Great Decisions Topic Material

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Great Decisions 2017 DVD

Publication Date:
January 02, 2017
Item #:


David StrathairnNarrated by Academy Award nominated actor David Strathairn, Great Decisions in Foreign Policy brings you eight half-hour documentaries, each tackling a different challenge facing America today. The 2017 series features nearly 100 of the most important figures in international affairs and U.S. foreign policy.   Note: The DVD cannot be returned, all sales are final. 



2017 Lineup

The European Union

The European Union is under severe strain. British voters have chosen to leave the EU while the Eurozone debt crisis and the influx of migrants pose an existential threat to the political and economic bloc. Can the EU withstand the pressure? 


International Trade

International trade has transformed the way we live. Supporters of free trade say it creates the greatest amount of wealth for the highest number of people, fostering growth and lifting nations out of poverty. Opponents say free trade eliminates jobs at home and makes the country vulnerable. 

China’s Maritime Build-Up

China is building up its maritime presence, investing heavily in its Navy, and ambitiously advancing territorial claims in the South and East China seas. Does this maritime expansionism indicate a more aggressive foreign policy or is it simply the next logical step in China’s growth? 

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is a nation in transition, with increasing signs that the status quo it has enjoyed for decades is beginning to fray. Once known for having a “special relationship” with the U.S., growing concerns about human rights, terrorism and the Iran nuclear deal suggest the relationship between Riyadh and Washington is coming under strains.

The Geopolitics of Oil

After decades of relative stability, the U.S. energy revolution is beginning to shift the dynamics of the energy market.  Once dependent on the Middle East for much of its energy, the U.S. is now producing more of its own—potentially freeing America to pursue a new foreign policy in the region.

Latin America

Once known for economic and political turmoil, the majority of nations in Latin America are now constitutional democracies. Shifting away from the “revolutionary” leftist economic policies, Latin Americans are combining left-leaning social agendas with more pragmatic governance. 


U.S. troops have been in Afghanistan for over 15 years—making it the longest war in American history. As Washington and NATO pivot away from Afghanistan by reducing troop numbers, the ability of the government and security forces to maintain stability will be tested. 

Nuclear Security

The nuclear status quo is changing. Nine nations are declared nuclear powers—and non-state actors are upending cold war era strategy. How can leaders stop countries from acquiring nuclear weapons, keep nuclear materials out of the hands of non-state actors and protect nuclear facilities from potential terrorist attacks?

Episode one screener

Sphere of Influence: Russia's Foreign Policy (Great Decisions 2015 Ep. 1 screener) from Foreign Policy Association on Vimeo.




Even handed exploration of problems facing the USA & the world at this moment in time. Opinions of politicians and experts from both sides of the aisle are given equal weight. Never mind the narrow minded reviewers who might call this propoganda because it happens to contain comments with which they do not agree. Watch it. Listen to the opinions on all sides of the issue and THINK. FOR YOURSELF. The "great decisions" here have not yet been made. Your vote and your letters & e-mails to legislators can make a difference but you need to know what is going on in order to do this. A good example is President Obama's recent decision to go to Congress for permission to intervene in Syria. It was the American people speaking up and demanding that the Constitution's mandate be followed that influenced his actions! America's best hope for the future is a well informed electorate. Programs like this are of immense value.

20 out of 20 members found this review helpful


These videos are part of a program from the Foreign Policy Association called Great Decisions. In my opinion it is a great program and my wife and I have been involved for several years. Groups are formed locally and get together to have a informed discussion on the topics. You can go the Great Decisions site to get more information. The topics covered each year are certainly relevant to the world we live in and being informed from sources other than the media can't hurt.

19 out of 19 members found this review helpful


This is somewhat of a classier more educated version of VICE. Not in that oddball showcase like VICE can be, but in those important stories that are simply uncovered by most media, this tries to tackle some of them. They interview groups of experts from varying backgrounds and ask their opinions on the issue at hand. Important questions, interesting topics, and practical answers. Take what you hear with a grain of salt, do your own research on the topic as well, but for a half hour show on an important global topic, it does a good job. I give this show a B+.

17 out of 17 members found this review helpful


Great topics, impressive contributors. Why aren't more shows like this produced for the public?