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Aspen Security Forum

The Aspen Institute's Security Forum brought America’s biggest names in defense, counterterrorism and national security to Aspen.

Courtesy of the Aspen Institute

The prospect of nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula has never been higher. The Trump Administration has announced, ominously, that "strategic patience" has been a conspicuous failure and that if the Chinese will not or cannot "solve" the North Korean problem, the United States will. Short of war, can Kim Jong Un be stopped?

Will the President and Congress see eye to eye on threats and their solutions, or will differing institutional pressures and perspectives keep the respective ends of Pennsylvania Avenue apart? And, will the congressional investigations of Russia’s attempt to influence the presidential election end with a bang or a whimper? However the investigations conclude, what impact will they have on the relationship between the two branches?

President Trump maintains that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election. Was Vladimir Putin one of them? If so, beyond influencing the American election, is Russia working to undermine the entire Western liberal democratic order? If so, what can and should we do about it?

Aspen Security Forum 2017: The View From Langley

Jul 20, 2017

The new CIA Director has his work cut out for him. Contrary to its depiction in spy novels, intelligence is more of an art than a science. So, advising policymakers on national security threats is not easy under the best of circumstances – let alone with the multiple threats America currently faces. It is even harder when there are crises on every side. Director Pompeo explains how he is meeting the unique challenges he faces in his new role. Bret Stephens, columnist for The New York Times, moderated the discussion.

Ever since 9/11, homeland security and counterterrorism professionals have been kept up at night by knowing that the odds against us are overwhelming. They have to "get it right" day in and day out; terrorists need to succeed only once and the consequences of even one strike can be devastating. Thomas Bossert, new Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Adviser, talks with David Sanger from the New York Times, about how he wrestles with this elemental struggle.

Jeh Johnson speaks about national security

Jul 28, 2016
Ryer Gardenswartz

A Chat with Jeh Johnson, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. In his final months in office, Johnson gives us his assessment of the state of the nation’s security. The talk is moderated by Thom Shanker, assistant Washington Editor for The New York Times.

 

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain talks with journalist Lesley Stahl about what’s wrong with the Obama National Security Strategy. U.S. Senator McCain, along with other leaders on the United State’s Homeland Security front, spoke during the four-day Aspen Security Forum held at the Aspen Institute.

Creative Commons/Flickr/Medill DC

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain spoke in Aspen Saturday. The republican discussed the Iran deal, cyber attacks, Donald Trump and ISIS. 

McCain’s talk was part of the Aspen Security Forum. In fighting the Islamic terror group ISIS, he says the U.S. has no direct strategy.

Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism - Four experts compare notes on strategies for fighting terrorism at its roots by winning hearts and minds.


flickr: Center for American Progress

 The Aspen Security Forum begins this evening, bringing top Homeland Security officials and national security experts to town.  Aspen Public Radio’s Alycin Bektesh speaks with the Aspen Institute's Homeland Security Program Executive Director Clark Ervin about this year’s gathering.

Aspen Institute's Security Forum starts next week. Today on CrossCurrents, Clark Kent Ervin the Director of the Aspen Institute's Homeland Security Program. 

From his Aspen Institute Bio: Clark Kent Ervin is the Director of the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Program. He joined the Institute in 2005. Before doing so, he served as the first Inspector General of the United States Department of Homeland Security, from January, 2003 to December, 2004. Prior to his service at DHS, he served as the Inspector General of the United States Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors, from August, 2001 to January, 2003. His service in the administration of President George W. Bush is preceded by his service as the Associate Director of Policy in the White House Office of National Service in the administration of President George H.W. Bush.

TSA: Rethinking Aviation Security in the Post-Bin Laden Era

TSA Administrator John Pistole is moving the agency away from a “one size fits all” approach to aviation security. Is his “risk-based” strategy the answer to striking the right balance between security and liberty?

 

Aspen Security Forum - Clear and Present Danger

Jul 24, 2013

Clear and Present Danger: Cyber-Crime; Cyber-Espionage; Cyber-Terror; and Cyber-War

The nation's point man on cyber threats, National Security Agency Director and the Pentagon's Cyber Command Commander General Keith Alexander will discuss cyber-threats and the steps being taken to combat them.

Gen. Keith Alexander, Director, National Security Agency; Commander, U.S. Cyber Command

MODERATOR: Pete Williams, Chief Justice Correspondent, NBC News

MANHUNT: The Search for Osama Bin Laden

This session will feature an excerpted screening of the acclaimed HBO documentary, MANHUNT, based on the book of the same name by noted terrorism expert and CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen. Bergen, and the film’s director and producer, Greg Barker, will discuss the film and the story it tells.

Peter Bergen, Author, Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad; National Security Analyst, CNN.

Greg Barker, Director and Producer, MANHUNT, Passion Pictures

MODERATOR: Dan Raviv, National Correspondent, CBS News

Aspen Security Forum - At the Center of the Action

Jul 22, 2013

"At the Center of the Action: The National Counterterrorism Center and its Role in Securing the Homeland"

If there is one “nerve center” for the nation's counterterrorism efforts, it is the NCTC. The present and past director will look back and look forward as the terrorist threat that created it evolves with time.

Matthew G. Olsen, Director, National Counterterrorism Center
Mike Leiter, Former Director, National Counterterrorism Center; Senior Counsel, Palantir Technologies

MODERATOR: Ryan Lizza, Washington Correspondent, The New Yorker

Aspen Security Forum - Mission Accomplished?

Jul 19, 2013

Mission Accomplished? Has the Intelligence Community Connected All the Dots?

By some estimates, we have spent more than a trillion dollars since 9/11 to improve our ability to collect, synthesize, and analyze the massive amount of intelligence at our fingertips. But, as the Boston marathon bombing illustrates, all these many years later, there are still dots to connect. Two former Directors of National Intelligence, an office created to see to it that the “dots” all across the intelligence community are connected, will discuss its successes to date and the challenges that remain.

NSA Lead Attorney Defends Phone Surveillance

Jul 19, 2013

Heavyweights in the security and intelligence world politely duked it out on stage yesterday. At the Aspen Institute’s annual security forum, the National Security Agency’s lead attorney defended a surveillance program. It one of those made public this summer by the now-famous former contractor Edward Snowden. On Thursday, longtime journalist and mediator Michael Isakoff got right to what has made it so controversial.

Aspen Security Forum - Doing More with Less

Jul 18, 2013

Doing More with Less—Simply an Oxymoron or Also an Imperative: Refashioning Today's Pentagon to Fight the Wars of the Future

The leaders of the Pentagon today cannot afford to be merely expert military strategists and prescient forecasters of future security threats. In this age of austerity, they must also be skilled at stretching every dollar to the maximum to ensure that America remains the preeminent world power. The Department of Defense's “COO” will discuss the challenge of maintaining America's place in an ever more complicated world, while dealing with an unprecedented budget crisis.

Dr. Ashton B. Carter, Deputy Secretary of Defense

MODERATOR: David Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent, The New York Times

Live Broadcasts from the Aspen Security Forum

Jul 17, 2013

The 2013 edition of the Aspen Security Forum from the Aspen Institute is shaping up to be an engaging array of people, ideas and issues. Aspen Public Radio has you covered with live broadcasts from the series. If you miss a broadcast, Aspen Public Radio will provide archive podcasts on demand for you within 24 hours of each event.

Here's the current broadcast schedule for the Aspen Security Forum on Aspen Public Radio

Wednesday, July 17th at 6:00pm