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Keeping America Safe

What Is Our Greatest Threat? How Should We Respond?

Mary Engel

23 pages
National Issues Forums Institute
This issue guide offers a framework for deliberating over the priorities that should inform our nation's role on the world's stage. It presents three different options for moving forward—each based on a different way of looking at our greatest threats and each involving a different set of prescriptions for what should be done. Most important, each option has significant downsides and drawbacks. Each of these will need to be considered if we are to decide how best to use our economic, military, and diplomatic resources.

Option 1: Make America's Needs Our Top Priority

Option 2: Assert US Power

Option 3: Work with Others to Solve Global Problems

About National Issues Forum

The National Issues Forums (NIF) is a network of organizations that brings together citizens around the nation to talk about pressing social and political issues of the day. Thousands of community organizations, including schools, libraries, churches, civic groups, and others, have sponsored forums designed to give people a public voice in the affairs of their communities and their nation. For more information about NIF and for additional publications, see NIF’s website at www.nifi.org.

Author Bio
Mary Engel is a writer for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where she reports on global cancer, HIV vaccine and cure research and other topics. Before that, she worked for more than 20 years for newspapers in California, Alaska and New Mexico. As a reporter and editorial writer for the Los Angeles Times, she covered international and national health issues such as malaria in East Africa and the twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes. Her editorials were part of a 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times series on mismanagement, malpractice and racial injustice at a public hospital.

In 2005-2006, she was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT, which allowed her to take courses on global health, infectious diseases and bioethics at MIT and Harvard. She studied climate change as a science journalism fellow at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., and at Toolik Lake Field Station in Alaska's Brooks Range. She was a Salzburg Seminar Knight Media Fellow on multicultural healthcare in Salzburg, Austria, and a Casey Journalism Center Fellow on children and trauma.