Aspen Institute announces forum speakers

May 28, 2013 at 2:44 PM

WASHINGTON, May 28 (UPI) -- Dealing with traditional and terrorist threats in a time of budget constraints will be center stage at this year's Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.

The Aspen Institute Homeland Security Program key speakers at the July 17-20 event include U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano; Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter; Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force Gen. Mark Welsh; Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command Adm. William McRaven; National Security Agency Director General Keith Alexander; Transportation Security Administration Administrator John Pistole; and National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen.

Among others participating are former commander of U.S. Africa Command Gen. Carter Ham; former commander of the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. forces Afghanistan Gen. John Allen; and the European Union's Counter-terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove.

"This summer's forum will explore the tension in a time of budget austerity and war weariness, between focusing on 'traditional' threats from nation-states and the continuing threat of terrorism at home and abroad," said Clark Ervin, director of the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Program.

"The discussions at the forum will focus on current international issues facing the homeland security community including the prospect of a nuclear Iran, the civil war in Syria, saber rattling on the Korean Peninsula, the geo-political implications of the rise of China, and the rise of al-Qaida in Africa.

"Additionally, in the wake of Boston, another focus will be on the newly stimulated concerns about 'homegrown terrorism' and the vulnerability of 'soft targets.'"

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