The Great Decisions discussion series explores how remote global challenges are increasingly impacting our communities.

   A kickoff is planned for Jan. 27, 2013 at 2:30 p.m., in Central Library’s Aaronson Auditorium, Fourth Street and Denver Avenue.

   The featured speaker is Robert H. Donaldson, Trustees professor of political science and director of the Russian studies program at the University of Tulsa.  His topic for the Great Decision’s kickoff is “Assessing the Limits of U.S. Intervention: Should We Mind Our Own Business?”

   Donaldson, who earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Harvard University, served as the University of Tulsa’s president from 1990-96.  In 1973-74 he was a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow serving as consultant to the Department of State.  A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Donaldson is also director of the Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations and past president of the Board of Directors of the American Committees on Foreign Relations.

    At the kickoff you can join a discussion group focusing on any of this year’s featured topics.  An optional $15 briefing booklet presents articles analyzing each of the topics. 

   Egypt – The popular revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 ushered in the promise of radical change.  Two years later, what is the state of Egyptian democracy?  How will the military and the civilian government balance power?

   NATO – How has NATO’s agenda evolved since its inception during the cold war?  With its military commitment in Afghanistan winding down and a recent successful campaign in Libya, what are the Alliance’s present-day security challenges?

   Myanmar and Southeast Asia – The West has welcomed unprecedented democratic reforms made by Myanmar’s government.  What challenges must Myanmar overcome before it can fully join the international community?

   Intervention – The “responsibility to protect” doctrine has become central to modern humanitarian intervention.  When should the international community intervene?

   Iran – Suspicion and troubled history have blighted U.S.-Iranian relations for three decades.  How can the U.S. and Iran move forward?  Is the existence of Iran’s nuclear program an insurmountable obstacle?

   China in Africa – What interests govern China’s engagement in Africa?  Should China’s growing emphasis on political ties and natural resource extraction inform U.S. relations with African nations?

   Threat Assessment – How can the U.S. address the challenges of a weak economy, homegrown terrorism and nuclear proliferation?  What threats and opportunities are presented by the ascendancy of China and by regime change in the Middle East?

   Great Decisions is sponsored nationally by the Foreign Policy Association and locally by the Friends of the Tulsa City-County Libraries.

   For more information on Great Decisions, call 918-549-7408, or visit the Friends webpage,

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