deals”

Linda Greenhouse in The New York Times: “Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court’s Feminist Icon, Is Dead at 87”

Aaron Gregg and Yeganeh Torbati in The Washington Post: “Pentagon Used Taxpayer Money Meant for Masks and Swabs to Make Jet Engine Parts and Body Armor”

  • Watch David McCormick’s conversation with Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at the 2020 Aspen Security Forum here.

Zoe Christen Jones on CBS News “U.S. Surpasses 200,000 Coronavirus Deaths, Eight Months After First Reported Case”

Georgi Kantchev in The Wall Street Journal: “Russia Strikes Deals to Sell Its Coronavirus Vaccine Internationally”

Jacob Knutson on Axios: “China Flies at Least 19 Warplanes in Taiwan Airspace”

Eric Motley in The New York Times: “My Unlikely Friendship with Ruth Bader Ginsburg”

Naomi O’Leary in The Irish Times: “Simon Coveney Dismisses Changes to UK Internal Markets Bill”

Zamira Rahim on CNN: “Leaders Spar at UN General Assembly Amid Global Crisis”

  • Watch the ASF 2020 discussion with U.S. Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft here.

Upcoming Events


Ireland's Role in a Changing World



with Simon Coveney

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence, Ireland

Moderated by Nicholas Burns

Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and

International Relations, Harvard Kennedy School &

Executive Director, Aspen Strategy Group


September 29, 2020

10 – 11 a.m. ET

Register Here


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

October 1, 2020

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET

Register Here

Book of the Week


To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create

a Global Commonwealth


By Condoleezza Rice and Philip Zelikow

A deeply researched international history and “exemplary study” (New York Times Book Review) of how a divided world ended and our present world was fashioned, as the world drifts toward another great time of choosing.

Two of America’s leading scholar-diplomats, Philip Zelikow and Condoleezza Rice, have combed sources in several languages, interviewed leading figures, and drawn on their own firsthand experience to bring to life the choices that molded the contemporary world. Zeroing in on the key moments of decision, the might-have-beens, and the human beings working through them, they explore both what happened and what could have happened, to show how one world ended and another took form. Beginning in the late 1970s and carrying into the present, they focus on the momentous period between 1988 and 1992, when an entire world system changed, states broke apart, and societies were transformed. Such periods have always been accompanied by terrible wars — but not this time. To Build a Better World is an authoritative depiction of contemporary statecraft. It lets readers in on the strategies and negotiations, nerve-racking risks, last-minute decisions, and deep deliberations behind the dramas that changed the face of Europe — and the world — forever.


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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.