Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs. The 2022 SaddleBrooke Great Decisions program will begin on Monday, Jan. 3, at 3 p.m. Meetings will be held twice a month, January through April. All meetings will be in the East Ballroom at the MountainView Clubhouse. SaddleBrooke members read the Great Decisions Briefing Book, listen to a presentation, and watch a documentary film, then meet in groups to discuss the issues related to each meeting’s topic. The topics for the 2022 meetings are as follows:
• Changing Demographics
The world experienced remarkable demographic changes in the 20th century that continue today and have resulted in far-reaching social, economic, political, and environmental consequences all over the globe. These consequences are creating mounting challenges to development efforts, security, climate, and the environment, as well as the sustainability of human populations.
• Outer Space
The launch of Sputnik I in October 1957 marked the beginning of the space era and of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. In the 21st century, there are many more participants in space, including countries such as India and China, and commercial companies such as SpaceX. How will the United States fare in a crowded outer space?
• Climate Change
The ideological divide in the United States on the subject of climate change has impeded progress in curbing greenhouse emissions. But extreme weather events at both ends of the thermometer have focused attention on the consequences of inaction. What role will the United States play in future negotiations on climate?
Russia and the United States have many areas of conflict and some possible areas of mutual interest. Arms control, Russian interference in U.S. elections and support of cyberattacks, the status of Ukraine, and the fate of opposition politicians in Russia all continue to be concerning. How will the new administration in Washington approach these issues?
• Myanmar and ASEAN
The situation in Myanmar, including the coup by the military in February 2021 and the ongoing human rights crises, coupled with civil resistance by those opposed to the regime, has led to chaos in the southeast Asian country. How are neighboring countries reacting, and what role will ASEAN play?
• The Quad Alliance
As part of the U.S. pivot to Asia, the United States has been in dialogue with Japan, Australia, and India in an effort to contain China. Recently, the Quad countries held joint naval exercises in the South Pacific. How effective will the actions of this alliance be?
• Industrial Policy
The current discussion of industrial policy in the United States is not simply about whether or not to support specific companies or industries, but about trust or mistrust of the government and its ability to manage the economy and deal with a rising China. The upheaval in supply chains during the pandemic exposed weaknesses in the international economy. What policies can the United States implement to deal with trade and the economy?
• Drug Policy in Latin America
The issue of migration to the United States from Latin America has overshadowed the war on drugs, which has been underway for decades with little signs of progress. What are the roots and the bureaucratic logic behind today’s dominant drug policies in Latin America? Is it time to reconsider punitive drug control policies that disrupt supply chains and punish drug possession?
• Biden’s Agenda
The new administration in Washington promised to reverse many of the policies of the past administration, especially in foreign policy. How will issues such as climate, the pandemic, and alliances be treated under the Biden administration?
For further information, go to the Foreign Policy Association website, www.fpa.org. The Southern Arizona regional Great Decisions group also provides links on its website, TGDA.org. Books with the readings on these subjects can be purchased. Members will be notified before the first meeting about how to get a book. While not mandatory, we encourage all participants to do the readings.
If you have any questions or need further information about SaddleBrooke Great Decisions, contact Sandy Epstein at [email protected], call Sherry Kaplan at 847-528-1968, or go to our website, sbgreatdecisions.wordpress.com.