July 17-20, 2019
Video from the 2018 Aspen Security Forum will be broadcast live. All times appearing in the schedule below are Mountain Time. Upcoming events appear below. Watch video from completed events.
5:30 – 6:30 PM MDT
A Chat with the Director of the FBI
The FBI Director describes the Bureau’s role in national security generally and cyberterrorism and counterintelligence specifically.
Christopher Wray, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Moderator: Lester Holt, Anchor, NBC Nightly News
9:00 – 10:00 AM MDT
Securing the Homeland
The Homeland Security Secretary briefs us on the security challenges the nation faces and how the Department and its partners, domestic and foreign, are working together to meet them.
Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland Security
Moderator: Peter Alexander, National Correspondent, NBC News
10:15 – 11:30 AM MDT
Defending Democratic Institutions: Election 2018 and Beyond
Though the motivation and the effects are disputed, nearly everyone agrees that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, and security experts agree that it is already interfering in this year’s mid-terms. Though efforts are underway to stop them, what more can be done to put an end to Russia’s interference in our elections and democratic institutions?
Monika Bickert, Head of Product Policy and Counterterrorism, Facebook
Tom Burt, Corporate Vice President for Customer Security and Trust , Microsoft
Michael Chertoff, Former Secretary of Homeland Security
Jeanette Manfra, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Cybersecurity and
Kim Wyman, Secretary of State, Washington State
Moderator: Michael Isikoff, Chief Investigative Correspondent, Yahoo News
11:35 AM – 12:35 PM MDT
From pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris climate accord, to questioning the value of NATO and imposing tariffs on European allies, to renegotiating NAFTA, to tearing up the Iranian nuclear agreement, to promising to pull troops out of Afghanistan and Syria in the not too distant future, President Trump is upending 70 years of foreign policy orthodoxy in pursuit of his “America First” agenda. Meanwhile, a rising China and a revanchist Russia are working feverishly to fill the void. Does the President have it right or is he taking the nation – and the world – down a dangerous new path?
Thomas Friedman, Foreign Affairs Columnist, The New York Times
Jane Harman, President, Director, and CEO, The Woodrow Wilson Center for International
Hugh Hewitt, Host, the Hugh Hewitt Show
Peter Westmacott, Former Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the United States
Moderator: William Kristol, Editor-at-Large, The Weekly Standard
1:35 – 2:35 PM MDT
A Look Over My Shoulder: The DNI Reflects and Foreshadows
Legendary CIA Director Richard Helms titled his memoir, “A Look Over My Shoulder,” to describe his extraordinary career in in the intelligence community. As that book title suggests, perhaps the spymaster’s toughest task is to try to peer around corners to get a sense of threats that are now seen only dimly, if seen at all. Having been surprised by the speed with which Kim Jong Un developed the nuclear capability to threaten the United States and the extent of Bashir al-Assad’s remaining chemical weapons stocks, to cite two recent examples, what else is on the horizon that could pose a danger to America and our interests around the globe?
Daniel Coats, Director of National Intelligence
Moderator: Andrea Mitchell, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, NBC News; Host, “Andrea
Mitchell Reports,” MSNBC News
3:00 – 4:00 PM MDT
There’s a War Coming
So predicted no less an authority than Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller, a man not prone to drama or hyperbole. Though he seemed to be speaking specifically of the prospect of a hot war with Russia over Europe, he could as easily have been referring to the prospect of war among the US, Russia, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states in and over Syria. Aside from that prospect, the President has threatened to counter Iran militarily if the nuclear deal is scrapped and Iran responds by resuming its program. A panel of experts discusses how likely the prospect of war is and whether there are ways to counter it diplomatically.
Yousef Al Otaiba, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States
Tony Blinken , Former Deputy Secretary of State
Wendy Sherman , Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Former Deputy Secretary of Energy
Moderator: Jim Sciutto, Chief National Security Correspondent, CNN
4:30 – 6:00 PM MDT
Confronting Global Cyber Threats
The nation’s second most senior law enforcement official describes the work of the Attorney General’s Cyber-Digital Task Force and makes an exclusive policy announcement. A panel of prominent former government officials and industry leaders reacts to that announcement.
Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General, US Department of Justice
Thomas Bossert, Former Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
Greg Clark, CEO, Symantec
Lisa Monaco, Former Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
Moderator: David Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent, The New York Times
9:00 – 10:00 AM MDT
“Taking Our Fate into Our Own Hands”
Thus, German Chancellor Angela Merkel famously summed up Europe’s reaction to Trump’s America First agenda. For the first time since its founding, the strength of the NATO alliance is being questioned. Would a President who said that he was elected to “represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris” really go to war to save Vilnius? And, it appears that Europe is as much in the President’s crosshairs for trade imbalances as China. In short, is the Trans-Atlantic partnership, the bedrock of the global order since WWII, being consigned before our eyes to the dustbin of history?
Emily Haber, Ambassador of Germany to the United States
John McLaughlin, Former Acting Director and Deputy Director, Central Intelligence Agency
Elisabeth Millard, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs
David O’Sullivan, Ambassador of the European Union to the United States Moderator: Terry Moran, Chief Foreign Correspondent, ABC News
11:20 AM – 12:20 PM MDT
A New Nuclear Arms Race
Reminiscent of the Cold War, the US and Russia are racing to develop a new generation of more powerful nuclear weapons, making the prospect of cataclysmic war more realistic than at any time in generations. Can the nuclear arms race genie be put back in the bottle?
Bonnie Jenkins, Former Co ordinator for Threat Reduction Programs, US Department of State
Frank Klotz, Former Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration
Franklin Miller, Former Senior Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control, National Security Council
Andrew Weber, Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological
Moderator: Michael Gordon, National Security Correspondent, The Wall Street Journal
1:20 – 2:20 PM MDT
Taking Our Fate into Our Own Hands: Part II
Three more key European countries and an American expert give us their perspectives on how to respond to Putin, given President Trump’s decision to conciliate him.
William Browder, Head, Global Magnitsky Justice Campaign
Vadym Chernysh, Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs of Ukraine
Mikk Marran, Director General, Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service
Andrew Pike, Director of International Communications, 10 Downing Street
Moderator: Courtney Kube, National Security & Military Correspondent, NBC News
2:25 – 3:25 PM MDT
Having consolidated power and extended his term, President Xi Jinping is now the mightiest Chinese leader since Mao. And, his rise to political primacy coincides with a moment in history when China itself is rising – economically, militarily, and geopolitically. It coincides, too, with a moment in history when America is both withdrawing from the global stage and riven internally by toxic partisanship. Is China on its way to becoming the new global hegemon and, if so, what are the geostrategic implications?
Michael Collins, Deputy Assistant Director, East Asia Mission Center, Central Intelligence Agency
Marcel Lettre, Former Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, Ambassador of Singapore to the United States
Susan Thornton, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Moderator: David Ignatius, Columnist and Associate Editor, The Washington Post
3:40 – 4:40 PM MDT
Representatives from the “brave new world” of artificial intelligence, drones, robots, quantum computing, and data analytics explain the promise and peril of these emerging technologies and the security implications they entail.
Teresa Carlson, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector, Amazon Web Services
Stacey Dixon, Deputy Director, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity
Will Hurd, Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Samuel Visner, Director, National Cybersecurity FFRDC, MITRE
Moderator: Cecilia Kang, Technology Reporter, The New York Times
5:00 – 6:00 PM MDT
The chief formulator and coordinator of national security policy within the Department of Defense surveys the scene and explains the role DOD plays in making and executing national security policy in support of US interests around the globe.
John Rood, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
Moderator: Barbara Starr, Pentagon Correspondent, CNN
9:00 – 10:00 AM MDT
“Victory” in Afghanistan and Iraq
Strategy guiding the US-led military mission in Afghanistan – now in its seventeenth year – remains essentially the same, and a political resolution remains out of sight. In Iraq, Muqtada al-Sadr, a man responsible for hundreds of American deaths early in the war, has returned to center stage as a self-professed political reformer and fervent nationalist. In short, “victory” in both Afghanistan and Iraq remains as hard to define and illusive as ever. What would “winning” these wars look like now?
Adam Schiff , Ranking Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Thomas Shannon, Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
Samantha Vinograd, Former Director for Iraq, National Security Council
Juan Zarate, Former Deputy National Security Advisor for Combatting Terrorism
Moderator: Kim Dozier, Contributing Writer, The Daily Beast
10:15 – 11:15 AM MDT
Thanks to the autocratic Maduro regime, Venezuela is in political and economic free fall, with thousands of its citizens fleeing to other countries in the region and threatening to destabilize them. Autocracy is ascendant in Honduras as well. The once regional powerhouse, Brazil, has been consumed by a crippling corruption crisis for years. And, Mexico continues to be plagued by political and economic corruption and drug-fueled violence. Meanwhile, US immigration policies are alienating our long-time friends and partners, and China is making inroads where we have long dominated. Can we get US-Latin American relations back on track?
Sergio Silva do Amaral, Ambassador of Brazil to the United States
Cynthia Arnson, Director, Latin American Program, The Woodrow Wilson Center for International
Roberta Jacobson, Former Ambassador of the United States to Mexico
Nestor Mendez, Assistant Secretary General, Organization of American States
Moderator: Enrique Acevedo, News Anchor, Univision
11:20 AM – 12:30 PM MDT
And the Army Goes Rolling Along
The Secretary details the steps he is taking to keep the Army on top of its game in the fight to secure the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Mark Esper, Secretary of the Army
Moderator: Catherine Herridge, Chief Intelligence Correspondent, Fox News
2:00 – 3:00 PM MDT
The “New” Mideast and Regional Counterterrorism
Led by a dynamic new Crown Prince, Saudi Arabia is modernizing its society, diversifying its economy, and moderating its version of Islam. It is also asserting itself militarily in the region to an unprecedented degree, with the Yemeni campaign the most notable example. Meanwhile, in Egypt, the once ascendant Muslim Brotherhood has been suppressed, and President Sisi is cracking down hard on militants in the Sinai. ISIS has lost nearly all of its territory but remains a serious threat to the region and the international community, and its defeat is a prerequisite to a viable political solution in Syria. Arab nations are making common cause with Israel in attempting to counter Iranian regional adventurism. In short, like the desert sands, old alliances, enmities, and aspirations are shifting. What are the implications for regional counterterrorism?
Khalid bin Salman, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United States
Michael Nagata, Director of Strategic Operational Planning, National Counterterrorism Center
Nathan Sales, Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism, US State Department
Moderator: Dina Temple-Raston, Counterterrorism Correspondent, NPR
3:30 – 4:50 PM MDT
Peace on the Peninsula?
Is peace at hand on the Korean Peninsula? Denuclearization and reunification, miraculously, now seem possible. Is this prospect real or a mirage?
Vincent Brooks, Commander, United States Forces Korea; Commander, United Nations
Command; Commander, ROK-US Combined Forces Command
Suzanne DiMaggio, Senior Fellow and US-Iran Initiative Director, New America Foundation
Woongsoon Lim, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of South Korea to the United States
Michael McCaul, Chairman, House Committee on Homeland Security
Sue Mi Terry, Senior Fellow and Korea Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Moderator: Gordon Chang, Columnist, The Daily Beast
5:15 – 6:15 PM MDT
Countering Threats Old and New
U.S. Cyber Command recently became the Department of Defense’s 10th Unified Combatant Command, reflecting the imperative to counter the increased cybersecurity threats from across the globe. How will the men and women of U.S. Cyber Command meet the challenges presented by this brave new world of warfare?
Paul Nakasone, Commander, US Cyber Command; Director, National Security Agency
Moderator: Gordon Corera, Security Correspondent, BBC News