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  • Writer's pictureThe Aspen Strategy Group

The Weekly Leaf - February 9

The Weekly Leaf

This week, a U.S. strike in Iraq killed an Iran-backed militia commander behind last month's attack in Jordan, the average global temperature reached a critical threshold, topping 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial averages for 12 straight months, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Washington as Congress struggles to pass additional funding for Ukraine.

Read more below.


This Week's Content Highlights

Features from Aspen Strategy Group Members

John Deutch interviewed by Jacob Heilbrunn for the In the National Interest podcast: “Overcoming America’s Nuclear Energy Challenges with John Deutch”

Mark T. Esper interviewed by Jake Tapper for CNN: “U.S.-Israel Relationship Has Not Fundamentally Changed”

Jendayi Frazer, Abdallah Utumatwishima, and Vincent Biruta at Rwanda Day: “Rwanda at 30, Rwanda in the World”

Michael Froman interviewed by Joe Kernen, Becky Quick, and Andrew Ross Sorkin for CNBC: “China Would Be Very Happy If We Were More Isolationist and Dysfunctional Politically”

Robert Gates interviewed by Daniel Kurtz-Phelan for The Foreign Affairs Interview podcast: “Is Anyone Still Afraid of the United States?”

Susan Glasser for The New Yorker: “The Great Washington Meltdown of 2024 Has Begun"

David Ignatius for The Washington Post: “What a Russian and Ukrainian General Agree On: This Battlespace Is Different”

Joseph Nye for Mark Leonard's World in 30 Minutes podcast: "A Life in the American Century"

David Sanger for The New York Times: “The United States Has Been a Bulwark for Ukraine. What Happens if Support Collapses?”


Kurt Campbell Confirmed

Congratulations to Dr. Kurt Campbell, former ASG Executive Director, on his confirmation as Deputy Secretary of State!


Tweets of the Week


Rising Leaders in the News

"Relationships really matter. I think some of my successes would not have been available without classmates or upperclassmen who poured into me and offered opportunities or help along the way."

Nathan Dial (‘22) interviewed by Doug Lindsay for the Long Blue Leadership Podcast: "Talking ‘The Talk,’ Walking the Leadership Walk"


Things to Know

Content Relevant to Aspen Security Forum Discussions

Jane Arraf and James Hider for NPR: “U.S. Drone Strike Kills a Leader of an Iran-Backed Militia in Iraq”

Tim Cocks for Reuters: “Namibia’s President Hage Geingob, 82, Dies After Cancer Diagnosis”

Paula Dobriansky and moderator Merissa Khurma at the Wilson Center: “Advocating for Afghan Women’s Rights on the Global Stage”

Simon Fraser and Saher Baloch for the BBC: “Pakistan Election: Two Blasts Kill 28 in Balochistan Day Before Vote”

Stephen J. Hadley and Richard Fontaine for Foreign Policy: “Americans Need Domestic Unity for Effective Foreign Policy”

Hussein Ibish for The Atlantic: “Blinken’s Make-or-Break Tour of the Middle East”

Nina Jankowicz for Foreign Affairs: “The Coming Flood of Disinformation”

Al Jazeera: “ECOWAS Holds Emergency Session Over Senegal Crisis and Member Exits”

Terrence McCoy and Marina Dias for The Washington Post: “Bolsonaro Is Named a Target in Brazil Coup Probe, Told to Surrender Passport”

Aaron David Miller and Adam Israelevitz for Foreign Policy: “Is Netanyahu Cornered?”

Mark Poynting for the BBC: “World’s First Year-Long Breach of Key 1.5C Warming Limit”

Ana Swanson and Simon Romero for The New York Times: “For First Time in Two Decades, U.S. Buys More From Mexico Than China”

Kandy Wong for South China Morning Post: “New U.S.-China Economic Exchanges Show How Status Quo Trumps Substantive Changes in Ties, Analysts Say”


Featured Content

By Douglas A. Beck

We are pleased to include a new report from Douglas A. Beck, Director of the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense, published in partnership with the Center for a New American Security, in our policy publication Rapid Technological Change and Its Impact on U.S. National Security Strategy.


Featured Event

AI Happy Hour: A Conversation with Henry de Zoete

We were pleased to host an intimate discussion in San Francisco on artificial intelligence with ASG Executive Director Anja Manuel and Henry de Zoete, Adviser to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister on AI of the United Kingdom.

Stay tuned for more Aspen Security Forum programming in the Bay Area.


From the Archives

Revisit our conversation on the Israel-Hamas war from the 2023 Aspen

Aaron David Miller, Senior Fellow, American Statecraft Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, University of Maryland

Moderator: Mary Louise Kelly, Host, All Things Considered, NPR


Book of the Week

by Narges Bajoghli, Vali Nasr, Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, and Ali Vaez

“Sanctions have enormous consequences. Especially when imposed by a country with the economic influence of the United States, sanctions induce clear shockwaves in both the economy and political culture of the targeted state, and in the everyday lives of citizens. But do economic sanctions induce the behavioral changes intended? Do sanctions work in the way they should? To answer these questions, the authors of How Sanctions Work highlight Iran, the most sanctioned country in the world. Comprehensive sanctions are meant to induce uprisings or pressures to change the behavior of the ruling establishment, or to weaken its hold on power. But, after four decades, the case of Iran shows the opposite to be true: sanctions strengthened the Iranian state, impoverished its population, increased state repression, and escalated Iran's military posture toward the U.S. and its allies in the region. Instead of offering an 'alternative to war,' sanctions have become a cause of war. Consequently, How Sanctions Work reveals how necessary it is to understand how sanctions really work.”


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The ASG launched the Brent Scowcroft Award Fellowship (BSAF), a paid, temporary, and full-time fellowship program, in recognition of ASG Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft’s long-time dedication to the group, as well as his legacy of distinguished public service. Now in its 20th year, the six-month fellowship is designed to provide an important professional stepping-stone for recent graduates with a keen interest in foreign policy and national security by way of direct exposure to the types of critical, thoughtful, and bipartisan discussions that characterize the ASG’s dialogues. Scowcroft Fellows are integral members of our team and their work contributes across all of our programs and initiatives at the Aspen Strategy Group and Aspen Security Forum.

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