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Great Decisions Foreign Policy Discussion Group

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 Woodbury-Middlebury  See map

Don Giroux leads this discussion group which focuses on current events.  Participants should pick up a briefing book at the library and read the topic for the evening before each meeting.


Topics for this year's discussions are:


Future of the Euro - January 31st


How did the 2008 global recession contribute to the development of the euro crisis? The health of the euro affects and is affected by the state of the global economy. How can European Union leaders prevent the collapse of the common currency?


  Egypt - February 21st


The popular revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 ushered in the promise of radical change. Two years later, what is the state of Egyptian democracy? How will the military and the civilian government balance power?


  NATO - March 7th


How has NATO’s agenda evolved since its inception during the cold war? With its military commitment in Afghanistan winding down and a recent successful campaign in Libya, what are the Alliance’s present-day security challenges?


  Myanmar - March 21st


The West has welcomed unprecedented democratic reforms made by Myanmar’s government. What challenges must Myanmar overcome before it can fully join the international community? What role can it play in Southeast Asia?


  Intervention - April 4th


The “responsibility to protect” doctrine has become central to modern humanitarian intervention. When should the international community intervene? Why did the West rush to intervene in Libya but not Syria?


  Iran - April 18th


Suspicion and a troubled history have blighted U.S.-Iranian relations for three decades. How can the United States and Iran move forward? Is the existence of Iran’s nuclear program an insurmountable obstacle?


  China in Africa - May 2nd


What interests govern China’s engagement in Africa? Should China’s growing emphasis on political ties and natural resource extraction inform U.S. relations with African nations?


  Threat Assessment - May 16th


How can the United States address the challenges of a weak economy, homegrown terrorism and nuclear proliferation? What threats and opportunities are presented by the ascendancy of China and by regime change in the Middle East?

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