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Foreign Policy Discussion Groups Offered at Columbine and Evergreen Libraries

(Lakewood, Colo. - January 18, 2013) Are you confused by current events? Do you wish you could learn about them in the company of friends? As part of its goal of providing avenues for community interaction and exchange, Jefferson County Public Library (JCPL) invites you to join Great Decisions, a discussion group presented through the Foreign Policy Association, at the Columbine and Evergreen Libraries.

"We’re pleased to offer Great Decisions to the residents of Jefferson County," said Pam Nissler, executive director, JCPL. "This program is part of America's largest discussion program on world affairs and offers a safe and stimulating environment in which to learn about some of the most important foreign policy challenges facing Americans today."

Each program is presented in a balanced and non-partisan way, and includes background information, current data and policy options for each issue. Topics include:

  • Future of the Euro: How did the 2008 global recession contribute to the development of the euro crisis? The health of the euro affects and is affected by the state of the global economy. How can European Union leaders prevent the collapse of the common currency?
  • 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: 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? What role can it play in Southeast Asia?
  • Intervention: The “responsibility to protect” doctrine has become central to modern humanitarian intervention. When should the international community intervene? Why did the West rush to intervene in Libya but not Syria?
  • Iran: Suspicion and a troubled history have blighted U.S.-Iranian relations for three decades. How can the United States 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 United States 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?

Sessions at the Columbine Library begin with a planning meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28 and continue every Monday through May 20. The Evergreen Library will begin its ninth year of hosting the Great Decisions program at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 6. It will continue the first and third Wednesdays of each month through May 29.

Meetings are open to anyone who would like to attend. For more information visit jeffcolibrary.org or call 303-235-5275. 

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About Jefferson County Public Library
Jefferson County Public Library (JCPL) is the third largest public library in the state of Colorado. Our mission is to meet the changing needs of our communities by providing information and environments that promote personal growth and community transformation. A JCPL library card is the smartest card in your wallet, giving you access to an online library that operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week, a network of 10 libraries, a Bookmobile, a Traveling Children's Library and offsite computer and Internet classes provided throughout the County, as well as books, periodicals, CDs and DVDs, audio and eBooks, and computer and Internet resources. For more information contact your local library or visit jeffcolibrary.org. 

About Great Decisions
Great Decisions is America's largest discussion program on world affairs. The name is shared by a national civic-education program, briefing book and television series administered and produced by the Foreign Policy Association. The Great Decisions program highlights eight of the most thought-provoking foreign policy challenges facing Americans each year. Great Decisions provides background information, current data and policy options for each issue and serves as the focal text for discussion groups.

About the Foreign Policy Association
The Foreign Policy Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring the American public to learn more about the world. Founded in 1918, FPA serves as a catalyst for developing awareness, understanding of, and providing informed opinions on global issues. Through its balanced, nonpartisan programs and publications, the FPA encourages citizens to participate in the foreign policy process.