Forty Years of Citizen-to-Citizen Deliberation on National Security and America’s Role in the World

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In an unpredictable, interconnected, and sometimes dangerous world, US military leaders and elected officials must make countless decisions that have the potential to impinge on the safety and freedom of US citizens. And everyday Americans must consider similar questions. What does national security mean? What role should the US play in the world’s affairs? What is the appropriate balance between freedom, safety, and protection of the world’s most vulnerable people? Foreign policy is typically seen as the domain of experts and diplomats, but 40 years of history from the National Issues Forums suggests that ordinary citizens are up to the task of considering these weighty questions as well. This report is a summary of insights drawn from hundreds of community forums convened over the course of almost four decades by the network of the National Issues Forums.

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Published Date: 
Friday, March 5, 2021
Report Type: