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“Great Decisions” Foreign Policy Weekly Discussion Series held in February -March at the FCC

About 20 residents meet in February and March to discuss foreign policy in the weekly “Great Decisions” series held at the Friendly Community Library and led by Karen and Paul Tetor. About 20 residents meet in February and March to discuss foreign policy in the weekly “Great Decisions” series held at the Friendly Community Library and led by Karen and Paul Tetor.

Do you enjoy learning about foreign policy but prefer an alternative to TV talk shows where the loudest voice can dominate?  Finding a forum for civilized, informative discussion can be challenging.  But one enlightening and enjoyable option is “Great Decisions”, a weekly discussion series on foreign policy offered by the Friendly Community Center.

In February and March about twenty residents gather weekly to discuss ann important policy topic.  Informative background reading includes a well-written booklet (divided into 8 topics) and a 30-minute video for each week’s topic -- all provided by the Foreign Policy Association.  This year’s topics are as follows: 

  • Waning of Pax Americana
  • Russia’s foreign policy
  • China’s geopolitics
  • Media and foreign policy
  • Turkey: partner in crisis
  • U.S. global engagement and the military
  • South Africa’s fragile democracy
  • Global health issues

Since WWII, as we know, other nations have accumulated greater relative wealth which has caused a shift in the world’s power structure, and China and Russia are expressing this power shift with increasingly aggressive actions.   Concurrently countries are reacting to the loss of jobs resulting from globalization and the use of technology with heightened nationalism.  This is accompanied in some cases with a rise in authoritarian democracy.  

These are only a few examples of many issues discussed.  And all of these factors influence America’s foreign and economic policy, with some people favoring a strong American world leadership role and others favoring a more domestic focus.   Reading the background information combined with discussion helps in the understanding of these issues as well as the pros and cons of our current and alternative foreign policies.  

If you missed this year, why not plan to attend next year?  The discussion leaders are Karen and Paul Tetor, retired Pocono Mountain teachers, who keep the discussion focused with knowledgeable, thought-provoking questions and follow-up.  The Great Decisions booklet is available for loan at our library or can be purchased for $30.  Program questions can be answered by the Friendly Community Center, and we hope you will consider joining us!

Ethel and Tom Huff
Canadensis, PA  

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