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The National Foreign Policy Association and the Asheville World Affairs Council will sponsor six Great Decisions lectures intended to promote international awareness of world issues by providing nonpartisan briefings and expert presentations on a variety of subjects.
February 6: The New Egypt - Samer Traboulsi
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?
February 13: Sacred Cow: Defending America on a Budget - Lee McMinn
For the first time in decades, the U.S. is tightening its belt on defense spending. While traditional threats like nuclear and great power conflicts do remain, the post-9/11 challenges of terrorism and counterinsurgency have led to a paradigm shift in the way we think about our national security. Emerging threats like cyber security and bio warfare also require new thinking. Do 21st century challenges now pose a greater threat to U.S. national security than traditional threats like nuclear war, naval supremacy and the ability to fight ground wars? Defense in an age of economic uncertainty must be addressed.
Lee McMinn, a NROTC commissioned graduate of the Univ. of Texas, spent most of his 22 year career in North Carolina and on deployments to Vietnam, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and Okinawa where he flew helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. He attended the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk and has earned two Masters Degrees: one in Human Resources and another in Counseling and Personnel Services.
February 20: The Intervention Calculus in US Foreign Policy - Jerome Jones
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?
Jerome Jones, a retired Air Force pilot and strategic planner, served in a variety of command and staff positions during a 29-year military career. After moving to Asheville in 1994, Jerome served as an Assistant Buncombe County Manager and became a frequent lecturer at the Center for Creative Retirement and a guest commentator on national security affairs on local radio, television and newspaper outlets.
February 27: China's Involvement in Africa - Peter Chaveas
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?
Peter Chaveas was employed for almost 40 years by the US Government, first as a Peace Corps Volunteer and for 34 years as a State Department Foreign Service Officer with assignments including Ambassador to Malawi, Political Advisor to the Commander of US Forces in Europe and Ambassador to Sierra Leone. He retired as Director of the Department of Defense’s Africa Center for Strategic Studies. He attended undergraduate school at Denison University and did graduate work at Rutgers and Princeton Universities.
March 6: The Eurozone Crisis and Imperfections - Linda Cornett
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?
Originally from Lexington, KY, Linda Cornett earned her BA from Transylvania University in Lexington. Ky., and her Masters and PhD in Political Science from the University of Washington in Seattle. She is currently Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science at UNC-Asheville, where she has taught for since 1998. Although her research interests are focused on comparative and international political economy, she teaches a wide variety of classes in world politics and international affairs including: Principles of International Relations; International Political Economy; the Political Economy of Development; International Organization; Environmental Politics; Latin American Politics; and European Politics, among others.
March 13: Iran, Israel and the Bomb - Paul Magnarella
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?
Paul J. Magnarella directs the Peace and Justice Studies Program at Warren Wilson College, Asheville, N.C. He holds the J.D. with honors, University of Florida College of Law, and the Ph.D., Harvard University. He has served as Expert-on-Mission to the UN Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and as president of Association of Third world Studies (ATWS). He has authored over 100 academic articles and six books. His book—Justice in Africa (2000)-- received the ATWS’s Book of the Year Award and was nominated for the Raphael Lemkin Book Award.
This lecture series is open to the public; you do not have to be a member of BRCLL to attend. You may also pay for individual sessions or the series at the door. Current World Affairs Council members may attend at no charge, but must show their 2012-2013 membership card. To register go to:
Wednesdays Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27, March 6, 13
BRCC Thomas Auditorium
Cost: $10 per person for individual lectures or
$40 per person to attend all six lectures
Free for World Affairs Council members