Free Foreign Policy Series to begin later this month

(Jackson, Wyo.) - Keep on the cutting edge of the eight most critical global issues facing Americans today. Teton County Library’s 2016 Foreign Policy Series will tackle vital topics from the rise of ISIS to the two Koreas on Mondays from 6 - 7:30 p.m. in the library auditorium. This series is presented with Great Decisions, America’s largest discussion program on world affairs. Participants will watch a 25-minute video to get up to speed on the night’s topic followed by group discussion. Veteran discussion leaders John Hebberger Jr. and David Wendt lead the weekly conversations. *Foreign Policy Series* Mondays, 6-7:30 p.m. Teton County Library Ordway Auditorium A Free and open to the public *January 25* Shifting Alliances in the Middle East From a proxy war in Yemen to an ongoing civil war in Syria, a number of conflicts have shaken the traditional alignments in the Middle East to their core. In a series of disputes that are far from being black-and-white, what can the U.S. do to secure its interests in the region without causing further damage and disruption? *February 1* The Rise of ISIS Born out of an umbrella organization of al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) burst onto the international stage after it conquered Fallujah in December 2013. The group has seized control of a number of critical strongholds in both countries and declared itself a caliphate. What is ISIS, and what danger does it pose to U.S. interests? *February 8* The Future of Kurdistan Kurdistan, a mountainous region made up of parts of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, is home to one of the largest ethnic groups in West Asia: the Kurds. Now, most in the West know them for the small, oil-rich autonomous region in northern Iraq called Iraqi Kurdistan—one of the U.S.’ closest allies in the Middle East, and a bulwark against the expansion of the so-called Islamic State. *February 15* Library closed for Presidents Day, no discussion. *February 22* International Migration As a record number of migrants cross the Mediterranean Sea, seeking refuge in Europe, the continent is struggling to respond. Today, with the number of displaced people at an all-time high, a number of world powers face tough questions: how can they balance border security with humanitarian concerns? What can they do to resolve crises so as to limit the number of displaced persons? *February 29* Korean Choices At the end of World War II, Korea was divided. The northern half of the Korean peninsula was occupied by the Soviet Union, the southern by the United States. Today, North and South Korea couldn’t be further apart. With such a wide gap, some are asking if unification is possible, even desirable, anymore? *March 7* The United Nations Post-2015 On the eve of the international organization’s 70th birthday, the United Nations stands at a crossroads. This year marks a halfway point in the organization’s global effort to eradicate poverty, hunger and discrimination, as well as ensure justice and dignity for all peoples. *March 14* Climate Geopolitics In the past few years, the American public has become more aware of the damage wrought by climate change. From droughts in the West to extreme weather in the east, a rapidly changing climate has already made its footprint in the U.S. The presidential election in 2016 is expected to be one of the first to place an emphasis on these environmental changes. *March 21* Cuba and the U.S. The U.S. announced Dec. 17, 2014, that, after decades of isolation, it would begin taking major steps to normalize relations with Cuba. The announcement marked a dramatic shift away from a policy that has its roots in one of the darkest moments of the Cold War—the Cuban missile crisis. *Feature Photo: h/t Teton County Library / Pitchengine Communities* #buckrail #news #whatshappening