Discussion group to focus on foreign policy

Jan 19, 2014

Great Decisions    2014 Edition     Discussion Group


Those with a curiosity about global affairs, who would you like to explore some complex challenges facing the nation and are  interested in providing perspectives to our nation’s leaders  are invited to join the next annual session of the WNC Great Decisions foreign policy discussion group.

Developed by the Foreign Policy Association (a national, independent, nonpartisan, non-governmental and nonprofit educational organization), the Great Decisions Discussion Program is the oldest and largest grass-roots world affairs educational program of its kind in the United States.

It is the core of FPA's civic education outreach efforts, bringing millions of Americans together in study groups to discuss, debate, and learn about foreign policy issues.

Each year FPA publishes "Great Decisions," a briefing book and a related DVD on eight foreign policy issues as the basis for these discussions.  For over 55 years, the Foreign Policy Association's Great Decisions program has brought together people and communities to encourage individuals to engage in the world around them and to think critically about the global issues facing policymakers, and this opportunity will soon be available to interested Haywood county citizens.

Last year, the 2013 discussion group grew to over 30 participants, meeting in the Haywood County Public Library on Thursdays. This year, the 2014 discussion group will have two meeting options to provide more flexibility in matching personal schedules with meeting times.  Each week the discussion topic will be the same, so interested persons can attend either session (or both, if desired).

The two meeting locations and times will be:

1)    From 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the cafeteria in the Waynesville Old Armory, 44 Boundary Street;

2)    From 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. Thursday at the Haywood County, Main Waynesville Public Library,  678 South Haywood Street, 1st Floor Meeting Room Auditorium.

The format for each session will be to begin with a 30 minute topic introduction using a DVD presentation, followed by a one hour discussion of the various questions provided in the briefing book for that topic.

Participants are encouraged to purchase the Great Decisions, 2014 Edition at a cost of $20.

The web site also contains the results of the 2013 public opinion survey, to which last year’s discussion group participants contributed their individual inputs. Additional information is available at www.fpa.org or www.greatdecision.org.

Specific dates and topics for the initial four sessions are:

Feb. 5, 6: US Trade Policy

Feb. 12,13:  Defense Technology

Feb. 19, 20:  Food and Climate

Feb. 26 and 27:  China Foreign Policy


Specific dates for the remaining four topics, to be continued during March and/or April, will be determined by the respective group members, based upon location availabilities of both the Armory and Library.  Remaining discussion topics for 2014 are: Turkey’s challenges; Israel and the US; Islamic awakening; and energy independence.

The discussion leader is David E. McCracken, National Associate with the FPA, and a citizen of Haywood County.  Contact him at 550-5980 or dem32415@aol.com to join as a participant or to obtain additional information.