ASG Summer Workshops

The flagship of the Aspen Strategy Group is the annual Summer Workshop, conducted against the peaceful and solitary backdrop of the Aspen Mountains. Away from the chaotic scene of Washington, ASG members have an opportunity to take a step back and reflect on the challenges that the U.S. faces with a fresh eye and a clear mind. The four-day meeting in August brings to the roundtable ASG members, outside experts, and administration officials to identify and anticipate the forthcoming challenges the United States faces in the international arena.

America’s Security Architecture: Building for the Next Administration (August 2016)
The Aspen Strategy Group convened this past August to identify the strengths and flaws of America’s national security institutions and policy making bodies. In preparation for a new administration in 2017, participants sought to appraise the current processes for formulating and implementing U.S. foreign and national security policy. This year’s Workshop began with the annual Ernest R. May Memorial Lecture by Dr. Douglas Stuart titled, “Pearl Harbor at 75”, where he framed the historical context for today’s national security toolbox and policy making. Sessions highlighted key areas across the National Security Council, Defense, State, Treasury, Commerce, and the intelligence community that would benefit from institutional reforms. The ASG also hosted a public event called,“Advice to the New Administration: America’s Future National Security Challenges” featuring former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former National Security Advisor Steve Hadley, and former UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband in conversation with ASG Director Nicholas Burns. Discussants spoke candidly about the global migrant crisis, China’s maritime activities in the South China Sea, and climate change among other timely issues. Following the Summer Workshop, David Ignatius of the Washington Post published pieces in the Washington Post on the Third Offset Strategy presented in Aspen. The ASG will publish the commissioned papers and a series of recommendations as part of its policy book series to be released in the fall of 2016.

Past meetings have focused on themes such as cybersecurity, American strategy in South Asia, the global politics of energy, the threat posed by nuclear proliferation, and the influence of government structures on America’s ability to conduct foreign policy.

The various ideas and conclusions emanating from each meeting are published in the form of a policy book, made available to the general public by the Aspen Institute Press and the Brookings Institution Press. All of our publications can be viewed and purchased here.