Great Decisions Topic Material

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Great Decisions 2013 Briefing Book

Publication Date:
October 15, 2012
Item #:


The Great Decisions briefing book features impartial, thought-provoking analyses on eight issues of concern to U.S. policymakers today. Each article is written by carefully selected experts, offers questions and tools for discussion, as well as policy options for U.S. officials.

Readers are encouraged to complete the accompanying National Opinion Ballot that is compiled by the FPA and presented to the U.S. Secretary of State, Congress and the White House at the end of the year.

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Future of the euro
by Erik Jones

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?

by Bruce Rutherford
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?

by Mark Webber

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 and Southeast Asia
by Barbara Crossette

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?

by Thomas Weiss
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?

by John Limbert

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
by David Shinn

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
by Gregory Treverton

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?


"Topics are written without a liberal or conservative bent, which I greatly appreciate"

"Over the years I've found the current level of materials excellent and provide essential information for participants who lack knowledge about particular topics. As a facilitator I research particular topics or geographic areas to provide background historic, demographic, economic data using such sources as the Economist Magazine, Bloomberg Business Week, N.Y. Times, Washington Post and other periodicals."

"I really appreciate the suggested reading at the end of each topic. I especially like the online material because it is so accessible and my local libraries often do not have the paper material available."

"The resources cited at the end of the topic are very helpful, especially if available online at no cost."

"Great Decisions has been helpful to me for many years. I am interested in in depth world news year round. I apprediate the information and the interaction within a good group "

"I found the program overwhelming but educational and well worth my time. I'm looking forward to the 2013 series."

"Keep selecting topics that are timely"