Great Decisions

An Annual Speaker Series Program

Great Decisions events are sponsored in St. Louis by the World Affairs Council of St. Louis & UMSL Global. The Great Decisions initiative is a national discussion program focusing on eight major foreign policy issues each year. It has been produced by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) since 1954. The FPA is the U.S.’s oldest organization devoted to citizen education in world affairs. The issues are selected at the beginning of the year based on the most critical global challenges to United States foreign policy. The program aims to present all sides of each issue in order to inform and educate the public.

Great Decisions Returns Every Other Week February – May!

2024 Topics & Speakers

See more information regarding speakers and events, and click on links for registration below.

Thursday, February 8, 2024, at 12pm Central

Nato's Future with Brig. Gen. Chad Raduege

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has come under increased scrutiny, not because NATO troops are involved in the conflict, but because of its role in relations between Russia and its neighbors. Will expanding membership in NATO protect countries, or will it further provoke Russia?

Speaker:

Presented by Brig. Gen. Chad Raduege (Ret) USAF; Executive Director of the Oklahoma Cyber Innovation Institute, The University of Tulsa.

Bio: Chad Raduege retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2023 as a general officer with nearly 29-years of cyber operations, communications, and information technology experience.  Among his positions were Commander of the White House Communications Agency where he oversaw an elite unit that provided assured communications and information services, anytime and anywhere, for the President, Vice President, National Security Council, and White House Staff, from the Oval Office to travel locations worldwide.  He is a seasoned 9-time commander, leading complex international organizations, and a thought leader with vast strategy development, policy, resource management, operations, risk mitigation, and budget experience.

Prior to retirement, Chad served as the Director of Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Cyber, as well as, Chief Information Officer for U.S. European Command, where he ensured communications readiness across the European theater — with NATO, the world’s premier military alliance, and 51 countries — through policy and security cooperation efforts.  He directed a $210M budget to fortify the entire European continent during the largest non-combatant evacuation in military history and during the largest ground war in Europe since World War II.  Chad also has significant experience in the Indo-Pacific and Middle East.

Chad recently assumed a role as Executive Director of the Oklahoma Cyber Innovation Institute at The University of Tulsa.  He leads an Institute focused on developing, testing, and deploying cyber research outcomes and technology developments. The University of Tulsa is leveraging nationally recognized cyber scholars in academia and research, in addition to Tulsa’s dynamic business and innovation community, to meet the global demand for cyber talent and technology.

In addition, Chad serves as the Chairman and CEO of the Air Force Cyberspace & Air Traffic Control Association and is a member of the Board of Advisors for both the Military Cyber Professionals Association and the Air and Space Forces Association’s CyberPatriot Program.  He earned his bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University.

 

Thursday, February 22, 2024, at 12pm Central

U.S-China Trade rivalry with Claire Chu

China’s economic rise and its current policies of increasing the role of the state in the economy have led some U.S. policymakers to seek to deny China access to U.S. technology and investment. This is seen as a necessary corrective to decades of predatory Chinese economic policies. Is this a wise strategy, and how effective can it be?

Speaker:

Presented by Claire Chu, Principal China Analyst at Janes Information Services in Washington, D.C.

Bio: Claire Chu is a principal China analyst at Janes in Washington, DC. Her research on the Janes Geoeconomic Influence and Threat Intelligence team focuses on the national security implications of China’s global economic activity, including foreign direct investment and capital flows, and the role of the private sector in China’s economic and financial statecraft.

Claire is also a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global China Hub, a counselor to the Project 2049 Institute’s China Economic and Strategy Initiative, and has testified before Congress about US-China economic and security issues. Her commentary is featured in major media outlets in the United States, Europe, and Asia, including the New York Times, Financial Times, Bloomberg, and Nikkei Asia. 

Thursday, March 7, 2024, at 12pm Central

Mideast Realignment with Kristian Coates Ulrichsen

The United States and Middle East are at a crossroads. In spite of a reduced presence in the Middle East, the U.S. still has significant national interests there and the area is a key arena for global power politics. Can the U.S. continue to defend its interests in the Middle East and globally with a lower level of military and political involvement, or should it recommit to a leading role in the region?

Speaker:

Presented by Kristian Coates Ulrichsen,  Fellow for the Middle East at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy

Bio:

Kristian Coates Ulrichsen is the Fellow for the Middle East at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. His research spans the history, political and international political economy, and international relations of the Gulf States and their changing position within the global order. Coates Ulrichsen is the author of six monographs and the editor of three volumes about the Gulf States, including Insecure Gulf: The End of Certainty and the Transition to the Post-Oil Era (Hurst, 2011), The Gulf States in International Political Economy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), and, most recently, Centers of Power in the Arab Gulf States (Hurst, 2023). Prior to joining the Baker Institute in 2013, Coates Ulrichsen has a PhD in History from the University of Cambridge, worked at the London School of Economics prior to joining the Baker Institute in 2013, and was also an Associate Fellow with the Middle East North Africa Program at Chatham House between 2012 and 2021. 

2024 Topics

NATO'S FUTURE

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has come under increased scrutiny, not because NATO troops are involved in the conflict, but because of its role in relations between Russia and its neighbors. Will expanding membership in NATO protect countries, or will it further provoke Russia?

U.S.-CHINA TRADE RIVALRY

China’s economic rise and its current policies of increasing the role of the state in the economy have led some U.S. policymakers to seek to deny China access to U.S. technology and investment. This is seen as a necessary corrective to decades of predatory Chinese economic policies. Is this a wise strategy, and how effective can it be?

 

MIDEAST REALIGNMENT

The United States and Middle East are at a crossroads. In spite of a reduced presence in the Middle East, the U.S. still has significant national interests there and the area is a key arena for global power politics. Can the U.S. continue to defend its interests in the Middle East and globally with a lower level of military and political involvement, or should it recommit to a leading role in the region?

 

CLIMATE TECHNOLOGY & COMPETITION

Will the United States and China, with other powerful countries following suit, approach current and future climate initiatives with an increased commitment to trade protectionism and nationalism, by various measures including trade restrictions? Or could a growing spirit of international accord develop to confront the “common enemy” of climate change?

 

SCIENCE ACROSS BORDERS

Scientific advances benefit from collaboration between researchers, but what happens when material, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) is controversial and important to a nation’s national security? Is there a middle ground between sharing information and denying access? How can we regulate cooperation?

 

UNDERSTANDING INDONESIA

Despite its large size, Indonesia remains virtually invisible to most Americans. But as one of the world’s largest democracies, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, and as an economic driver of ASEAN, why does it fly below the radar? What are current issues in U.S.-Indonesian relations, and what role can the country play in Asia?

 

HIGH SEAS TREATY

Areas of the seas beyond national jurisdiction comprise the high seas, which are facing a degradation of ecosystems due to climate change and the increase in human activities, such as shipping, overfishing, pollution, and deep-sea mining. The recently negotiated High Seas Treaty, also known as the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction treaty, will attempt to address these issues. How difficult will it be to convince nations to participate?

 

PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS

Looking back at the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many lessons to take away in terms of domestic and international policies. Although this pandemic seems to have waned, how can we apply these lessons to future pandemics? Will countries cooperate, and will a consensus emerge on how to manage global health challenges?

 

Sponsors

Great Decisions is sponsored by the Council and UMSL Global

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UMSL Global promotes understanding of peoples & cultures through international & multicultural programming, study abroad & exchange opportunities, as well as by providing international experiences for UMSL students and the community. UMSL Global is committed to supporting student, campus, & community learning through a wide range of initiatives designed to internationalize the campus and to ensure that students graduate with the international competence they will need to function in a world that is increasingly globalized.

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