past event
World Affairs

Elliot Ackerman on How the US Deals with War Today

This event is at capacity. If space allows, tickets will be released at the door.

How the US Deals with War Today: Pulling Out After 20 Years in Afghanistan, and Bolstering Ukraine
Elliot Ackerman, the New York Times bestselling author and highly decorated US Marine veteran who served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, in conversation with Kitty Boone, vice president of public programs at the Aspen Institute. From the protracted war in Afghanistan, to Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, to the threat of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, the US has been confronted by a dizzying array of national security threats in recent years. Ackerman, who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and has covered the wars in Ukraine and Syria, will discuss how these challenges are interrelated, and what might be the most significant challenges we face in the years ahead. In this talk, he will look at ways the Biden administration could apply lessons learned from those experiences to the current threats we are facing in the world.
Live event, Paepcke Auditorium

While attendance at the events is free and open to everyone, registration is required, and capacity is established on a first-come, first-served basis.

Parking is very limited. Please carpool, walk, bike, or ride RFTA. Ride WE-cycle for FREE to and from events at the Aspen Institute and Aspen Meadows. Download Transit in the app store to unlock a bike and access unlimited rides of 30 minutes or less May through October.

You can purchase his book The Fifth Act: America’s End in Afghanistan here and his book Halcyon: A Novel here. Books will also be available for purchase at the event. Book signing to follow.

“The American betrayal of Afghanistan took twenty years. Elliot Ackerman, a participant and witness, tells the story with unsparing honesty in this intensely personal chronicle.” —George Packer

Elliot Ackerman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Halcyon, 2034, Red Dress In Black and White, Waiting for Eden, Dark at the Crossing, and Green on Blue, as well as the memoir The Fifth Act: America’s End in Afghanistan, and Places and Names: On War, Revolution and Returning. His books have been nominated for the National Book Award, the Andrew Carnegie Medal in both fiction and nonfiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize among others. He is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and Marine veteran who served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. He divides his time between New York City and Washington, D.C.

Vice President, Public Programs and Executive Director, Aspen Ideas Festival, Kitty Boone is responsible for oversight of a broad array of public facing programs and events at the Aspen Institute. She is the primary executive in charge of the Aspen Ideas Festival, a week-long conference that is hosted by the Institute and The Atlantic magazine each summer in Aspen. She also supports and works with colleagues on numerous additional programs which the Institute partners in or manages, including Aspen Ideas Health, Aspen Abu Dhabi Ideas Forum, City Lab, and various smaller initiatives. Kitty has worked at the Aspen Institute since 2003. Prior to joining The Aspen Institute, Kitty served as Vice President, Marketing and Sales at Aspen Skiing Company, where she worked for 11 years.

Support Aspen Community Programs

Did you know that we host more than 70 days of public programming each year? If you appreciate what we do for the Aspen community, we invite you to become more involved with the Institute by joining as an Aspen Community Donor today. Your contribution will support affordable year-round programming for the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond, as well as scholarships for those in need. Learn more at

Event information
Thu Jul 27, 2023
6:00pm - 7:00pm MDT
Paepcke Auditorium
1000 N. Third St.
Aspen, CO