Aspen Strategy Group
Aspen Strategy Group
Past meetings of the Summer Workshop
The Arab Revolutions and American Policy (August 2012)
Under the title “The Arab Revolutions and American Policy,” the Aspen Strategy Group’s 2012 Summer Workshop explored the many strategic, political and economic challenges confronting the United States in a region reborn. From August 4-7, the group examined and debated the impact of the Arab revolutions on U.S. interests in the Middle East, with a special focus on key issues such as: the critical period of transition in Egypt; escalating violence and options of intervention in Syria; the threats associated with a nuclear Iran; the importance of formulating an effective strategy to deal with immediate economic assistance and long-term investment in the region; and the Obama administration’s successes and failures during the overall process of democratization. Participants in the workshop included distinguished members of the ASG, think tank experts and academics, as well as members of the current administration. The workshop served as a constructive evaluation of the various drivers and outcomes of the revolutions, all of which continue to bear an ever-greater influence on the formulation of American strategy in the Middle East. Click here to purchase the publication from this meeting.
Securing Cyberspace: A New Domain for National Security (August 2011)
The array of dangers from cyberspace—cybercrime, cyberterrorism and cyberespionage—have become as difficult and complex a set of national security challenges as the United States and other democratic countries have faced in the last generation. The members of the Aspen Strategy Group met over five days in early August 2011 in Aspen, Colorado to examine the many dimensions of cyberspace. We were joined by many of the most knowledgeable experts in the field and several senior government officials—National Security Agency Director General Keith Alexander, Deputy Secretary of Defense Bill Lynn, State Department Cyber Issues Coordinator Christopher Painter, and Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute—responsible for developing an American strategy on this critical issue. During our discussions, we heard and discussed compelling and thoughtful presentations on the cyber challenge that amount to a wake-up call for all Americans as well as our government. We hope this meeting and the subsequent policy book will ring the village bell to warn our country and others of the present and future dangers within the cyber domain. Click here to purchase the publication from this meeting.
American Interests in South Asia: Building a Grand Strategy in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India (August 2010)
From August 6-11, the ASG met to assess the interconnected foreign policy, economic, and development challenges in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. The increasing fragility of the Afghan Government, the escalating instability in Pakistan, and India’s growing influence in the region have arguably positioned South Asia as one of the most volatile regions in the world. These evolving concerns require a more refined understanding and assessment of America’s role in the region in order to formulate better policy options for the future. The discussion focused on the history of the region, sources of tension, the challenges in Afghanistan, American foreign assistance in Afghanistan and Pakistan, India-Pakistan relations, and the overall security and development challenges the U.S. faces in the region. This meeting and the ASG’s policy book will help the U.S. and international community think strategically about how to develop its policies and approach in South Asia. Click here to purchase the publication from this meeting.
The Global Economic Crisis and Potential Implications for Foreign Policy and National Security (August 2009)
In early August, the ASG devoted its annual summer conference to discussing the foreign policy and national security implications of a deep financial turmoil. Based on Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair's assessment in February 2009 that the global economic crisis and its potential geopolitical implications were the primary near-term security concerns, the ASG set out to substantively address the nexus between the economic crisis and national security. During the sessions, the ASG explored the strategic consequences of the global economic crisis, and considered how changing economic and financial foundations might dramatically impact the foreign policy agenda of both the United States and other countries on the international scene. Conference sessions looked at historical perspectives and current conditions, the impact of the recession on U.S. national security, the capacity of domestic and international institutions to deal with a crisis of such magnitude, and the impact the crisis could have on the international development agenda. Click here to purchase the publication from this meeting.
The Instruments and Institutions of American Purpose (August 2008)
From August 3-8, the Aspen Strategy Group gathered for its annual summer workshop to assess the instruments and institutions of American purpose. Experts and administration officials joined the members’ efforts to identify the strategic challenges facing America’s aging institutions. The group debated the capabilities and limitations of the key organizations that compose the U.S. government including the Department of State, USAID, Department of Defense, Department of Treasury, Congress, the National Security Council, and others. Despite the politically charged presidential elections looming ahead, as always, the group maintained a lively non-partisan discussion throughout the workshop, and concluded with the participants’ thoughts and observations for the next administration on where the government stands up, and where it falls down, in meeting modern global challenges. Click here to purchase the publication from this meeting.
The Global Politics of Energy (August 2007)
In early August the Aspen Strategy Group tackled the global politics of energy and how the complex and multifaceted issues of energy supply and demand have come to assume a role of central importance in national and global politics. The annual ASG summer workshop in Aspen was attended by numerous experts on international relations, energy markets, and global climate change. In the modern world, energy security is interwoven in almost every policy debate, encompassing the internal stability of a nation and/or region, the potential for development and growth of emerging nations, new innovative technologies and the infrastructure to ensure a safe and reliable source of fuel to the market. In addition, Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE) organized a mock Security Council deliberation, which placed ASG participants in the places of high-ranking government officials faced with a real-time energy related crisis. The meeting concluded with the creation of a list of options on how best to provide for energy security in the days ahead. Click here to download the publication from this meeting.
China’s March on the 21st Century (August 2006)
On August 4-9 the Aspen Strategy Group held its 26th annual summer workshop in Aspen, Colorado on "China’s March on the 21st Century." ASG Co-Chairs Joseph Nye and Brent Scowcroft led the group's examination of such areas as China's economic growth, energy policy, military modernization, regional relationships, environmental and health challenges, and popular culture. The session brought together many prominent American experts on China as well as several distinguished participants who traveled from China to attend, including Wang Jisi and Cui Liru. Several U.S. Members of Congress and both current and former Bush administration officials, including Philip Zelikow and Robert Zoellick, participated in the session as well. Click here to download the publication from this meeting.
The Challenge of Proliferation (August 2004)
The Aspen Strategy Group summer workshop in Aspen, Colorado brought together ASG members, regional experts, and administration officials to discuss the challenge and threat of proliferation, which is emerging as the central organizing tenet in American foreign and security policy. The group spent five days tackling various aspects of the proliferation challenge including dangerous states such as Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan; the nexus between nuclear and biological weapons; the intelligence challenge; traditional arms control; the views of U.S. allies; and counter-proliferation. Click here to download the publication from this meeting.
Arms Control in a New Strategic Environment (December 2003)
The Aspen Strategy Group convened a Washington, D.C. scoping session on December 15 to consider the future prospects for arms control in the new strategic environment. The meeting brought together a diverse group of scholars, strategic thinkers, practitioners and commentators to consider the question: Is arms control still relevant for the vexing security challenges of the 21st century? For the meetings keynote speech, Mitchell Reiss, director of Policy Planning at the State Department, provided insights on the Bush administrations threat determent policies. This discussion provided the foundation for an August 2004 ASG workshop in Aspen.
In Search of An American Grand Strategy for the Middle East (August 2003)
The Aspen Strategy Group summer workshop in Aspen, Colorado brought together ASG members, regional experts, and several administration officials to discuss the contours and complications of American grand strategy in the Middle East. The group tackled reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Arab-Israeli conflict, region-wide economic modernization, democratization and security, while examining the necessity for a generational commitment to the region. The papers commissioned for the session have been released in a monograph along with a synopsis of the discussion written by ASG director, Kurt Campbell. Click here to download the publication from this meeting.
Biological Security and Global Public Health (August 2002)
The ASG hosted its summer workshop on Biological Security and Global Public Health, convening ASG members, administration officials, members of Congress, journalists, and global health experts to discuss the policy implications of the nexus of the natural and intentional spread of disease.
U.S. Homeland Security (June 2002)
The ASG convened a special spring session exploring the challenge of defending the U.S. homeland. Meeting in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, the group's findings were distilled into an ASG report, Planning to Win: A Report on Homeland Security. The report was released at a press conference and received two mentions in the Washington Post.
America and Europe (August 2001)
The Aspen Strategy Group's 2001 summer workshop brought together policymakers, strategists, members of the media and businessmen and government officials. Discussions revolved around America's relations with Europe in a new environment. The discussions included the Balkans, NATO enlargement, and possibilities for transatlantic cooperation on transnational issues such as terrorism, global health and human rights, and the environment. Of the 41 participants, 23 were ASG members.
American Military Strategy (August 2000)
Policymakers, strategists, and defense experts from the U.S., UK, France, and Israel gathered to discuss the future of the American military. This included discussions on America's international role, its relationship with other states and alliances, WMD, and the revolution in military affairs (RMA). Of the 45 participants, 23 were ASG members. The fifth book in the Aspen Policy Series, American Military Strategy: Memos to a President, was published by W.W. Norton and Company in August 2001.
- Philip Zelikow. American Military Strategy: Memos to a President. W.W. Norton and Company, 2001.
Western Policy in the Balkans (October 1999)
ASG conducted an in depth discussion on the potential for the Balkan region following the NATO intervention in Kosovo. Five ASG members joined 23 senior European policymakers and 11 senior American decision makers for a three day meeting on the future of the Balkans. America and the Balkans: Memos to a President was published by W.W. Norton in 2000.
America and Russia (August 1999)
This meeting provided an assessment and analysis of possible prescriptions for US policy toward Russia, Russian policy toward the US, and Russian policy toward the former republics. This meeting included 51 specialists and ASG members, including 6 Russians.
- America and Russia: Memos to a President published by W.W. Norton & Company (11/00)
- Philip Zelikow and Robert Zoellick, eds. America and the Balkans. W.W. Norton and Company, 2000
Iraq (March 1999)
A total of 26 policy leaders, including 13 ASG members, worked carefully through US policy options for Iraq.
Western Policy in the Southern Balkans (October 1998)
Senior European and American policymakers, including the US negotiator for Kosovo, joined the ASG to assess Western policy options for peace in Kosovo without NATO intervention.
United States Policy and Political and Security Implications of the East Asian Crisis (August 1998)
A regional overview, specific discussions of Indonesia and Korea, and a session on the changing balance of power were all reported in the summaries of discussion. A total of 44 participants, including 23 ASG members and five representatives from the region participated in the meeting.
- America and the East Asian Crisis: Memos to a President was published in January 2000 by W.W. Norton & Company.
Asia Economic Crisis and the US-Japan Alliance (July 1998)
In depth discussions between Japanese and American participants on Japan, China, and the financial crises, facilitated by the Aspen Institute Japan. Op-eds and press reports were produced. A total of 20 people participated, including 8 ASG members, 2 American representatives not belonging to ASG and 10 Japanese participants.
Mexico After the Peso Crisis (March 1998)
ASG conducted a special discussion on the US-Mexican relationship in the aftermath of the Peso crisis with 33 senior American and Mexican policy makers, including 13 ASG members.
The United States and the Islamic World (August 1997)
Participants (18 ASG members and 17 specialists) discussed what American leaders should know about Muslim politics and society, and specifically assessed the cases of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The report on this meeting, America and the Muslim Middle East was the prototype for the Aspen Policy Series, a book series for policymakers, students, and the general public.
- Contents of America and the Muslim Middle East
The International Commission on the Balkans Reunion (July 1997)
ASG provided assistance with meeting planning, invitations, staffing, and the ASG co-chairman, Kenneth Dam, participated in the meeting.
- Statement of the Commission