Great Decisions 2018 Topics

Ellen Citron

The SaddleBrooke Great Decisions program will begin on Monday, January 8 at 3:00 p.m. in the ballroom at MountainView Clubhouse. A social get together will follow the meeting. The Great Decision books and the future dates of meetings should be available at this meeting. This is also the time that dues will be collected ($10 per person or $15 per family).

The 2018 topics are as follows:

The Waning of Pax Americana?

During the first months of Donald Trump’s presidency, the U.S. began a historic shift away from Pax Americana, the liberal international order that was established in the wake of World War II. In championing “America First” isolationism and protectionism, he has shifted the political mood toward selective U.S. engagement in the world.

Russia’s Foreign Policy

Russia caused an international uproar in 2016, when it interfered in the U.S. presidential contest. But Putin’s foreign policy includes other concerns, from alliances with autocrats to proxy wars with the U.S. How should the United States respond to Putin’s foreign policy ambitions?

China and America: the New Geopolitical Equation

Where the United States has taken a step back from multilateral trade agreements and discarded the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), China has made inroads in this area. What are Beijing’s geopolitical objectives?

Media and Foreign Policy

Conventional journalism now competes with user-generated content (e.g. social media). Foreign policy is tweeted from the White House and “fake news” has entered the zeitgeist. Cyberwarfare, hacking and misinformation pose complex security threats. What are the implications for U.S. policy?

Turkey: a Partner in Crisis

An overwhelming majority of the population of Turkey considers the United States to be their country’s greatest security threat. In this age of a worsening “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West, it is important to understand what Turkey symbolically represents as the most Westernized Muslim country in the world.

U.S. Global Engagement and the Military

The global power balance is rapidly evolving, leaving the United States at a turning point with respect to its level of engagement and the role of its military. How does the military function in today’s international order, and how might it be balanced with diplomatic and foreign assistance capabilities?

South Africa’s Fragile Democracy

The African National Congress (ANC) party has governed South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994. Today the party suffers from popular frustration over official corruption and economic stagnation which could lead to political fragmentation. Given America’s history of opportunistic engagement with Africa, are there prospects for a closer relationship between the two countries?

Global Health: Progress and Challenges

The collective action of countries, communities and organizations over the last 30 years has saved millions of lives around the world. Yet terrible inequalities in health and wellbeing persist. The world now faces a mix of old and new health challenges, including the preventable deaths of mothers and children, continuing epidemics of infectious diseases and rising rates of chronic disease.

For further information about Great Decisions refer to the Foreign Policy Association website,, the southern Arizona regional Great Decisions website— and the SaddleBrooke Great Decisions website— If you need any further information, please contact Harry Sloan ([email protected]), chair of the Executive Committee.