20th Century US Interventionism has done more Harm than Good
Debate Rounds (4)
Loss of life
Loss of liberty
Loss of property (wealth)
Pro must argue to an equal but opposite capacity (that US intervention secures life, liberty, property)
I will negate the Resolution: 20th Century US Interventionism has done more Harm than Good.
a) Intervention in Panama brought the massive global economic gains of the Panama Canal
After two decades of failure by the French in constructing a canal, the U.S. pursued negotiations to take over the Panama Canal project. Following a collapse of negotiations with Columbia, the U.S. militarily backed the movement for Panamanian independence with the goal of pushing through a treaty allowing U.S. led construction. The intervention led to the completion of the Panama Canal in 1914.
Global shipping rates dropped by 31% the year the Panama Canal opened, the canal continued to offer a massive investment return for the global economy . The Panama Canal currently handles 5% of global shipping and 70% of US shipping .
b) The Gulf War preserved Middle East stability and protected the global economy from oil shocks
Saddam represented a serious threat to regional stability in the Middle East. Prior to the Gulf War he had shown aspirations of expanding regional power with his attempted invasion of Iran and his pursuit of biological and chemical weapons. His subsequent invasion of Kuwait was motivated by the hope of expanding Iraqi influence on the oil market and increase oil revenue for Iraq. U.S. intervention protected stability by enforcing international norms against expansionist aggression and by preventing the acquisition of regional power by Iraq. Had the U.S. failed to intervene, Iraq could have leveraged its enhanced power to exert greater influence on oil markets and the global economy. Had the U.S. failed to intervene, further regional power struggles would have added volatility to the oil market.
c) Humanitarian intervention stops genocide, stops mass rape, and saves thousands. Even when intervention "fails" it saves lives.
US-led NATO intervention in Bosnia was key to ending the Bosnian war. The Bosnian War was the most devastating post-WWII conflict in Europe- 100,000 were killed in the war, ethnic cleansing was rampant, and 20-50 thousand women and children were raped. U.S. intervention brought this horror to an end.  http://en.wikipedia.org...
A classic "failure" of U.S. intervention is the 1992 intervention in Somalia- but even this campaign saved hundreds of thousands of lives. The failures of past interventions should be viewed as lessons for how to do better, not reasons to stop trying. 
Contention 2: Interventionism is key to maintaining U.S. Hegemony.
a) U.S. interventionism is critical to maintaining U.S. Hegemony
Pre-Cold War interventionism was used as a means of winning the battle of a U.S. led liberal world order against a Soviet-led Autocratic Communist world order. Wars like Korea and Vietnam helped contain Communism and forced the USSR to engage in unsustainable military spending. This pressure eventually led to the collapse of the USSR and a U.S. victory of the Cold War.
Post-Cold War interventionism is used to maintain international norms- norms which have been established by the ideals of the liberal vision of the U.S. Wars such as Bosnia and Somalia send powerful signals to international actors that genocide and war crimes will not be tolerated. The Gulf War enforced international norms regarding the integrity of borders by repulsing the invading Iraqi army from Kuwait. The U.S. has also intervened to promote democracy in many cases, as it attempted to do in Libya.
b) Interventionism makes U.S. threats credible
The interventions of the 20th century give strong credence to threats made by the U.S. The international community knows that the U.S. backs up its threats with action. This allows the U.S. to exert pressure on the international scene without actually using force. The U.S. can engage countries diplomatically in a much stronger bargaining position.
c) U.S. Hegemony benefits the world in multiple ways
i) Democracy Promotion " the U.S. promotes democracy by supporting domestic political movements in foreign countries and applying diplomatic pressure for democratic reform. Democracy is good because it protects individual autonomy and freedom. Democratic countries are also less likely to go to war, making the world a safer place
ii) Global Economy- The U.S. is a champion of international economic agreements like NAFTA and organizations like the WTO. Under U.S. leadership the world has seen incredible economic growth and an 80% reduction in poverty.  The U.S. also uses both military and diplomatic power to preserve open trade routes- this is what the U.S. is doing when it keeps its navy on alert to reopen the Strait of Hormuz if Iran tries to close it. U.S. Hegemony is good for global economic stability.
iii) Conflict Prevention " Hegemony prevents large-scale wars. U.S. Hegemony has inaugurated the Pax Americana- an incredible peaceful time in global history where wars between powerful nations simply do not happen. The U.S. is overwhelmingly more powerful than any other state, has a more powerful ally base than any other state, and is able to act early to prevent major conflicts. In this way a U.S. Hegemon deters conflict.
The norms established by U.S. Hegemony also have a stabilizing effect. Invading borders is now against the norms of international relations, so potential aggressors know in advance that military aggression risks a backlash not just from the U.S. but from the international community the U.S. has developed.
Contention 3: The Resolution is a choice between intervention by the U.S. or intervention by the non-U.S.: if it isn"t the U.S., it will be someone else.
a) The wars that attract U.S. intervention will occur regardless of the U.S.
Conflicts like Somalia, Kosovo, etc. will occur regardless of whether or not the U.S. intervenes. Even more activist involvement such as Vietnam was a response to violent political instability in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia- the North Vietnamese were responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of their own people.
b) In the absence of U.S. interventionism, regional powers will pursue interests through interventionism.
The U.S. is not the only country that pursues its interests through intervention- every country does it, to the extent that it can. An absence of U.S. intervention just creates a power vacuum for other actors to fill. This is happening right now as China becomes increasingly involved in the military affairs of Latin America thanks to the distance between the U.S. and many Latin America countries .
MilesandMilesofMiles forfeited this round.
Rather than offering additional discussion in a one-sided debate, I suggest the judges reflect on how convincing my previous arguments are and simply vote Con.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by rross 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: forfeits, and also no arguments from Pro.
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