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The ASG Weekly Leaf: 9/3/21

This week, the last U.S. troops left Afghanistan after 20 years of conflict, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with President Joe Biden in Washington, and the International Atomic Energy Agency warned that North Korea appeared to have restarted a nuclear reactor. Read more below.

This Week’s Content Highlights

Features from Aspen Strategy Group Members


Michèle Flournoy interviewed Admiral Cecil Haney on the Freakonomics podcast


David Ignatius interviewed Ryan Crocker, Lt. General Douglas Lute, and Craig Whitlock for Washington Post Live: "The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War"


Jack Reed interviewed by Christina Vitale for WJAR: “Reed Says U.S. Maintains Some Leverage in Afghanistan After Withdrawal”


Condoleezza Rice was announced as a guest co-host for this season of ABC’s “The View”


David Rubenstein interviewed John Paulson in the latest episode of “Bloomberg Wealth with David Rubenstein”


Larry Summers in The Washington Post: “It’s Time for the Fed to Rethink Quantitative Easing”


Philip Zelikow interviewed by Karen Tumulty for Washington Post Live: “Coronavirus: Finding Answers with Philip D. Zelikow”


Robert Zoellick in American Purpose: “After Retreat, a Way Forward”

ASG Rising Leaders in the News


ASG Rising Leader Erik Jacobs was featured in the latest edition of the CLAIR Forum Bulletin. He wrote a piece about how participating in the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme has impacted his career - in Japanese.


The piece is available here.

Tweet of the Week

Tweet of the Week

Two Decades On: The 20th Anniversary of 9/11

Thursday, September 9

9:00 AM - 1:15 PM ET

As the 20-year anniversary of 9/11 approaches and the U.S. mission in Afghanistan comes to a close, there is much to reflect on. Please join the Aspen Strategy Group for a public half-day event that will examine the legacy of the last two decades, hear reflections from the 9/11 Commission, share policy recommendations for the future, and more.


Speakers include: former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, former Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission Philip Zelikow, former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute, Wilson Center President Emerita Jane Harman, former Ambassador of the U.S. to Afghanistan P. Michael McKinley, former Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and North African Affairs Anne Patterson, former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq Ryan Crocker, The New Yorker Staff Writer Lawrence Wright, and more


Register Here

Things to Know

Content Relevant to Aspen Security Forum Discussions


Joshua Berlinger, Will Ripley, and Jake Kwon for CNN: “North Korean Nuclear Reactor Used for Plutonium Production Appears Active, IAEA Says”


Courtney McBride, Brett Forrest, and Georgi Kantchev for The Wall Street Journal: “Biden, Zelensky Discuss Energy, Russia, Ukraine’s Future With the West”


Minxin Pei in The Economist: “Minxin Pei on Why China Will Not Surpass the United States”


Matt Pottinger in Foreign Affairs: “Beijing’s American Hustle: How Chinese Grand Strategy Exploits U.S. Power”


Michael Shear and Jim Tankersley for The New York Times: “Biden Defends Afghan Pullout and Declares an End to Nation-Building"


Nancy Youssef and Gordon Lubold for The Wall Street Journal: “Last U.S. Troops Leave Afghanistan After Nearly 20 Years”

Book of the Week

After Repression: How Polarization Derails Democratic Transition

By Elizabeth Nugent In the wake of the Arab Spring, newly empowered factions in Tunisia and Egypt vowed to work together to establish democracy. In Tunisia, political elites passed a new constitution, held parliamentary elections, and demonstrated the strength of their democracy with a peaceful transfer of power. Yet in Egypt, unity crumbled due to polarization among elites. Presenting a new theory of polarization under authoritarianism, After Repression reveals how polarization and the legacies of repression led to these substantially divergent political outcomes…. Providing vital new insights into the ways repression shapes polarization, After Repression helps to explain what happened in the turbulent days following the Arab Spring and illuminates the obstacles to democratic transitions around the world.”

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.

Learn More and Apply

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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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