The Instigator
righty10294
Pro (for)
Losing
22 Points
The Contender
kenito001
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

A Missile Defense System

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/10/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,441 times Debate No: 1637
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (13)

 

righty10294

Pro

Hello

I don't see what is so bad about a missile defense system. We have a couple setup now in Alaska and California (note there are a couple in Calf. and a couple in Alaska). There are bases in Russia too. Also, they have new bases planned to be built in Poland/Czech Republic, Boston, Greenland, more in Alaska.

It is real simple, a country like North Korea, deploys a nuclear bomb headed for New York. A military base in Alaska detetcs it on a radar. Now we can evacuate New York City and shoot off defence missile. That missile can unarm or blow it up before it ever reaches the US coast. Our next step is to deploy missiles into that nation (but that is another debate)

Without a system like that, New York City would be blown to pieces. OUr biggest city, the world's biggest market gone just like that. You can't rebuild it, It will just be like that for a while.

The argument will be made that it cost too much. So? does it really matter what it cost if it's a matter of national security. What is a few dollars more in taxes?
kenito001

Con

"I don't see what is so bad about a missile defense system. We have a couple setup now in Alaska and California (note there are a couple in Calf. and a couple in Alaska). There are bases in Russia too. Also, they have new bases planned to be built in Poland/Czech Republic, Boston, Greenland, more in Alaska."

The missile defense system is still considered experimental by the US government. While there are "a couple" set up now, they are not established and operating to be able to directly ward off a nuclear threat. America's attempts at establishing a missile system are harmful to the security of the US because of the:

1)Great publicity given to any projects involving the expansion of the STAR or missile defense programs.
a)Any developments are made public and available to both America's allies and enemies. An incomplete missile defense program would expedite enemy WMD and nuclear programs, similar to the effect that the USSR and US space programs had on one another to compete for superiority.
b)Despite any significant developments that may come in the future, it is unknown whether missile defense could actually work.

"It is real simple, a country like North Korea, deploys a nuclear bomb headed for New York. A military base in Alaska detetcs it on a radar. Now we can evacuate New York City and shoot off defence missile. That missile can unarm or blow it up before it ever reaches the US coast. Our next step is to deploy missiles into that nation (but that is another debate)"
This argument is severely flawed. It assumes that there is an imminent nuclear threat, which is entirely untrue. On July 4 2006 NK tested its tae-pae-dong II missile that has the capability of launching a nuclear warhead to the US, but only to as far as California. Regardless, the test failed as the missile exploded in the sky. So not only does NK not pose a threat to call for a missile program, but also, if its technology were functional, an attack on NYC is entirely unrealistic.
If NK COULD fire a missile to reach California, this would allot much less time to detect and shoot the missile out of the sky. The missile defense tests have only proven effective if the US were given significant time to react and had a direct course of fire to eliminate the missile.

Let's assume that the US develops an effective missile defense system by the year 2020, which is a generously early estimate. Between today and January 1 2020, enemies of the United States will be aware of America developing a capable and functional missile defense program and have the opportunity to attack before the US can defend itself or refocus its efforts to detonating a nuclear weapon on the ground, not in the sky. Michael O'Hanlon in his book "Defense Strategy for the Post-Saddam Era" warns of the ties between Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations, saying that Iran and Syria can use terrorist organizations in its efforts against the US by supplying them with weapons and nuclear capabilities while keeping their own people out of danger. So, while the US may protect itself from international threats, it will lose its security on the ground.

"Without a system like that, New York City would be blown to pieces. OUr biggest city, the world's biggest market gone just like that. You can't rebuild it, It will just be like that for a while."
With or without the system, it's not going to happen any time soon. Russia can't reach NYC either, regardless of which way across the globe the nuclear missile is deployed.

"The argument will be made that it cost too much. So? does it really matter what it cost if it's a matter of national security. What is a few dollars more in taxes?"
The cost is astronomical. You propose that taxes must be risen to pay for the project. That is a severe underestimation. The US government already has such a large budget deficit that it must borrow money from other countries, depreciating the dollar to the minute value that it holds today. Adding another great cost to the budget without cutting other projects would call for the rollback of the Bush Tax cuts AND require the US to borrow even more money.

The US has refocused its efforts, dating back to 1983 when Reagan began to push the missile defense project forward, from a Soviet Union threatening the US to fighting the War on Terror against rogue states and terrorist organizations who pose a grave threat to the US on the grassroots level.
Debate Round No. 1
righty10294

Pro

Kenito

How do you know that a missile defense project would get great publicity. Arguably the biggest project in US history, The Manhattan Project, was top secret had very little, if any publicity. I no that was a different time back then, but we could still keep it top secret. Some of the proposed locations, aren't even in the mainland. Also, one is in Greenland. We could build these without anyone knowing. Look at what goes on in the CIA or Area 51 we don't know. THe government can make it top secret.

You say multiple times that a bomb couldn't hit the US now. I know that a nuke couldn't reach the US right now, but what about in 5 10 20 years? How do we know the resources won't be available to make that statement true. IN 5 10 20 years, both sides (US Missile Defense and NK) will both have way more technology than now.

SO what about the cost? We our putting a price on our safety. That's just stupid.
kenito001

Con

"How do you know that a missile defense project would get great publicity. Arguably the biggest project in US history, The Manhattan Project, was top secret had very little, if any publicity. I no that was a different time back then, but we could still keep it top secret. Some of the proposed locations, aren't even in the mainland. Also, one is in Greenland. We could build these without anyone knowing. Look at what goes on in the CIA or Area 51 we don't know. THe government can make it top secret."

The most potent sites for construction of Missile Defense (Anti-Missile Systems) would have to use mostly foreign land. It becomes of great publicity whenever
1) Congress passes its annual budget and the Missile Defense Project is given an increased revenue from the prior year under Defense spending
2) Foreign nations report our activity
3) The New York Times peaks its little eyes and noses into it.

I see where you stand, that the US could do most of the domestic spending and construction secretly, however, if the US cannot keep the identity of a CIA operative secret in the 21st Century, I highly doubt this country's ability to do the same with missile defense.

"You say multiple times that a bomb couldn't hit the US now. I know that a nuke couldn't reach the US right now, but what about in 5 10 20 years? How do we know the resources won't be available to make that statement true. IN 5 10 20 years, both sides (US Missile Defense and NK) will both have way more technology than now."

The US closely tracks the progress of its enemies in developing technologies that would harm or threaten the US. If NK was able to perfect its technology and acquire nuclear capabilities within the next 30 years (which is very highly doubtful), then the US should intervene economically, politically, or with the military to prevent the missile from being launched, instead of risking it rendering damage while in the sky. The original purpose of missile defense was to give the American people personal security and safety against a USSR that was able to covertly build up its capabilities through alliances and an underdeveloped US spying program. Because the US' current rise to power came virtually at the same time as the USSR, they were able to match our abilities and threaten us. Now, however, the US is far ahead of enemy countries who wish to build up and rival the US. Before they are able to do this, such as in the case of Iraq, the US can use its military and political powers to prevent that country's threats from proliferating.

"SO what about the cost? We our putting a price on our safety. That's just stupid."
It's not stupid, it's pragmatic. I evaluated the cost as an opportunity cost, an economic analysis. It holds to the theory that when one makes a decision, in this case spending on missile defense, it must not take into account the ACTUAL cost, as in number of dollars spent, but the opportunity cost, that is the next best available option for spending this money. Because missile defense has a high opportunity cost while comparing the long-term investment to funding the War on Terror, improving domestic security on the ground, AND improving the US economy all coincidently instead of developing missile defense, it is much more rational to choose the latter.

Thanks, and vote Con,

The Colonel
Debate Round No. 2
righty10294

Pro

kenito:

"if the US cannot keep the identity of a CIA operative secret in the 21st Century, I highly doubt this country's ability to do the same with missile defense."

Where has the identity of of a CIA operative been known. I found 1 incident. So what? One person out of 50,000? workers for the CIA (couldn't find a number). We still don't know exactly what they did, how they got there, etc. It is one piece in a 1,000,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. The government has the resources to keep it secret.

"US should intervene economically, politically, or with the military to prevent the missile from being launched, instead of risking it rendering damage while in the sky."

What if we lose all touch with NK. We don't know exactly what goes. It would be possible that we could wake up one day and there is a bomb in the air headed for us. We don't have a defense system, now what do we do? Try and fire something at it? That sounds like a missile defense system.

"it's pragmatic"-Kenito (talking about putting a price on our security.

How is putting a price on our safety. Let's just say that 300,000,000 pay an extra $20 to fund the missile defense system. It would cost $10,000,000,000 a year. SO in one year, the citizens of the US would pay have to pay a whopping $33.34 to fund it. Whew that is a real stretch. I would pay that extra $33 for a couple of people, and would be happy to.

thanks, vote pro
kenito001

Con

"Where has the identity of of a CIA operative been known. I found 1 incident. So what? One person out of 50,000? workers for the CIA (couldn't find a number). We still don't know exactly what they did, how they got there, etc. It is one piece in a 1,000,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. The government has the resources to keep it secret."

Yes, the example is not definitive, but was used as a comparative for America's short history with missile defense technology. The government may have the supposed resources to keep a project secret, however, noting the ability of the press and public to learn of its government's operations, this is an impractical assumption.

"What if we lose all touch with NK. We don't know exactly what goes. It would be possible that we could wake up one day and there is a bomb in the air headed for us. We don't have a defense system, now what do we do? Try and fire something at it? That sounds like a missile defense system."

If this occurs, then the CIA, Department of Defense, FBI, and Federal Government have all failed simultaneously. With the extensive amount of the budget devoted to spying and counter-intelligence, your scenario is once again possible but certainly improbable. Regardless, if the US were to fully resume its missile defense projects today, an imminent nuclear threat from NK couldn't be countered. It's much more likely, under this argument of suppositions, that NK won't launch an unknown nuclear strike against the US within the next few years, making missile defense dispensable.

"How is putting a price on our safety. Let's just say that 300,000,000 pay an extra $20 to fund the missile defense system. It would cost $10,000,000,000 a year. SO in one year, the citizens of the US would pay have to pay a whopping $33.34 to fund it. Whew that is a real stretch. I would pay that extra $33 for a couple of people, and would be happy to."

The US government puts a price on safety annually when the Congressional Budget Office releases its budget proposal for the next fiscal year. The dollar amount does not matter, but the opportunity cost of that dollar. First, a "minute" $33 from each citizen would charge the 180 million working citizens, because not all 300 million Americans are employed or even old enough to be employed, would garnish 5,940,000,000; about half of the number you proposed. Taking into account the net share of tax returns, exemptions, tax evasion, and operation costs for the IRS would change that number to about 130 million Americans, making the new total $4.29 billion. I will argue, however, that the amount of money given to the project doesn't matter, because the technological process comes with time and money.

Addressing my argument about the opportunity cost, the total of $4.29 billion could be used for much better projects to protect America. Using this tax hike over a period of 5 years, funding a total of $21.45 billion, could fund alternative energy research to successfully eliminate US foreign dependence on oil, alleviate the national debt to stimulate the US economy, and improve the state of public schools. These three together would strengthen the US dollar, reduce US dependence, and improve America's quality of life. The battle against the enemy can be won by improving domestic policy. The objective of US defense should be to prevent the missile from existing, not to shoot it out of the sky.
Debate Round No. 3
righty10294

Pro

hello

First off, thank you for the debate and not forfeiting rounds (up until now).

"The government may have the supposed resources to keep a project secret, however, noting the ability of the press and public to learn of its government's operations, this is an impractical assumption."

-Okay. In Thanksgiving of 2003, president BUsh made a secret trip to the Middle East, that the pres nor the public never knew about till after we got there. He is the most followed man in the world. There are tons of press surcurity etc following him. That blue plane that's impossible to miss and yet he made it out unnoticed. The government will make it secret, and we'll never find out.

"if the US were to fully resume its missile defense projects today, an imminent nuclear threat from NK couldn't be countered."

If I understand this right, you agree with me. I'm not sure my reasoning is right, but to me it sounds like you are agreeing with me that a missile defense system would keep us safe. There is no reason not to take a risk on our safety and not complete the mission.

Okay now to the money part. I understand that 300 million citizens wouldn't be paying taxes. Now I will redo my numbers. 130,000,000 (million) people pay taxes. IT cost 10,000,000,000 annually to fund the system. That comes out to the citizens paying $76.93 to fund the system. Now I'm sure we could get corporate donations personal etc. That alone, exspecialy making a well marketed foundation could bring in 1/4 billion to 3/4 billion dollars.

"fund alternative energy research to successfully eliminate US foreign dependence on oil"

Vote Pro!
One answer-DRILL ALASKA. There is plenty of oil there, so why don't we use it.
kenito001

Con

"Okay. In Thanksgiving of 2003, president BUsh made a secret trip to the Middle East, that the pres nor the public never knew about till after we got there. He is the most followed man in the world. There are tons of press surcurity etc following him. That blue plane that's impossible to miss and yet he made it out unnoticed. The government will make it secret, and we'll never find out."

It's much easier to lose track of one man than it is to cover up a multinational US government project. This is not so much the focus of the American media as it is our enemies. They have kept track of the US missile defense program since it started.

"If I understand this right, you agree with me. I'm not sure my reasoning is right, but to me it sounds like you are agreeing with me that a missile defense system would keep us safe. There is no reason not to take a risk on our safety and not complete the mission."

The building of missile defense would take a long number of years, let's say 20. In that time span, the progress of the project will be well known. Either America's enemies quickly put all of their resources into missile making so that America is attacked before it can defend itself, or countries such as Iran focus additional funding on grassroots terrorism, i.e. Handheld nuclear detonation.

"Okay now to the money part. I understand that 300 million citizens wouldn't be paying taxes. Now I will redo my numbers. 130,000,000 (million) people pay taxes. IT cost 10,000,000,000 annually to fund the system. That comes out to the citizens paying $76.93 to fund the system. Now I'm sure we could get corporate donations personal etc. That alone, exspecialy making a well marketed foundation could bring in 1/4 billion to 3/4 billion dollars."

Regardless of hwo much exactly, it's the opportunity cost. The budget is tight enough, expanding it by almost another trillion would ruin our economy and depreciate the dollar even more. Instead, not allocate as much funding, and use it on projects such as domestic security and alternative energy.

The main premise of the Con debate is that:
1) Missile attacks are NOT a threat
2) Missile defense spending can be better used elsewhere
3) Counter-intelligence and an active approach to security can prevent missile projects from existing
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by righty10294 9 years ago
righty10294
thank you griffinisrig 25 characters long
Posted by griffinisright 9 years ago
griffinisright
Great debate Pro! I agree as well!
Posted by righty10294 9 years ago
righty10294
made a mistake, the last 2 lines should be switched.
13 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by kenito001 8 years ago
kenito001
righty10294kenito001Tied
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