The 2019 edition of Great Decisions wound up its year last week with a stimulating discussion about the “marginalization” of diplomacy and the State Department under the Trump administration. While no “answers” were provided during the discussions, it was agreed by all that this is a deplorable situation that will have adverse consequences for many years to come. During the course of the year the GD group discussed topics ranging from immigration to cybersecurity to the Middle East to the threat of a new nuclear arms race to populism in Europe to trade issues with China and deteriorating relations with Mexico.
A total of 60 participants purchased the GD Briefing Book for the second year in a row (twice what we used to get) and a total of 19-35 attended one or another of the three meetings held every other week from early February through late May at several different locations in Piedmont.
The discussions were always lively, with everyone participating, and the attendees enjoyed both the well-written briefing book articles along with various supplemental readings as well as the half-hour DVD video that accompanied each article.
A brief survey will be sent out soon via email to everyone on my GD mailing list and I sincerely hope that participants will take the time to complete and return it so that we can make improvements to the program if and where called for.
The next Great Decisions program will commence in early February 2020 and will again consist of at least one daytime meeting as well as one evening meeting. I will begin publicizing the program sometime in later December once the 8 topics for next year have been disclosed.
Thank you to one and all who participated in one way or another.
Great Decisions Program Coordinator