The Instigator
wrichcirw
Pro (for)
Winning
1 Points
The Contender
YassineB
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: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 556 times Debate No: 69729
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
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
YassineB

Con

I'd like to thank wrichcirw for instigating this debate, & I accept the challenge.



Best of Luck, may the best argument wins.
Debate Round No. 1
wrichcirw

Pro

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

This is my second attempt at this resolution...in my first attempt I noticed that perhaps the initial deployment stage is wholly unnecessary, since the composition of both forces was declared in round #1. Therefore, I will try combining the deployment phase with the initial move.


Move


Deployment


NationB enacts the following:


D1) 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.

D2) All cities in NationB immediately draft a modest self-defense force. 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.

D3) 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".

D4) 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".

D5) 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.

D6) 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.

D7) 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.


Course of Action


A1) NationB will tell NationA right now that if doesn't surrender its capital immediately, we will nuke it into oblivion...we will kill every single inhabitant of that city, civilian or military. If NationA does not surrender, we will follow through on our nuclear threat. 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.


A2) We will then coordinate air transports to airdrop radiation-shielded occupational forces into the capital. This will run concomitant with bomber and fighter sorties destroying any remaining forces in the capital (locating them is not a problem, we have perfect ISR) and shooting 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.


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.



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.
YassineB

Con


Quickly, very busy at the moment:



- NationA is very well prepared for such scenario, for it is very well aware of the leverage NationB has on it.



- NationA declare Urgency, such that:


> Every civilian & militant of every city is inserted into bankers invisible to NationB.


> The bankers are a anti-nuclear web of cities under the surface that are fully operational, will sufficient nuclear supply for energy.


> The bankers contain fully equipped & operational military bases.



- NationA will then declare its Surrender to NationB, in due time (at mid night), with the following promises:


> NationA shall not order the killing of any citizen.


> NationA puts immediately into effect death penalty to anyone who kills a citizen.


> NationA agrees to hand over to NationB any militant who infringes these decrees.



- In the mean time, before mid-night:


> NationA, having built tunnels under NationB too, drafts & deploys most of its Military resources under the surface throughout NationB.


> NationA launches the already set traps all over its territory, in case NationB dares to invade.



- NationA makes a surprise attack on NationB, I repeat it’s a surprise attack, & thus they weren’t aware of it, since they are all under the surface:


> NationA bombards from down the surface all the borders of the 32 territory boxes of NationB, & thus hinders al possible ground based military movements from one box to another.


> NationA launches from all these borders a mass deep sleep inducing gas all over NationB’s territory.


> NationA then orders the capture of all the people in command of NationB, some will be.


> NationA orders the capture of all militants in sight, even at the cost of life.



- NationA’s elite force goes rogue, & kills all NationB’s commanding personnel, & thus deserves the death penalty for their action by the decree of NationA.



- At midnight, NationA announces their surrender, & cuts all communications with NationB.


Debate Round No. 2
wrichcirw

Pro

I thank CON for an organized response. As CON's round is brief, I will address it line-by-line (CON's arguments in italics):


Counter-Moves


Rebuttal #1 (R1)

CON:
- NationA declare Urgency, such that:
> Every civilian & militant of every city is inserted into bankers invisible to NationB.
> The bankers are a anti-nuclear web of cities under the surface that are fully operational, will sufficient nuclear supply for energy.
> The bankers contain fully equipped & operational military bases.


a) I remind CON that per round #1, perfect ISR is in effect:

"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."

b) If CON's "anti-nuclear web of cities" constitutes an evacuation of his capital, then we will occupy his capital and win this war without a single shot being fired.

c) If CON's "anti-nuclear web of cities" IS his capital, then CON will have to demonstrate how a de-facto bomb shelter can house a civilian population for any significant length of time. As it is, such shelters are easy to cut off from the rest of the world, and if that shelter is not fully self-sufficient, it will be synonymous to a mass grave during a nuclear war.

If this shelter IS NationA's capital, then NationB will cut it off from the surface through bunker-buster bombs or by discharging underground nuclear devices and wait for it to die off. We know of all the access routes into and out of this underground city (again, perfect ISR), so cutting it off will be an easy process.


R2)

CON:
- NationA will then declare its Surrender to NationB, in due time (at mid night), with the following promises:
> NationA shall not order the killing of any citizen.> NationA puts immediately into effect death penalty to anyone who kills a citizen.
> NationA agrees to hand over to NationB any militant who infringes these decrees.



a) If NationA surrenders, NationB wins outright and this scenario ends with a PRO victory. After surrender, NationB can then dictate any terms to NationA, including the complete and utter destruction of NationA's citizenry if it so chooses. NationA has forfeited the chance to challenge this outcome, as that is exactly what war is - a challenge to an entity's ability to exist (Sun Zi's Art of War chapter 1 first page https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au...)- and NationA has lost the war.

b) If NationA cannot kill any civilian, NationA cannot institute the death penalty, as that necessarily involves killing a civilian.


R3)

CON:
- In the mean time, before mid-night:
> NationA, having built tunnels under NationB too, drafts & deploys most of its Military resources under the surface throughout NationB.
> NationA launches the already set traps all over its territory, in case NationB dares to invade.



Given perfect ISR, NationB is fully aware of these attempts before they are executed, and will drill, bomb, and nuke such tunnels at their entry point. NationA cannot resist our efforts, as nukes will penetrate missile defense, and any conventional delivery platforms (bombers, essentially) will have civilians in them, i.e. NationA cannot shoot them down.


R4)

CON:
- NationA makes a surprise attack on NationB, I repeat it’s a surprise attack, & thus they weren’t aware of it, since they are all under the surface:
> NationA bombards from down the surface all the borders of the 32 territory boxes of NationB, & thus hinders al possible ground based military movements from one box to another.
> NationA launches from all these borders a mass deep sleep inducing gas all over NationB’s territory.
> NationA then orders the capture of all the people in command of NationB, some will be.
> NationA orders the capture of all militants in sight, even at the cost of life.


This is the same as CON's R3 response of digging tunnels.


R5)

CON:
- NationA’s elite force goes rogue, & kills all NationB’s commanding personnel, & thus deserves the death penalty for their action by the decree of NationA.
- At midnight, NationA announces their surrender, & cuts all communications with NationB.


SOFs (special operation forces) rely upon evading ISR to be effective...as this scenario involves perfect ISR, SOFs are just soldiers with more slightly muscle and better weaponry. They will not have the ability to infiltrate deep into NationB's territory without being destroyed first. Our command personnel are also embedded with civilian personnel, so bombing/nuking them would violate NationA's moral position.


Conclusion


Most of CON's case relies upon taking advantage of imperfect ISR. That's not how this scenario was structured, which renders most of CON's case invalid.

As it is, CON has surrendered. The moment he does, PRO wins and this debate is over.
YassineB

Con

Thank you Con, I shall do the same.




Rebuttals:



- There are two problems with this ‘perfect ISR’ which I exploited:

1- It only works above the surface, for both Nations are initially, as Pro established in his Rules, living on the 4x4 grid, & not under it, & also, intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance can’t work underground, because it’s totally cut off from above.

2- If NationA cuts off all communications, it can indeed say: ‘I didn’t know’, & thereby impeding any attempt from NationB to force its hand.


- NationA have set all kinds of traps in there, once NationB invades, it will activate them. Occupation is unlikely to happen.


- All NationA’s resources have been stored underground. Its nuclear underground reactors can fully supply the city for a long period to time, with also all the sustenance required for that amount of time.


- NationA will steal all NationB’s resources (crops, farms, fields, factories, military bases, dams, nuclear plants, rivers, forests) by coming out from under their territory, if they can’t steal it or exploit it, they’ll destroy it by any means necessary. If they can’t get to it, they’ll level it from under the surface.


- All access routes are entirely sealed before NationB tries to cut them off, & new ones are opened, & thus unknown to NationA, & each time new ones are opened, they’ll never know what hit them.


- These shelters are world class anti-nuclear underground cities, they are indestructible even under a nuclear attack.


- NationA will not surrender for real, it will announce its surrender officially to prevent NationB from killing its civilians.


- All communications are off, & thus NationB can not dictate anything anymore.


- NationB is welcome to capture NationA’s militants if it could.


- The civilians of NationA are not involved in this war at all. The death penalty applies for the militants who kill civilians on the other side. As I said: ‘NationA agrees to hand over to NationB any militant who infringes these decrees.’


- The entry points will largely be in the territory of NationB, & so if NationB choses to nuke its own territory that’s fine by NationA.


- The tunnels can be anywhere in the 8,000,000 square miles of both territories, & they change constantly.


- NationA is so far not interested in shooting the enemy, rather in capturing them.



Here is the plan again:


> NationA, having built tunnels under NationB too, drafts & deploys most of its Military resources under the surface throughout NationB.

> NationA bombards from down the surface all the borders of the 32 territory boxes of NationB, & thus hinders all possible ground based military movements from one box to another. => So, no more than 7,500,000 soldiers among a 20,000,000 population in each square. & thus, the 120,000,000 soldiers of NationA will largely suffice in capturing all soldiers from each square, one by one. The only way NationB can transport its soldier is through air, & that might take a long time, in which NationA will have already captured everybody.

> NationA launches from all these borders a mass deep sleep inducing gas all over NationB’s territory. => So as to make the capture easy, & thus a much smaller number will be needed. & also to prevent any attempt of forcing the hands of the soldiers of NationA that are not willing to face the death penalty.

> NationA then orders the capture of all the people in command of NationB, & orders the capture of all militants in sight, even at the cost of life, also, the moment it’s possible to eliminate the militants without harming a civilian, they will be eliminated => So, it’s not just the elite force involved her, most soldiers are involved, & they will succeed. & once the militants are captured, they’ll be immediately eliminated, including the commanding military personnel.

> A NationA’s elite force goes rogue, & kills all NationB’s commanding personnel, & thus deserves the death penalty for their action by the decree of NationA. => After they have been captured, the commanding civilian personnel (government & such) will surely be eliminated, & unlike the case of militants, here they will receive the death penalty, & it’s so worth it.



Conclusion:



NationA will hammer on NationB to:

- Depletes all its resources, material & human, & thus force it to surrender.

- Leave it without command & thus take immediate control.

- Throw it into complete chaos, while itself, its resources & its command fully operate with no risk at all. & thus, once the tides shift, it will take over easily. & the question will be about endurance, which NationB can not hope to bear.

Debate Round No. 3
wrichcirw

Pro

This debate is over.


CON has broken a clear round #1 stipulation that was also cited to him in the prior round:

"I remind CON that per round #1, perfect ISR is in effect:

"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."

CON thinks that it's possible to find imperfections in perfect ISR, how by digging tunnels somehow he renders his populace invisible. He calls this "problems with ...perfect ISR". No such problems exists. As CON is not playing by the rules laid out and his entire case is based upon this faulty understanding of a clear round #1 stipulation, there is no point in continuing this debate. All of his arguments, moves, etc, are invalid, and he has not addressed anything I've said or done. Even if he dug tunnels, there's nothing stopping NationB from dealing with them, especially since NationB can see all of them before they encroach into NationB territory (perfect ISR).

Although I am fully in my right to ask for conduct against CON, I will simply chalk this up to a misunderstanding. CON has unintentionally forfeited this debate by breaking the rules and is no longer abiding by the parameters he accepted, i.e. he is sidetracking this debate by arguing over irrelevant scenarios that were clearly prohibited in round #1.

I will more than likely repost this resolution again for a different opponent. I thank CON for his time in this matter, but rules are rules.
YassineB

Con

It seems we’re at an impasse here, & the debate seems to come down to is ‘perfect ISR’ really perfect or not.



- ‘Perfect ISR’ doesn't mean it's God (Omniscient), & as far as I know, this war is between humans, no gods involved. It can't know what people are thinking when they were building the tunnels, or what they were doing in their homes.


- To prove that the perfect ISR proposed by Pro doesn’t exist, suppose NationA sent a space warship into space & landed it on the dark side of the moon, the ‘perfect ISR’ can not possibly know what the warship is doing there, that’s literally impossible, that's just strict Law of Non-Contradiction. Now, since ’perfect ISR’ is clearly NOT perfect, otherwise it would be able to tell what’s going on on the dark side of the moon, then it has limits, & thus, unless Pro can come up with a way how NationB is planning on knowing what NationA is doing deep under the surface with all communications being off, then the ‘perfect ISR’ will be obsolete, & Con will win.

Debate Round No. 4
wrichcirw

Pro

I understand and sympathize with CON's perspective.

This isn't an actual war...this is a model of a war. The example to look at isn't necessarily an actual conflict, but rather other models of war, such as a simple board game like RISK which also involves "perfect ISR". Yes, the parameters of this debate left a lot up to the imagination, but some things were strictly prohibited, such as hiding anything. Like RISK, everything is to be revealed. Does that eliminate an element of realism? Yes, but this debate wasn't about the finer details of an actual war, but to explore one and only one topic, that being the effects of a moral position on warfare.

Had NationA really flown a spaceship to the dark side of the moon, would NationB know? Yes, it would...that is how this debate was set up.

Anyway, I thank CON for taking a try at this game, and hopefully this clears up any misunderstandings.
YassineB

Con

YassineB forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by wrichcirw 1 year ago
wrichcirw
It's no scoring, so don't worry about that lol
Posted by wrichcirw 1 year ago
wrichcirw
It's no scoring, so don't worry about that lol
Posted by YassineB 1 year ago
YassineB
- Voting period: 6 MONTHS?!!!
Posted by YassineB 1 year ago
YassineB
- Yeah I figured.
Posted by wrichcirw 1 year ago
wrichcirw
copy/paste is nice =)
Posted by YassineB 1 year ago
YassineB
- That was lightning fast. Thanks.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Midnight1131 1 year ago
Midnight1131
wrichcirwYassineBTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF, and Pro said that it's a no-voting debate except for conduct, so that's the only point I'll give.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 1 year ago
Blade-of-Truth
wrichcirwYassineBTied
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Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a very interesting debate to read. I fully understand that there are rules in place both in terms of debate actions and voting procedure. Con did break the rules, but Pro acknowledged it was due to a misunderstanding and left me with the impression that it should not be counted for voting. I am unsure if I should count the final round forfeit by Con or not though. As it stands now, I'll leave this debate a tie. If, for whatever reason, the final round forfeit should be counted, please inform me and I will correct my vote.