All Else Being the Same, a Moral Position in War is Untenable
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:
All Else Being the Same, a Moral Position in War is Untenable
"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:
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
- Both PRO/CON must adhere to the above definitions.
- NationA CANNOT break its moral code under any circumstance.
- In order for CON to win, NationA must win this war. CON is NationA.
- In order for PRO to win, NationB must win this war. PRO is NationB.
- Burden of proof is thus shared, as PRO/CON will be in control of their respective nations.
- "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:
1st round: acceptance
2-4 rounds: moves, counter moves
5th round: closing arguments, rebuttals are ok, but no new sources.
5000 character rounds
Got to say, I’ve been looking forward to this debate with Douglas MacArthur here, and would like to quickly thank anyone who would also like to show an interest to this debate by contributing their own thoughts and opinions on the matter in the voters/comments section.
In his all-important military treatise Von Kreig (On War) by Carl Von Clausewitz, the great Prussian military theorist once hypnotized that “war is the continuation of policy and politics by other means” and that war is ultimately an “act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfill our will.” Yet, inside this much acclaimed and substantiated piece of work is a monster called absolute war.
Absolute war has been described by Clausewitz as armed conflict that has ascended out of control and is no longer “directed or constrained by political motives or concerns” in which laws, morality, and rules of engagement are thrown speedily out the window fast in exchange for an epic animal like fight for survival. Clausewitz, to his credit however, reasoned that this type of survival warfare was a "logical fantasy” and that in the real world, no war could ever be fought in practice without political objectives or moral interference.
I believe wrichcirw has created a fair enough scenario which will –in addition to his Round 1 objectives- put Clausewitz’s absolute war theory to a suprisingly good test. For my part, I will be attempting to identify an advantage to wartime morality (to offset the cost of moral fiber) or demonstrate though military movements that it is impossible not to have a realistic war scenario without some kind of moral constraint– thereby still preserving our morality in the face of a overwhelming wartime need to survive, and our rational need to win.
1.) Politics by other means: http://oll.libertyfund.org...
2.) Absoulte War: http://en.wikipedia.org...
Thoughts & Variables for both sides to consider throughout.
I recognize that this scenario has been designed to eliminate as many strategic military / national advantages and disadvantages as possible by paring two equal countries on near identical military footing. This scenario thus starts with perfect ISR for both sides and identical military capabilities (which I assume is all modeled after the US military). However, for the purpose of the coming discussion, I would like point out the intangibles:
Debate Rules & Identical Armies – we must recognize that the rules & setting (including definitions of this debate) will play an important and still as yet unforeseen part in this scenario – the most significant ones in my view are that Con (my side) has a moral obligation and purpose. And that this is a “hypothetical international environment where there are exactly two political actors with the exact same circumstances save morality;” whereas AFAIK, the closest historical counterpart of the underlined phrase was the American Civil War, but even then it wasn’t nearly as close to being a perfect example. We must recognize therefore that war between two otherwise identical countries/armies has never occurred in history and may have unforeseen consequences in our discussions.
Military Advantage of Attacking First – seizing of the initiative is crucial in any realistic war scenario, and though the goal of the scenario is to keep all things equal; Pro’s side will have the military advantage of attacking first. My side is perfectly okay with this, however I believe Pro and I have agreed to mitigate this advantage somewhat by agreeing to a deployment round.
Military Advantage of Superior Generalship – Pro and Con are the respective tacticians and strategists of otherwise identical countries and armies. It is a possibility therefore, that PRO or CON could simply “out-general” each other to a victory – thereby bypassing our greatest differential factor “morality” with our wits. If you therefore (the non-voting voter) choose to be a careful critic of this debate, it will be important to remember how much of this scenario came down to smart “strategy and tactics” vs. any actual differences in morality.
Unrealistic Parameters - though Pro and Con will appeal to realism throughout, everything we do will still humorously be restricted to the make-believe parameters of this debate. Any final opinions will have to keep that in mind.
With that, I’d like to formally announce to all that my side is playing to win. Thank you again wrichcirw for this challenge, and good luck!
I thank CON for accepting this debate and can already tell this is going to be very interesting.
PRO/CON agreed to an initial deployment round, which will also give me space to add to CON's thoughts on this debate.
On CON's analysis on Clausewitz, I would first agree that many aspects of this debate are not realistic, and that Clausewitz went through a lot of trouble to ensure he was describing actual, realistic wars. For example, there is no cause given for this war and it has a set objective, a "capture the flag" type scenario, and so the political calculus that Clausewitz considered essential to any war is unknown except for the victory condition. It would be interesting if this debate centered upon the causes of this war, and I would welcome such analysis if CON can glean it from the round #1 rules alone.
Also, during Clausewitz's time, wars were long, drawn out affairs that required something close to hand-to-hand combat. Today's modern wars are brief experiences, and with nuclear weapons, nearly instantaneous ones. In this sense, considering that both nations have a MAD capability, what Clausewitz described as "absolute war" is indeed much more relevant to this scenario than the wars the US has fought since WWII.
Probably the main, relevant point from Clausewitz that would apply to this debate is whether or not NationA's morality constitutes an advantage or a disadvantage, one that would cause it to wage a war it expects to win, or to surrender a war that it expects to lose.
On generalship, I expect our moves to be "if/then" statements as opposed to irrevocable moves that are set in stone after each round. The idea is to see if moves CAN be countered as opposed to whether or not they WILL be countered.
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. In fact, 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 surrenders, we will stand down.
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...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.
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.
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. 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. Once we occupy their capital, we win.
Alright, it's on! Below is Nation A's Strategic Intent for the coming conflict.
1) Nation A will win this war (through the capture of PRO's capital) or,
2) Nation B will not win this war (we will create a no contest decision by denying PRO the capture of our capital).
We will use every political, military, physiological, and diplomatic power at our disposal to achieve these objectives.
1) Deploy Missile Defense Systems - THAAD, GBI interceptors, and prototype Airborne lasers are our systems of choice here; along with Prompt Global Strike(http://en.wikipedia.org...) to provide a limited first strike ability against Nation B's missile silos.
2) EMP & Cyberwarfare - Nation A will also prep a high altitude EMP and cyber attack against Pro's C2 systems and powergrids in order to prevent a launch sequence. When combined with our missile shields, we hope to have the conventional means of thwarting a nuclear exchange without killing civilians.
3)We will threaten MAD anyway - We will "consider" rebuffing our moral obligations in the event PRO deliberately targets our civilians. The guiding principle of Nation A's military strategy is that Nation B will not win this war. Whereas things like murder and theft have been made illegal for generations; laws, rules, and codes themselves still do not prevent their infractions. Here, Nation A and Jingle-Bombs could expect an automatic loss; however, unless Nation B is willing to adopt a moral position themselves - we may use MAD in order to prevent Nation B from proving that it can capture our capital.
4) Bio WMD Programs are to be restarted - with priority given to area denial and incapacitating agents.
5) Land Forces are to be given access to tranquilizers, rubber bullets, ADS, tear gas, tazers, and prototype non-lethal gear - along with crash course training on avoiding civilian casualties.
6) Air Forces are to be prep with PGMs to attack PRO's forward airfields and aircraft still on the ground.
7) We will begin Subversion Ops- all else the same, Nation B still has the same laws & legal systems I have, and by unlawfully resorting to human shields, he has made his political leaders open to public condemnation and impeachment.
8) All forces are at DEFCON 1&2 readiness.
Political & Diplomatic Moves
The Capital Defiance Act
Whereas Nation B has threaten our people and capital with nuclear destruction, our seat of government (the capital city) shall automatically be moved (to one of a long list of current cities) following a successful nuclear strike or significant contact with enemy ground forces. This act has been deemed necessary by the Congress in order to maintain a continuity of government. In the event all grid cities are to fall, the acting President is to designate a military base as the nation's capital.
Nation A will prevent civilian casualties in the coming conflict by drafting the entire population into national service (whereas the realworld definition of a "civilian" is still a legal and not a moral term). If this is not a valid move, then we will draft the maximum number allowed while formulating new amendment laws that will allow the entire country to be voluntarily recruited into military service (if only for name sake only). These radical laws have once more been made possible through PRO's threat of nuclear armageddon and the prospect of total war. Nation A will even announce the sponsorship of militias if it has to - our entire civilian population is to be reduced to ZERO. Those who cannot serve or refuse to serve for any reason are to seek refugee status by exiting the country or could be detained trough executive order - whereas their legal definition should hopefully change to POW. If all else fails, civilians are to seek shelter at the most nuke hardened shelters for the duration of the coming conflict.
Diplomatic Recognition for Nation Z
Regardless of whether or not other countries are present in this scenario, Nation A's government will announce state recognition for the creation of Nation Z. Nation Z has been speedily created by granting total legal autonomy to the top six north-western most grid states inside our nation's borders - along with 65 million people, 25% of our armed forces, and 50% of our ICBM deterrent. The creation of this new country was made possible through extreme national security necessity and popular support of the people who have since been united to pass radical constitutional reforms in order to counter nuclear annihilation. Prior to establishing an embassy in Nation Z, Nation A's leaders helped write a collective security clause into Nation Z's newly formed constitution. The effect of this political maneuvering by us is the establishment of a Nation Z nuclear umbrella that will retaliate against PRO in the event his military targets civilians. Nation Z (according to debate rules) is not restricted to Nation A's moral standards.
That's all the moves I could fit! Lol
Firstly, I will note that CON has stated in the comments that "its clear that "morality" is negatively affecting [CON's] military strategy." This is the entire point of this debate, to demonstrate that in war, ceteris paribus, a high-minded moral position serves as a hindrance towards victory.
I applaud CON for proffering some novel defenses. I will deconstruct below.
First and foremost, NationB's initial move is very straightforward:
1) We will overcompensate for any potential missile defense by flooding their systems with enough ICBMs to ensure that enough nukes go through to annihilate the capital and every living being in it.
2) We will use air transports to paradrop MOPP-geared occupational forces directly into NationA's capital and thus bypass ground-based CBR (chemical/biological/radiation) deterrents.
These two simple moves will allow NationB to occupy NationA' capital, thus ending this war.
M1) Missile Defense
a) Silos are embedded with civilians in NationB, so PGS is off the table for NationA.
b) If worst comes to worst and missile defense proves completely effective, we will fly enough transports strapped with nuclear devices and human shields to detonate above their capital. Any attempt by NationA to shoot down these transports would violate NationA's moral code.
I am not aware of any literature on EMPs being used to deter nuclear war. If timing is an issue, NationB will compensate by simply launching immediately, before the EMP ordnance reaches our airspace. We have early warning detection, and so we can launch before their missiles connect. We also have missile defense to deter such an avenue.
If NationA tries to use EMPs to render airborne aircraft inoperable, this would constitute a violation of NationA's moral code, as those aircraft would crash and any "human shields" on board would die.
NationB will not take NationA's MAD threat seriously. It is not credible due to NationA's moral position. NationA cannot harm civilians, thus taking MAD off the table for them. NationA simply does not have a first or second strike nuclear capability due to their moral position.
M4) WMDs for area denial
Addressed...we will paradrop MOPP-geared soldiers.
M5) Ground Forces
We will primarily rely upon air power and transport.
M6) PGMs strikes on air bases
We will scramble and launch before such attacks reach their target. We will both a) intercept delivery vehicles, and b) launch counterstrikes. NationA is defenseless against our manned interceptors, as they cannot shoot them down due to "human shields" being present.
M7) Subversion and Appeal to Legality
a) I will first say that I consider subversion to be the biggest challenge for NationB to overcome. There is no question that what NationB has enacted is unpalatable. This only adds urgency for NationB to end the war ASAP. A nuclear strike followed by a paradropped occupation force directly into their capital offers such an end within a day, before any subversive techniques can take effect.
b) Appeal to legality is irrelevant - the Constitution has been suspended, and executive orders from the CINC constitute law. The CINC passes laws authorizing use of "human shields".
- Capital Defiance Act
Well, this is interesting. =)
While it's clear in round #1 that "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," it's not stipulated that the capital can or cannot relocate. I would then ask why NationA would want to play this kind of game, where not only do they risk their original capital getting nuked, but all other potential cities as well?
- Conscription Laws
NationA's conscription plans are not relevant to NationB's war strategy, as we simply do not discriminate in who we kill. What is inhibiting NationA's war strategy is NationB's civilian populace, and we plan on leaving them be as civilians for that precise reason.
- Diplomatic Recognition for Nation Z
This is a fascinating tactic, and will call into question exactly what NationB would gain if more of NationA became NationZ. Regardless, it does not deter NationB from nuking/occupying NationA's capital.
I will also note that if NationZ is not morally inhibited like NationA, that would still prove the central theme of this debate to be sound, that "the first casualty of war will be morality."
I appreciate the work CON has put into this debate, but I am afraid all it has done is highlight how difficult this war has become for NationA to wage.
Most of CON's offensive capability has been rendered inoperable due to liberal use of "human shields" by NationB. Therefore, NationA is now acutely vulnerable to a nuclear first-strike. I will maintain that the only reasonable course of action by NationA is to surrender immediately before NationB launches.
Woah.. not so fast MacDaddy!
We will use air transports to paradrop into NationA's capital.
Unless you have aerial refueling available, I'm calling BS here.
Each grid was defined as 500 miles across; whereas my capital is 4 grid squares away or 2,000 miles (a long way for a plane). And if you compare our initial deployments - you'll see that I deployed my Air Forces (all forces at DEFCON 1 & 2) and gave them go ahead orders to engage forward airfields. PRO never deployed his airforce and made the strategic blunder of withdrawing his forces to hide inside his cities - leaving his airfields (including runways and parked aircraft) exposed to attack.
And as far as the nuclear armageddon thing goes - due to perfect ISR - I reserve the ability to make an instantaneous decision to order a retaliatory strike the second a ICBM launches. Nation B must now decide if nuclear warfare is still a tactic they wish to employ.
Nation B will not take NationA's MAD threat seriously. It's not credible
Your ISR says it is. Perfect ISR implies 100% accuracy. Meaning that PRO must perceive my threat as genuine.
they cannot shoot down transports due to "human shields."
There's quite a few things wrong with this whole human shield theory.
First. There's more than one way to bring down a hijacked plane. EA-18 Growlers are going to fry your navigation systems with GPS scramblers or shine blinding lasers into the cockpit to force a landing. My Airforce is deployed.
Second, Nation B's combat effectiveness and unit cohesion across the services is going to be in the dumps while every one is stuck babysitting untrained civilians in a time of war. For instance, I find it laughable to believe a fighter-pilot would be able to pull off a 9G turn while Bubba is in the backseat pissing himself. This whole dynamic is made even worse due to PRO's nation wide "buddy system" and the added the responsibility of safeguarding crazy inmates.
Third. Nation B has totally underestimated the "all else equal" clause in this debate - which implies PRO has the same democratic laws & systems we do. Whereas PRO has suspended his constitution, used civilians for human shields, occupied his own cities with military force, threatened nuclear war, freed criminals, strapped ordinary people to nuclear bombs, and given dozens of illegal orders in violation of UCMJ, Posse Comitatus, and the Insurrection Act without any military, political, legal, MORAL or rational JUSTIFICATIONS (key word) whatsoever.
Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both (https://www.law.cornell.edu...). - Posse Comitatus.
You see. in a democratic system, where a government rules by the consensus of the people (Constitution or Act of Congress) PRO's leadership must in someway JUSTIFY his insane military actions or face immediate impeachment or forced removal from office.
Not even Joseph Stalin could pull off the kind of tyrannical stunts PRO has done - at least he had a Nazi invasion to convince people of immoral neccisity, but PRO in this scenario is not an absolute ruler and has nothing to persuade people with. He has no moral advantage, no political interests, zero military necessity -CON didn't threaten nuclear war- no economic gains, no religious fervor, and ZERO RATIONALITY for instigating violence. He will never build consensus with his people! Why would any one follow him?
RATIONAL PEOPLE WILL NOT FOLLOW PRO. A moral argument could have saved him, but his leadership doesn't have it. And the second person required to turn the nuclear keys - WILL NOT DO IT.
As subversion, rioting, and revolt takeplace throughout the streets of Nation B, their tyrannical military leadership can do nothing to win this war quickly due to the Capital Defiance Act which will relocate my capital upon contact with the enemy - a political-military tactic made possible by a moral argument and advantage that united our country.
And now we make our move
Our unified Congress will pass the following law:
THE NATION B LIBERATION ACT (aka Emancipation Proclamation II)
"Whereas the tyrannical government of Nation B has threaten its people with nuclear war, economic ruin, and enslavement, it shall be the policy of Nation A to grant full citizenship to any Nation B civilian upon immediate entry into Nation A's national borders."
Our mandatory conscription laws employ all citizens into military service, so there's also a hidden rules advantage to this as well.
This war is now about liberation. Nation B people who desire freedom will come to our side.
We have used non-lethal means through-out and have taken care to avoid civilian casualties, our side is believable and we offer an immediate ceasefire.
Nation B's govt is completely bankrupt. This war has been won.
First, the small stuff:
1) NationB is using aerial refuellers, so range of aircraft is not a big concern.
2) Airfields are NOT abandoned. Most of the US's most active military airfields are embedded within civilian populaces (Hickam and Travis AFB, for example), as are NationB's.
3) Round #1 set some strict conscription limits, 120 million out of 320 million can be conscripted, not that NationA's conscription policy will make a difference.
4) Missile defense is "an expensive false promise" and cannot deter a concerted ICBM strike - http://www.ucsusa.org...
5) We also have identical EW aircraft (like the Growler) and can deploy them in formation such that any enemy EW attack attempts are intercepted and neutralized by our own EW attacks before they can engage with their actual targets.
Now, the big stuff:
1) NationA does NOT have a viable MAD strategy. Yes, NationA does have a MAD capability, but that capability is severely hamstrung if not outright grounded by NationA's moral code. The moment a single NationB civilian dies from any NationA WMD attack, CON loses this debate and PRO wins.
Because of this, NationA's continual sabre-rattling about MAD is nothing but a gigantic bluff. NationB has fully neutralized NationA's MAD threat by embedding its nuclear silos/launchers within its civilian populace.
This point becomes really, really important when looking at the following arguments:
2) The Constitution has been suspended. CON is severely underestimating the gravity of the situation. CON thinks that the nuclear Armageddon scenario embodied by MAD does not require exceptional constitutional measures. This is completely and utterly irrational and irresponsible of NationA to advocate.
The SCOTUS has been clear that "Martial law ... destroys every guarantee of the Constitution...Civil liberty and this kind of martial law cannot endure together; the antagonism is irreconcilable; and, in the conflict, one or the other must perish...If, in foreign invasion or civil war, the courts are actually closed, and it is impossible to administer criminal justice according to law, then, on the theatre of active military operations, where war really prevails, there is a necessity to furnish a substitute for the civil authority, thus overthrown, to preserve the safety of the army and society; and as no power is left but the military, it is allowed to govern by martial rule until the laws can have their free course...It is also confined to the locality of actual war." (ex parte Milligan, http://www.usconstitution.net...)
We are at war, to be precise nuclear war. In nuclear war, the CINC/POTUS must make decisions within minutes if not seconds that can quite literally decide the fate of the world. There is no legislative process or judicial review possible when the POTUS is utilizing the nuclear football (http://en.wikipedia.org...)...such measures take time, time that is not available in such scenarios. The courts have thus ceased to function, it has indeed become impossible to administer any sort of civil justice under such conditions. It is under these circumstances, and only these circumstances, that has caused NationA to declare martial law. We are thus fully legally and morally justified in enacting martial law.
Martial law also suspends CON's Posse Comitatus arguments, as they are only valid when the Constitution is not suspended.
We already see the benefits of such implementation. Because of NationA's MAD sabre rattling, NationB is fully justified in doing whatever it takes to maintain the full integrity and functioning of our military in order to deter NationA's rampant aggression. While NationA's moral code precludes it from killing civilians, it does NOT preclude it from committing the following atrocities, many of which constitute genocide and some of which NationA has already prepared to execute via "liberation":
- forced enslavement (NationA has drafted its entire populace!!)
- forced sterilization
- forced relocation
- mass imprisonment
The only way to guarantee that NationB is free from any genocidal intentions NationA may harbor is to win this war. NationB aims to exploit the central weakness in NationA's national security, that being its moral position, which has made it vulnerable to a nuclear first-strike and subsequent occupation of its capital. Our own generously compensated civilians, the brave volunteers whom have embedded themselves into our military in what we have named "Operation: Angels in our Midst" (all of whom will be tranquilized in order to minimize disruption to operations), become our greatest weapon against NationA's rapacious warmongering.
NationA has refused to surrender, and has thus subjected its capital(s) to summary annihilation. NationB's plan remains unchanged. Despite its vaunted moral position, NationA's governing structure is morally bankrupt and deserves to lose this war.
Allow me now to offer my take on PRO's bold letter points as I now attempt to prove why I believe Nation A has won this war.
First, the small stuff:
I agree to all except for #3
Mass conscription does in fact reduce the risk of civilian casualties. It also offers a bold counter -when combined with the Liberation Act- to work around human-shields. Mass conscription exploits the fact that "civilian" is a legal and not a moral term.
NationA does NOT have a viable MAD strategy
Actually we do - its called Nation Z. And though Nation Z might appear as completely fabricated with no real-world meaning, one may find an actual real-life example in the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. Japan (like Nation A) fights with a moral rule set in that it is constitutionally forbidden from ever again possesing a large military. This moral position however, is made possible by a USA (Nation Z) nuclear umbrella.
The Constitution has been suspended
All the more reason why Nation B's policies are unsustainable in a country where sovereignty rests with the people. Pro may forcibly shut down his democratic system, but he can never erase that foundation; Only a popular revolution or extreme national crisis can do that. Thus far PRO hasn't proved he has either.
Martial law ... destroys every guarantee of the Constitution
But is only sustainable by proving extreme exisitianal threats to the consent (or compliance) of the govern. Which was my point of citing the Posse Comitatus - which stipulated only through an act of congress can military force usually be used for police action. In contrast, PRO has attempted to declare martial law through decree alone, and all without a convincing mandate that would realistically persuade the country to follow his lead. Very revealingly, this war/scenario had lacked a starting rationale.
the theatre of active military operations, where war really prevails.
An opinion. But If you belong to the Von Kreig school of warfare, we can believe war is the extension of politics by other means.
it (military) is allowed to govern by martial rule
I agree. PRO's laws do not prevent him from declaring martial law. The problem here is that PRO has never proved that he had the political capital to get away with martial law. As I have attempted to argue since my closing remarks in R3, Nation B has never provided a convincing justification to its people that can sustain its wartime policies. This is where a moral argument becomes a decisive advantage.
We are at war, to be precise nuclear war.
Nuclear warfare has never occurred in our history. Nobody knows for sure what will happen - it's all still theory. However, though I believe PRO is right to presume that there is no "judicial review process" involved in the instantaneous decision to use nuclear weapons, he is wrong to believe that there is no arbitration. The fame two-man rule on the use of nuclear weapons proves me to be correct -http://en.wikipedia.org...-. where my biggest gripe with Nation B's military strategy is that I don't believe PRO has ever proved that his country has the will to fight. PRO must prove to us why a rational sentient would turn the nuclear keys for him.
We are thus fully legally and morally justified in enacting martial law.
It is entirely revealing to the meaning of the resolution (morality is untenable) that PRO has had to morally justify his actions in order to wage this war.
NationB aims to exploit the central weakness in NationA's national security, that being its moral position,
Here PRO adopts a fake moral clause as a military strategy, proving that morality offers a real military advantage.
our generously compensated civilians,.. in what have named "Operation: Angels in our Midst."
^^And there it is in bold lettering! ;)
All else being the same, War without morality (or political interference) is impossible.
Absolute war is impossible.
All else being the same, the first thing we must adopt is morality (or a clause) to hardened our resolve.
All along Nation B had never proved (and still hasn't proved) it had the will to fight this war in the first place. Morally inclined or not, why would someone willingly strap a nuclear bomb to their backs or consent to be a human shield? At least muslim jihadists justify this through religious fervor, Nation B has nothing. This war began without any rationale whatsoever, yet Nation A was able to invent a political calculus due to the threat of nuclear oblivion and the aggressive stance PRO took towards invading our country. In contrast, we have bankrupted Nation B's will to fight by using political coercion (formal cease-fire, Liberation Acts) and have taken advantage of Nation B policies that are not sustainable in democratic countries or rationally inclined beings. The only means left for PRO to wage this war is to fabricate lies or use force against his population- which will not be sustainable in the long run.
Morality has made war difficult for me, but for PRO, the lack of has made it impossible.
1) Throughout this debate, CON has repeatedly argued from an exceptionally inane and obviously false stance, that to CON, nuclear war does not constitute extenuating circumstances. I quote him several times below:
"Only a... extreme national crisis can [suspend the Constitution]. Thus far PRO hasn't proved he has either."
"PRO has never proved that he had the political capital to get away with martial law....Nation B has never provided a convincing justification to its people that can sustain its wartime policies."
"I don't believe PRO has ever proved that his country has the will to fight."
"All along Nation B had never proved (and still hasn't proved) it had the will to fight this war in the first place."
Apparently, to CON, MAD and nuclear warfare does not provide enough justification for mobilization to war; CON thinks that NationB's populace does not care for its own lives. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to even entertain such a notion. Threat of losing a nuclear war is more than enough justification for NationB to enact martial law and to organize our polity to defend against this threat. Furthermore, CON does not contest that NationA is still capable of genocide even with their moral position. It's imperative for NationB's survival to win this war and thereby prevent NationA from committing such acts.
2) CON asserts that "Mass conscription does in fact reduce the risk of civilian casualties," but why would NationB care about a reduction in NationA civilian casualties? We do not possess NationA's moral straitjacket position...we only care about ending this war with as few NationB casualties as possible.
3) CON: "Actually we do [possess a MAD capability] - its called Nation Z."
Here CON clarifies what NationZ would look like...it's a carbon copy of NationB. I call BS on NationA's supposed "ally" NationZ, because this "ally" possesses the same value system of NationB, not NationA - NationZ has completely renounced NationA's moral position. I thereby deem NationZ a splinter faction in NationA's failed political structure, a rebellious faction that has completely rejected NationA's politics and has embraced NationB's culture and way of life, one that does not adhere to NationA's moral straitjacket. Furthermore, NationZ also apparently has ALL of NationA's nuclear arsenal, implying that any and all means of self-defense also were "transferred" to NationZ, thereby leaving NationA completely defenseless. This makes sense, after all, what need would a society that shuns killing have with an organization (the military) that trains to kill?
With our new, amoral ally, NationZ, we call upon NationA's surrender. If they don't, we will occupy their defenseless capital and win this war, regardless of their dissent.
4) PRO: "We are thus fully legally and morally justified in enacting martial law."
CON: "It is entirely revealing to the meaning of the resolution (morality is untenable) that PRO has had to morally justify his actions in order to wage this war."
OK, I will recant the underlined, that was an overzealous rebuttal to a statement that CON made that apparently was designed to entrap PRO, and it worked. What matters is that we are legally justified in enacting martial law.
5) CON: "Here PRO adopts a fake moral clause as a military strategy, proving that morality offers a real military advantage."
CON's statement is contradictory...a "fake moral clause" is not a moral clause.
6) CON: "All else being the same, War without morality (or political interference) is impossible. "
"Absolute war is impossible."
With respect to CON's above allusions to Clausewitz, he was clear that war can be separated from morality/political influence, and each can be analyzed separately. While Clausewitz did not deem it realistic to do so, this scenario is also not realistic, and so such assertions citing lack of realism have no relevance to this debate.
I thank Jingle_Bombs for engaging in this challenging debate, good game. Regardless of what you, the reader, think of the outcome of this debate, I want to note some observations:
1) The specific moral position outlined in this debate essentially robbed NationA's ability to prosecute a war, while also allowing for NationA to commit genocidal atrocities, making NationA a threat regardless of their inability to wage war. CON had to think up some very creative scenarios (subversion, justification, and "NationZ") to try to mitigate the effects of this morality's debilitating effects upon the act of warfare, whereas NationB stuck with a rather straightforward nuclear strategy throughout this exercise.
2) I agree with CON that the lack of knowledge of exactly what caused this war makes the scenario hard to parse in regards to motivation for both sides.
3) REMINDER: This is a no scoring debate, and please post comments to this forum: http://www.debate.org...
Thank you for reading this debate. =)
Apparently, to CON, MAD and nuclear warfare does not provide enough justification for mobilization to war
Actually, nuclear weapons and MAD have historically been used to deter war. For instance, why did the US and USSR never declare war during the Cold War?
CON thinks that NationB's populace does not care for its own lives
Actually I think they do. Which is why I see no reason to believe why they would consent to human shields, martial law, or kamikaze raids with nuclear armed transports.
Threat of losing a nuclear war is more than enough justification for NationB to enact martial law
Two problems here:
1) CON has never threatened to initiate a nuclear war; only to retaliate against it.
2) Nation B can no longer guarantee the survival of its people in a nuclear exchange due to the possibility of MAD, which was made possible by Nation Z's nuclear umbrella, and CON's threat to resort to MAD anyway.
CON does not contest that NationA is still capable of genocide even with their moral position.
Actually I implied that I did. Which is why I said PRO's adopted moral argument was a "fake" one.
CON's statement is contradictory...a "fake moral clause" is not a moral clause.
Which is why Nation B doesn't have one.
why would NationB care about a reduction in NationA civilian casualties?
They don't. Nation A does. Chances of civilian deaths are statistically lower if most or all of the population is enlisted in the military.
CON clarifies what NationZ would look like...it's a carbon copy of NationB.
Hardly. Nation Z was founded by using democratic methods, the consent of Congress, and the actual moral & security reasoning that it was absolutely necessary in order to defend the country of Nation A and save the lives of its citizens (hence a collective security agreement). In contrast, Nation B's govt has ruled through decree, suspended the constitution, freed criminals, and has forced ordinary people into human shields in order to fight an offensive war.
NationZ also apparently has ALL of NationA's nuclear arsenal
I actually only gave them 50% (see R2). Enough for a MAD deterrent.
What matters is that we are legally justified in enacting martial law.
No because Nation B lacks the political capital to back it up.
Clausewitz was clear that war can be separated from morality/political influence
Yet he considered that a "logical fantasy" because those who fight will always have political motivations http://en.wikipedia.org...
this scenario is also not realistic, and so such assertions citing lack of realism have no relevance to this debate.
Actually it does. If absolute war is not possible in real life, and still not provable even in a fantasy scenario, what does that say then about our theory of war that says it must be fought without moral restraint?
allowing for NationA to commit genocidal atrocities
This makes no sense at all. And is why I said only "lies and force" against his population could save PRO now.
Here's the UN definition of Genocide: http://www.un.org...
"any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethical, racial or
religious, group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."
Whereas none of the legislative laws & military tactics of Nation A were ever forced - everything was voted on by emergency sessions of Congress. At no point in this scenario, did CON ever threaten "to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethical, racial or religious, group." In fact, the debate rules forbade me from even the possibility of doing so. Every action done by CON was an attempt to save civilian lives. The only questionable tactics CON ever presented was an all-out draft and the possibility of temporary detaining civilians in the event they could not flee the country. This was an attempt to save civilians by changing their legal definitions into something else. The legality of temporary detention can be found in FDR's internment of Japanese citizens.
In contrast, PRO has ruled through decree and martial law, threaten the people of Nation A with nuclear annihilation, and forced his civilian population into human shields. CON for his part, formally offered a cease-fire. Thus, if anyone is to be convicted of genocide and instigating violence, its the tyrannical government of Nation B.
Nation B has never proved the will to fight or that it could sustain its policies in a democratic country. PRO has no nuclear option due to MAD; made possible by Nation Z and CON's reserved ability to "break the rules" in order to prove that Nation B could not win this war militarily. I believe Nation A has won this conflict.
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