This year the Arizona Senior Academy is again participating in the annual Great Decisions program sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA). A different topic is featured each week from Feb. 4 through March 25. The weekly format is an introduction to the topic by a volunteer discussion leader, followed by a short video and a group discussion.

British national Mohammed Emwazi, known worldwide as executioner "Jihadi John," is a designated “high-value” target to all enemies of ISIS. He has been on the run since his identity was made public in early 2015.
British national Mohammed Emwazi, known worldwide as executioner “Jihadi John,” is a designated “high-value” target to all enemies of ISIS. He has been on the run since his identity was made public in early 2015.

The first Great Decisions group meeting at the Academy will start at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday (Feb. 4), when the topic will be “The Rise of ISIS”; Neil Kochenour will be the discussion leader. After watching a 26-minute video and hearing a summary of the written material provided by the FPA, the audience will be challenged by questions such as ”Which is a greater threat to the US – al-Qaeda or ISIS?” or “Are current approaches to defeating ISIS likely to succeed? If not, what approach might be better?”

The FPA provides a briefing book, which contains background information about the current issues together with suggested discussion questions, and a list of further readings. People who have not already purchased the 2016 briefing book through ASA may still do so on line at http://fpa.org/great_decisions/?act=gd_materials.

Written by Marcia Neugebauer, Academy Village Volunteer

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Shedding Light on the Rise of ISIS: February 2016