The Instigator
wrichcirw
Pro (for)
Winning
2 Points
The Contender
Wylted
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

All Else Being the Same, a Moral Position in War is Untenable

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
wrichcirw
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/9/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,737 times Debate No: 69710
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (32)
Votes (2)

 

wrichcirw

Pro

Background


Many people are of the opinion that there is such a thing as a "just war" or a war where a nation's moral fibre remains intact. What this debate is meant to demonstrate is either:

1) The cost of moral fibre
2) That if we were to ever fight an enemy whose tactical and strategic position was equal to ours, the first casualty of war will be morality.

This debate is impossible to accept. If you would like to argue CON, please PM me or leave a comment. If you wish to leave an opinion about which position you found to be more convincing (i.e. an RFD), offer constructive criticism, and/or simply discuss the matter, there is a forum topic set up for this specific purpose here:
http://www.debate.org...



Resolution


All Else Being the Same, a Moral Position in War is Untenable


Definitions


"All Else Being the Same" - for the purposes of this debate, both PRO/CON will operate under a hypothetical international environment where there are exactly two political actors with the exact same circumstances save morality:

a) Both "nations" will consist of a 4x4 square grid with one city of the exact same size and population in the center of each grid box. Each grid box has a length of 500 miles. One nation lies on the west (NationA), and the other in the east (NationB). Both nations share a 2,000 mile border along the entirety of one side of their grid - NationA's border lies on the eastern side of its grid, and NationB's border lies on the western side of its grid. No nation can exit its borders except through their shared border (i.e. only the 32 boxes of this grid constitute valid territory)

b) Both "nations" will be able to operate and support a civilian population and a military force exactly equivalent to current US numbers and capability as defined by wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Population: 320 million (so, 20 million civilians per city)
Fit for military service (male and female): 120 million
Civilians will be defined as non-military personnel that have not been drafted.

Nukes are in play. As there are no significant bodies of water, there are no navies.

c) For the purposes of this debate, both nations have perfect ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) and are able to locate every military unit and every civilian at all times for both sides. Therefore, neither side can say "I didn't know!" if civilians die.

d) The victory condition constitutes being the first nation to capture the enemy capital city - conditions for capture will entail occupying the capital with at least one military unit (one soldier would suffice) while the enemy has either surrendered or has been annihilated, annihilation consisting of the total lack of friendly military units in the city. Occupation is defined as enemy military units existing within the city borders. NationA's capital is located in the southwesternmost grid of its territory, and NationB's capital is located in the northeasternmost grid of its territory. The victor can dictate any terms to the loser.

"Moral Position" - NationA has openly declared and will adopt the following moral position -

i) NationA will not under any circumstance kill any civilian on either side.
ii) NationA will not allow for any civilian to be killed as long as #i is not violated (i.e., NationA cannot kill any civilian even if by doing so it saves NationA citizens' lives)

"War" - both sides are in a state of warfare, i.e. armed conflict. Only a victory by either side will cease this war.

"Untenable" - not capable of being defended against attack or criticism


Rules


- Both PRO/CON must adhere to the above definitions.

- NationA CANNOT break its moral code under any circumstance.

- In order for CON to win, CON must prove that NationA can win this war.

- In order for PRO to win, PRO must prove that NationA cannot win this war.

- Burden of proof is thus shared, although I acknowledge that PRO has prima facie higher burden.

- "Acts of God" (i.e. serendipitous happenstance) are not allowed...only the movements and actions of troops and civilians will determine the outcome of this war.

- This debate is a "no scoring" debate with the exception of conduct - forfeits, flaming, seriously sidetracking the debate, plagiarism, and cheating the character limit are some examples . Again, if you wish to leave an opinion about which position you found to be more convincing (i.e. an RFD), offer constructive criticism, and/or simply discuss the matter, there is a forum topic set up for this specific purpose here:
http://www.debate.org...


5 rounds
1st round: acceptance
2nd round: initial deployment
3/4 rounds: moves, counter moves
5th round: closing arguments, rebuttals are ok, but no new sources.
5000 character rounds
Debate Round No. 1
wrichcirw

Pro

I thank CON for accepting this debate, and I hope it proves to be interesting.

I remind CON that this round is only for initial deployments, so that both sides are clear exactly how this game is set up before it starts. No moves into enemy territory are allowed during this phase.

I also remind CON that perfect ISR is in effect this game...he cannot hide anything.


Initial Deployment


NationB enacts the following:

1) Due to imminent nuclear attack, we declare martial law. Civilian law no longer applies...NationB is now under military jurisdiction. Civilians are ordered not to leave their home cities under any circumstance unless they are part of a military escort.

2) All cities in NationB immediately draft 25% of their respective populations as a self-defense force, that's 5 million per city, including the capital, for a total of 90 million drafted. The conscripts are embedded with the civilian populations of their respective cities in such a manner that any attempt to kill them through munitions would result in civilian casualties. Given NationA's moral position, this "human shield" tactic will work.

3) All forces, including nukes, are maintained at high readiness...NationB will tell NationA right now that if they don't evacuate their capital immediately, we will nuke it into oblivion...we will kill every single inhabitant of that city, civilian or military, unless it surrenders immediately.

4) Embed our nuke silos/mobile launchers within all of its cities, so that destroying the silos/mobile launchers will cause civilian casualties, i.e. "human shield".

5) Embed the rest of our military (2 million plus active duty) inside the rest of our cities, again in such a manner that any attempt to kill them with munitions will result in civilian casualties, i.e. "human shield".

6) Weave a civilian presence into every single military unit...every single soldier will have a "civilian buddy", i.e. "human shield". Every plane that can house a co-pilot will have a civilian co-pilot, every tank will house a civilian, etc...if not enough civilians comply willingly, we will clear out our prison population to do this and keep prisoners sedated and in straitjackets throughout...America currently houses 2.3 million prisoners, which is more than one prisoner per active duty military soldier (http://en.wikipedia.org...) and is more than enough to carry out this plan fully. Any civilians who volunteer for this "buddy system" will be generously compensated for doing so.

7) Run a domestic propaganda campaign to minimize subversion where NationB's citizens are told that these draconian measures are for the good of the people:

a) The conscripts are not expected to ever attack the enemy, they are only there as a last resort if NationA thinks about attacking our cities.
b) The civilian volunteers/prisoners are not expected to die, as NationA's moral position precludes them from killing civilians.
c) This is the only feasible way to end the war with minimal casualties on BOTH sides.

8) Run minimal patrols (all with civilian escorts) with non-drafted forces from the cities of the bordering grid boxes in order to prevent border crossings. Orders are to shoot on sight.

9) Set up a couple of air transports (with civilian passengers) whose purpose would be to ferret construction materials to build an air strip next to the enemy capital, far away enough so that it won't be subject to nuclear fallout.

10) Set up some air transports (with civilian passengers) that are strapped with a nuclear device in the event that NationA somehow is able to shoot down our ICBMs...these transports' missions consist of a one-way trip where they will detonate their nuclear devices over NationA's capital city in the event that the ICBMs fail to do so. The air crews will all be awarded medals of honor, and all of the civilians' families will be well-looked-after, even if the mission does not prove to be necessary. If the ICBMs fail, these transports will not, after all they have "human shields".

11) Set up the rest of our air transports (with civilian passengers) at various locations that will be ready at a moment's notice to deploy ground forces with soldiers and civilians equipped with enough radiation shielding to be able to land in an area recently nuked.


Conclusion


Given NationA's moral position, I think they would be compelled to surrender immediately upon receiving the threat to nuke their capital. NationA cannot allow for any civilians to be killed nor can they kill any civilians, meaning that they'd have to either surrender it or evacuate it immediately. NationA does NOT have a viable nuclear deterrent, since their moral position does not allow them to nuke cities, which is where ALL of NationB's forces and nukes reside. We have occupational forces at ready to take advantage of this situation, and enough nukes to destroy any military resistance in the capital. Once we occupy their capital, we win. We expect minimal casualties, if any.
Debate Round No. 2
wrichcirw

Pro

NationA has not done a thing to prepare for this war, even though we are already in a state of war. In fact, given perfect ISR, that NationA has not announced the presence of a single soldier would imply that he has disbanded his military.

This is probably an oversight due to lack of clarity in the rules, I should have added a stipulation that anything not declared is removed from the scenario.


Moves


Given that NationA has not announced any military presence, we will operate under the assumption that there is no military presence in the capital and immediately send a transport that will airdrop an occupational force.

If it becomes clear that NationA has indeed garrisoned his capital, we will withdraw the transport and follow through on our nuclear threat. We will take out any known orbital missile defense platforms with anti-satellite weapons and flood any ground-based systems in play with enough missiles to ensure nuclear-capable ICBMs make it through. Missile defense is still unproven technology and is mainly a deterrent against rogue states, not Armageddon arsenals like what we will unleash, so I don't foresee any scenario where NationA can prevent us from nuking their capital. We will use enough nukes to annihilate it.

We will then coordinate other transports to airdrop the radiation-shielded occupational forces into the capital. This will run concomitant to air sorties of bomber and fighter runs to destroy any remaining forces in the capital (locating them is not a problem, we have perfect ISR) as well as shoot down any possible incoming air support. These bombers and fighters will be immune from enemy retaliation, as they will all have civilians inside the planes. If NationA holes up in deep bunkers, we have bombs that can disconnect these bunkers from the city if not outright destroy them. Once we occupy the capital with at least one APC and enemy forces in the capital are annihilated, we win the scenario. We expect zero casualties.

We will primarily rely upon the air force, because unlike ground troops, if NationA tries to cripple aircraft instead of destroying them, those aircraft will crash, making NationA culpable for civilian deaths, thus breaking their moral code and thus leading to CON forfeiting this game. Regardless, we will begin a ground campaign that will create a path to NationA's capital. Due to NationA's moral position and the high probability that any defensive action on NationA's part will risk killing NationB civilians, we expect little to no resistance.

---

If NationA surrenders, we will call off the nuclear strike. We will have won this war without sustaining any casualties, and will have won it without spilling any blood.

Our units and cities are safe from NationA aggression due to the liberal use of human shields. We expect little to no offensive action from NationA, as our precautions have precluded such a possibility.


Why NationB Must Prosecute This War


There is a question as to whether or not this war should even continue. While victory and defeat are the most straightforward outcomes, a possible scenario is an immediate cease-fire reverting to pre-war conditions. This is not feasible for at least three reasons:

1) Both nations are already at war, and given what we know from Round #1, both nations have no qualms about killing each others' soldiers and occupying each others' cities. Both nations are thus bona-fide threats to each other.
2) This war has a debilitating effect on the economy, as mobilization, city defense, and drafts are very expensive. It would be far better to preclude the possibility of war in the future than to return to the pre-war status quo that allowed for this war to come into being.
3) The victor can dictate any terms to the loser, so it becomes imperative that each nation prevent defeat in the face of an existential, nuclear-armed threat. It also heavily incentivizes both nations to win this war as opposed to a return to a pre-war status-quo. NationB's victory conditions will preclude the possibility that NationA can ever rise again in armed conflict against NationB, something that NationB cannot guarantee if we revert to the pre-war status-quo.

This reasoning is valid regardless of who started the war.


Conclusion


I should have clarified in the first round the importance of the initial deployment...as it is, NationA is wholly unprepared for this conflict. We expect an easy victory and have taken precautions to ensure such an outcome.

This war is not in our interests to pursue indefinitely...it must end, and it is in our interests to prevent another war. The best way to do this is to win the war and dictate terms to NationA. The worst way to do this is to capitulate. Any pre-war status quo cease-fire opens up the possibility of a future war just as debilitating as this one where we are given the same choice to make...best to make that choice now by winning the war.

Wylted

Con

Wylted forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
wrichcirw

Pro

It seems my opponent has forfeited. :/
Wylted

Con

Wylted forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
wrichcirw

Pro

For anyone reading this debate, there is a concurrent debate with a different opponent on the same resolution that I started at the same time as this one:

http://www.debate.org...

As it is, I ask for the conduct vote against my opponent, as he has clearly forfeited this debate, and the rules in round #1 were clear that forfeits would be scored:

- This debate is a "no scoring" debate with the exception of conduct - forfeits, flaming, seriously sidetracking the debate, plagiarism, and cheating the character limit are some examples.
Wylted

Con

Wylted forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by debate_power 2 years ago
debate_power
Shoot, Wylt, you forfeited :(
Posted by wrichcirw 2 years ago
wrichcirw
ah ok =)
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
They'll be deleted quickly.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
Hopefully somebody will counter those votes
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
@wrichcirw:
It was a satirical remark aimed at the number of voters who will ignore the "no scoring" rule, assigning points, thereby proving they did not even read the first round let alone any others.
Posted by wrichcirw 2 years ago
wrichcirw
I'm of the opinion that moral position is quite a handicap, but I know it's possible to use it to your advantage in some situations.
Posted by wrichcirw 2 years ago
wrichcirw
"Like you point a gun on your own citizen and command me to do whatever you want?"

If you're able to stop me, then you're welcome to try.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
What do you mean by "nation A will not allow for any civilian to be killed"

Meaning if the opposing army threatens to kill ther own citizens, I'm completely at their mercy.

Like you point a gun on your own citizen and command me to do whatever you want?
Posted by YassineB 2 years ago
YassineB
- Well now it's too late anyways :P
Posted by wrichcirw 2 years ago
wrichcirw
- Can you please clarify what exactly is included in "All Else Being the Same"?

It's defined in bold print in the debate.

- Does this debate require knowledge about military tactics & technical stuff? I know you're military, so I'll be at a disadvantage if I were to perform poorly in that respect, especially since English isn't my native language.

Well, I don't necessarily have that technical knowledge either...it's whatever's on wikipedia about the US military...both sides have the exact same composition of forces, except no one has a navy (as there is no water).
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
wrichcirwWyltedTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited multiple rounds in this debate, and thus conduct is awarded to Pro.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
wrichcirwWyltedTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: FF