Great Decisions 2017 is a lecture/discussion program addressing important and timely domestic issues facing Indiana and the nation. Participation is open to all persons without charge. Presentations are scheduled for eight consecutive Wednesday mornings, with registration at 10:45; program at 11:00-11:50.
April 12 - “U.S. Foreign Policy and Petroleum” Scott Pegg
What is the effect of U.S. petroleum security on foreign policy? For 45 years the U.S. has alternated between periods of security and insecurity. The U.S. today is by no means disentangled from foreign dependence and global trends. How can we be successful policy makers?
April 19 – “Trade and Politics” Phil Powell
The U.S. political mood toward trade has gone sour. The metrics used to gauge economic strength – Gross Domestic Product and balance of trade have not kept up with the realities of modern manufacturing. Obtaining an accurate picture requires a critique of those numbers.
May 3 – “Saudi Arabia in Transition” Lauren Morgan
As Saudi Arabia struggles to adjust to drastic decline in oil revenue the Deputy Crown Prince attempts to transform the country . But many countries point out the lack of democracy, women’s and human rights, promoting Wahhabism which creates jhadists. U.S. and Saudi Arabia need each other but are at crossroads in bilateral relations.
May 10 “European Union” John McCormack
The European Union has helped secure peace in Europe for the past 70 years, but it now faces an uncertain future with the U.K. referendum on m membership. What will post-Brexit Europe look like and how can U.S. foreign policy adapt?
May 17 “Latin America” Michael Snodgrass
The pendulum of Latin American politics is swinging rightward again. The forces of change have more to do with socioeconomics than Ideology. Dramatic economics and political crises have coincided in countries like Brazil and Venezuela. Changes offer the U.S. opportunities to improve relationships.
May 24 “The South China Seas” Susan Erickson
The South China Seas is a locus of competing territorial claims, and China is the most vocal claimant and who has increased its naval presence in the area. Despite rising international pressure, including an unfavorable ruling by the International Tribunal for the law of the Sea, China staunchly defends it policies in the region. Careful diplomacy is needed.
May 31 “Nuclear Security” Douglas Woodwell
Nuclear non-proliferation was a top priority for the Obama administration. Major threats continue to persist from both state and non-state actors. Countries like Russia, North Korea, India and Pakistan resist non-proliferation efforts. Fear that terrorists will capture materials and carry out an attack. In a fractious world which way forward for U.S. nuclear security policy?
June 7 “Afghanistan/Pakistan Prospects” Doug Wissing
Major internal conflict has plagued Afghanistan for four decades. Today war with the Taliban persists and tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan have deteriorated. The incoming administration has choices to make. Does the U.S. face a no win situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan?
June 14 “ Democracy and Global Policy in the Age of Trump: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times John Clark
The overview that only John can do – looking at the whole picture.