The Instigator
Fairness
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Oromagi
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

America can get conquered

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/24/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 596 times Debate No: 90141
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

Fairness

Con

I believe the United States can't get conquered. Being that I have read a few debates, definitions seem important cause a few people will literally win a debate by providing their own definitions and thoughts that was not considered before creating the debate.

United States = North American country bordering Mexico and Canada.

Can't = Not having the ability to do something.

Conquer = to take control of (a country, city, etc.) through the use of force

The person that accepts will argue that the United States can get conquered.

No alien invaders, I'm talking about other powers residing on Earth.

Round one is for acceptance.
Oromagi

Pro

I"ll accept that debate and let me begin by complimenting the instigator on selecting a fresh and fascinating topic.

There is little hard evidence to sustain either supposition but there are always vulnerabilities to consider and the story of every nation must suffer some manner of denouement.

Certainly, history shows that a belief in one"s own invulnerability is a fatal hubris sufficient enough to provoke collapse. Confidence must be tempered with vigilance; a nation alert to potential threat is better prepared to survive the unexpected.

I look forward to Con"s arguments supporting the notion of an unconquerable United States.
Debate Round No. 1
Fairness

Con

Thank you for accepting.

There are at least four main reasons I feel the United States is to much for any one nation or even a group of nations to conquer.

Location.

The United States is very, very far from other major powers in the world. A successful invasion into the United States will require vast amount of resources and manpower to travel across the oceans, that right now no nation on the planet has in proper equivalents to successfully make that adventure.

American technology and war machine.

The United States' top tier technology would easily spot an invasion force of such size coming and America's armed forces would stop that invasion force from reaching American soil. As it stands right now, the US navy is larger then any one nation's navy easily. It is even larger than multiple major powers combined. So with America's location in the world and their military strength it would make any invaders efforts hopeless to compete and defeat the American navy and sustain their supply lines from such distances.

Size.

As the reason Russia is so difficult to conquer, so is the United States. Many of the world's major powers is equivalent in size to US states. Even to the nations that are larger, America's size is simply to large to conquer when adding the previous and following reasons for an unconquerable United States.

Population and guns.

Like size, the United States just has to many people.

In 2011, it was reported that gun owners outnumbered hunters by 5 to 1, and there were estimated that there is 13.7 million hunters in the United States. That is larger than any standing army in the world. There is an additional 70-80 million more gun owners. Then there is the militarized police force of 865,000.

Allies and nuclear weapons.

The United States has a vast amount of allies both big and small powers and a vast arsenal of nuclear weapons in their nuclear triad. These two reasons can be excluded for sake of debate.

http://cnsnews.com...

https://en.wikipedia.org...
Oromagi

Pro

The advantages advanced by Con (size, isolation, technology, powerful alliances, a well-armed populace) have been foundational elements to US defense since 1776 and remain essential, but have nevertheless failed to preclude the possibility of existential threats to America (i.e. Bladensburg, Fredericksburg, Pearl Harbor, October Missile Crisis, 9/11, etc.).
Clearly then, there is more to the notion of an unconquerable America than merely preventing full-scale invasion.

Western democracies conquered the USSR without invasion. The four largest empires in history (British, Mongol, Russian, Spanish) were conquered by internal division rather than by invaders from without. More Romans were killed by Romans then died under a barbarian sword just as an American today is far more likely to be killed by a fellow citizen then a foreigner. Nations are vanquished more by suicide than murder.

American Foreign Policy confirms this inasmuch as Wikipedia lists US participation in 102 wars, none of which can be said to have represented an attempt by non-Americans to permanently absorb a US state in part or in whole, but all of which were seen as a sufficient threat to US security to warrant armed response. [1]

Certainly all of the advantages put forward by Con are present deterrents against invasion, but that"s not the same thing as guarantees of future security. All of these defenses have potential vulnerabilities, potential breaches.

For example, Con posits that the US "is very, very far from other major powers" but the world is a much smaller place than it used to be. The oceans did not insulate us from foreign attacks on 9/11, our distance from China did not prevent a cyber intelligence "Pearl Harbor" last year. [2]. Nuclear subs and ICBMs make possible the destruction of cities in hours without overseas transfer of materiel.

Likewise, technological advantages, while vital, are not guarantees of safety. Each innovation forces adaptation in the opposition, escalating variables to new heights of uncertainty. Early adoption of Springfield rifles for example, gave Union armies superior accuracy and range but Union generals were slower to appreciate the tactical advantages such weapons offered entrenched defensive lines with catastrophic results. [3]

Size is an important economic advantage, but less certain strategically. In war, maintaining the shorter interior lines of communication and transportation along a battlefront confers an important advantage that larger nations sometimes struggle to uphold. Russia"s size was used to powerful effect against Napoleon and Hitler but those same distances severely hampered Russian defenses against the Japanese in 1905 and the Allied occupation of Siberia in 1919.

A well-armed populace can sometimes slow down invaders, but are seldom as effective as one might expect. After all, 26 million Iraqi civilians were about as well armed in 2003 [4] as the US civilian population and the American invaders were frequently attacked by civilians but 130,000 ground troops took the capital nevertheless and toppled the government in 5 weeks. Militias tend to pursue agendas separate from the common defense that can do more harm than good. Texas militias might defend their borders stiffly but if the East Coast was invaded they might simply secede, taking men and materiel away from the federal cause.

Alliances likewise depend on common interest and are highly situational. Any full-scale attack on the US would necessarily be preceded by a major shift in the geopolitical landscape. The murder-suicide threat of nuclear weapons is an effective deterrent but I"m not sure unconquered counts for much post-extinction. Consider that the current GOP front runner has suggested the use of nuclear strikes against ISIS targets in Syria. [5]. How much less essential might America seem after such incaution? How quickly might our network of alliances crumble if we contaminated Israel or Turkey with radiation?

I think Con"s confidence relies too heavily on 20th (even 19th) Century conceptions and has failed to consider the challenges of the 21st Century.

ASYMMETRIC WARFARE

Con"s vision of conquest seems confined to a mass combined arms invasion. I think we can both agree that a D-Day type scenario is fairly unlikely in the near term but then successful invasions are usually the endgame, the consequence of decades or centuries of bad policy. More worrisome at present is the difficulty of containing non-traditional attacks from rogue states, terrorist organizations, even individual criminals. At present, even the most spectacular of terrorist attacks would not qualify as conquest but they can extract a price well out of proportion to the cost of the attack and the collective effect can be profound. The most effective example was probably 9/11, when al-Qaeda was able to extract an estimated $3.3 trillion dollar loss from the US at the price of $500,000- a 6,600,000:1 ratio. [6]. Survivable by itself, how many terrorist attacks at what frequency could the US sustain before permanently damaging the nation"s economy and societal well-being? We can continue to invest in prevention but prevention is also a costly drag on productivity (not to mention liberty). The worst-case scenario would likely be the detonation of some type of WMD at scales that kill tens of thousands and render whole cities uninhabitable. Even only one or two of such attacks might cause profound changes to the American psyche, economy, and quality of life.

HI-TECH

Con is correct to consider US technological aptitude as a bulwark against her enemies but every innovation is followed by a period of unintended consequence and adaptation, increasing uncertainty in the battlefield. Our spy satellites and communications networks are incredible intelligence tools but vulnerable. If solar flares or a Kessler cascade event were to wipe out large portions of that network in the space of an hour, could we adapt? How effective are other nation"s anti-satellite tech? Hard to say.

Furthermore, the internet itself represents a vulnerability as increased interconnectedness makes it increasingly difficult to isolate strategic targets. Israel and the US successfully destroyed a fifth of Iran"s nuclear centrifuges by cyberattack. To what degree US infrastructure (power plants, dams, missile silos,etc) is vulnerable is entirely unknown at present, but we can be certain that many foreign actors are well motivated to seek out exploitable weaknesses.

It's clear that AI and robotics will play important roles in the next generation of weapons. Drones are already rapidly replacing pilots on missions in Afghanistan and Syria. We are already engaged in a new arms race which will require a massive new investment over the next few decades. Are we prepared to keep pace with emerging economies or else lose our edge?

Traditionally, control of the high ground confers one of the most important tactical advantages and the new high ground that must be held is in space. But the US is scaling back investment in space technology and exploration while China is doubling down. [7]

FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENCY

Another important vulnerability that will require a major new investment in the coming years is our dependence on oil. In 2008, the US military consumed 14.7 million gallons of oil per day, while the US only produced 9.3 million gallons. In a war in which foreign oil supplies might be threatened or denied and in which the price of oil would certainly skyrocket, the US"s powerful war machine might grind to a halt or force new battlefields for control of oil supplies. In the coming years we need to find a way to make aircraft, tanks, battleships, transports run just as effectively on electric and nuclear power sources.

Indeed, our entire energy infrastructure must upgrade to more sustainable sources if the US is to escape the looming threat of oil scarcity.

GLOBAL WARMING

Relatedly, global warming is already introducing new strategic variables into the strategic landscape. Climatologists predict major geopolitical changes over the coming decades in response to change in climate patterns. Food and water shortages may damage economies, force migrations, and escalate tensions. The Syrian Civil War was preceded by 5 years of drought, for example. [9] Agricultural conditions in northern climes like Russia and Canada will likely improve while farms in US southern states decline. Sea level rises might provoke mass population shifts to higher ground. How these variables might impact the US"s long term security is impossible to say, but President Obama considers climate change the number one threat to American security and the Pentagon agrees. [9]

CIVIL WAR

The most important threat to US integrity came not from without but from within. While the possibility of internal division seems remote at present, the kernel of secession is intrinsic to the American character. This month, 22 GOP conventions in Texas voiced support for that state"s succession from the Union in their platforms. [10]. The rise of demagogues like Trump widen the lines of political fracture within our nation. The potential for future internal disruptions to conquer our nation from within can't be entirely dismissed.

[1]https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
[2]http://www.latimes.com...
[3]https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
[4]http://m.csmonitor.com...
[5]http://fortune.com...
[6]http://www.nytimes.com...
[7]http://spacenews.com...
[8]http://m.usni.org...
[9]http://m.washingtontimes.com...
[10]https://www.washingtonpost.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Fairness

Con

Pro's claim that western democracies conquered the USSR is false. Internal troubles done in the Soviets, it also doesn't coincide with the definition of conquer "to take control of (a country, city, etc.) through the use of force" western democracies didn't defeat the Soviets, the Soviets defeated the Soviets.

Rather the United States can or can't beat itself has nothing to do with rather or not Al Qaeda, Russia, China, the Vatican City ect can. I never said that America is safe from war or external threats. So when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Al Qaeda attacked New York, the Pentagon, and an empty field, when China attacked in the cyber world. That doesn't mean that they can conquer the United States by what would be required to conquer the United States.

Nuclear weapons would be used and the following nuclear winter and an new extinction event would negate every side's achievements up to the point before nuclear weapons were used. That would still leave America has unconquered. Size and manpower were the reason why the Soviets were not conquered by the Germans. The Russo-Japanese War was a war fought outside of Russia's national boundaries and Japan was not attempting conquest of Russia but Korea and Manchuria. The Siberian occupation failed to achieve what it was meant to. None of these is relevant to America's surviveability.

Apparently not even close to being as well armed as Americans. From your source he was going to use a gun that was over 100 years old. It also says that Iraqis were dusting off corroded weapons. The American population is over 2x that number + 13 million hunters I even see tanks parked owned by citizens, there are no federal laws against the ownership of flamethrowers. Every single one of them highly patriotic whereas Iraqis were questionable allegiance to their government The Iraqi insurgency, however, was widespread and caused more American lives and resources then the war in Afghanistan.

The advantages that has protected the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries will ensure American sovereignty for centuries more. ASYMMETRIC WARFARE will not conquer the United States, it can defeat American efforts overseas but its not going to conquer America.

The United States has its own space fighter and has plans for Mars, being the nation with a robot traveling the planet's service. China's manned mission to the Moon... The world is playing catch up. Canada is top 3 in largest oil reserves, by 2020 the United States is to be one of the biggest producers. America's sources of oil is global to prevent what happened in the 1970s

As a lot of the wars fought by the United States a lot of them took place against other powers in North America, the United States conquered a lot of them which became states.

Looking at the Trump article, he said "I"m never going to rule anything out"I wouldn"t want to say. Even if I wasn"t, I wouldn"t want to tell you that because at a minimum, I want them to think maybe we would use them,"

A lot of your response speaks on the vulnerabilities of deterrents that hasn't helped America from being totally safe but it doesn't help you with proving that America can be conquered. Each of these deterrents has made conquest of nations very difficult and even impossible for even the most powerful of nations.

Russia couldn't be conquered by the Germans cause of sheer size and population. This is the same for China. However, the Mongols conquered them but they couldn't conquer Japan whom were protected by the oceans. Britain hasn't be conquered cause of their location and technology.. The United States has all the advantages magnified.

The United States has over 24 formal allies, nuclear weapons, the largest military in the world, are ahead of the world in space, one of the most populace nations in the world, the most armed nation in the world, extremely far from other nations whom could pose a threat to the United States if they were to border us. The United States has their drones but they are also creating other robots as well.

https://www.youtube.com...
http://www.npr.org...
http://www.bloomberg.com...
http://www.theweek.co.uk...
Oromagi

Pro

"Rather the United States can or can't beat itself has nothing to do with rather or not Al Qaeda, Russia, China, the Vatican City ect can. I never said that America is safe from war or external threats. So when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Al Qaeda attacked New York, the Pentagon, and an empty field, when China attacked in the cyber world. That doesn't mean that they can conquer the United States by what would be required to conquer the United States."

The question under discussion is whether or not there are rational scenarios in which the conquest of the US might be realized. The future is not knowable, of course, but are there a combination of circumstances that might sufficiently weaken the US and/or strengthen US rivals by which conquest would be made more likely attempted and more likely to succeed? The answer must always be always be yes if the US is to actively seek and counter any dynamic that might erode US security. The US was not conquered in WW2 but that doesn't mean that the US was unconquerable. Consider that popular opinion in 1939 was very much opposed to military intervention against Axis expansion (67% of men, 74% of women not one Roper poll)[1]. Pearl Harbor and Operation Barbarossa changed that, but those were strategic mistakes made by the Axis entirely out of US control. If the Axis had taken the time to consolidate holdings in Europe and Asia and guarantee Soviet neutrality or complicity, the US would have been a very likely and more vulnerable target. Indeed, Hitler understood as early as 1828 that war with the US was inevitable and victory meant bombers over New York City. [2]. If the US had remained complacent behind oceans and strong defenses, the peril of a conquered America, while not inevitable, would have become a real possibility. Similarly, my thesis is that in the 21st century there are realistic scenarios by which the US, through bad luck or bad policy or even sheer complacency along the lines demonstrated by Con, might be vulnerable to invasion.

###

"Nuclear weapons would be used and the following nuclear winter and an new extinction event would negate every side's achievements up to the point before nuclear weapons were used. That would still leave America has unconquered. "

To say that humanity and all its works could be extinct and yet the US remain somehow unconquered is strangelovian ideology without application to the realpolitik. Let"s assume that every American dead is a worse outcome for the US than foreign occupation, please.

###

" Size and manpower were the reason why the Soviets were not conquered by the Germans".. None of these is relevant to America's surviveability."

Believe so at America"s peril. Overwhelming geographic and demographic superiority did not immunize from conquest Western Rome nor the Abbasid Caliphate nor the Jin Dynasty.

###

"Apparently not even close to being as well as Americans. From your source he was going to use a gun that was over 100 years old. "

Let"s not let anecdote obscure the facts. Ownership of automatic weapons was and remains legal in Iraq and the most ubiquitous weapon owned was and is the AK-47. Before the war, majority Ba'athists generally received a government issued AK-47s and young men were trained to use them. After the invasion, the US tried to limit AK ownership to one per household with limited success. [3] Even as Baghdad fell, the overwhelming majority of loyalist gun owners did not come to the defense of their city and those that did offered scant resistance to the invaders.

###

"American population is over 2x that number + 13 million hunters I even see tanks parked owned by citizens, there are no federal laws against the ownership of flamethrowers. Every single one of them highly patriotic"."

Really? That"s quite a claim. The Bundys claim to be patriotic but unlawfully seized US Territory and preach armed resistance against the government. Can you offer evidence to prove that every American gun owner is "highly patriotic."

###

"whereas Iraqis were questionable allegiance to their government The Iraqi insurgency, however, was widespread and caused more American lives and resources""

And yet were conquered.

###

"The advantages that has protected the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries will ensure American sovereignty for centuries more. "

Again, believe so at America"s peril. I say the lesson of history is adapt or die.

###

"ASYMMETRIC WARFARE will not conquer the United States, it can defeat American efforts overseas but its not going to conquer America."

Prove it. Remember the point of 9/11, according to bin Laden, was to draw the US into multiple costly, unwinnable wars. He did not look for victory so much as generations of unsustainable sapping of US resources and for 15 years that plan has proved fairly successful. Does Con believe there is no limit to the number of conflicts the US can sustain without faltering?

###

"The United States has its own space fighter and has plans for Mars, being the nation with a robot traveling the planet's service. China's manned mission to the Moon... The world is playing catch up. "

Agreed, the world is catching up and the US will need to greatly increase its spending to maintain present advantage.

###

"Canada is top 3 in largest oil reserves, by 2020 the United States is to be one of the biggest producers. America's sources of oil is global to prevent what happened in the 1970s"

90% of Canadian oil is in highly inefficient tar sands, expensive to extract, and ruinous to the environment, and you are assuming Canada will always remain a US ally, but I think you missed the larger point. We need to get away from using oil before scarcity makes our military and society unsustainable, that means a major technological and economic shift and the US has already been sluggish compared to other nations.

###

"As a lot of the wars fought by the United States a lot of them took place against other powers in North America, the United States conquered a lot of them which became states."

The great size of America didn"t protect them from invasion? I thought Con said it would.

###

"Looking at the Trump article, he said "I"m never going to rule anything out"I wouldn"t want to say. Even if I wasn"t, I wouldn"t want to tell you that because at a minimum, I want them to think maybe we would use them,""

Yup. So once Trump convinces the world that the US might use nukes, does Con think the US will gain friends and lose enemies or gain enemies and lose friends? Put yourself in the place of the nukee rather than than the nuker and ask the same question.

###

"A lot of your response speaks on the vulnerabilities of deterrents that hasn't helped America from being totally safe but it doesn't help you with proving that America can be conquered. Each of these deterrents has made conquest of nations very difficult and even impossible for even the most powerful of nations."

And yet there are no immortal nation-states. Nations rise and fall, usually more by their own stupidity then for lack of strategic
advantage.

###

"Russia couldn't be conquered by the Germans cause of sheer size and population. "

And Hitler"s obsession with Stalingrad, and refusals to retreat, and El-Alamein, and winter. I don"t think most historians would say that Russian victory was inevitable in spite of size and population.

###

"This is the same for China. However, the Mongols conquered them but they couldn't conquer Japan whom were protected by the oceans. "

Weren"t those oceans still there when the US conquered Japan in 1945?

###

"Britain hasn't be conquered cause of their location and technology.. "

So William the Conqueror was misnamed, then?

###

"The United States has over 24 formal allies, nuclear weapons, the largest military in the world, are ahead of the world in space, one of the most populace nations in the world, the most armed nation in the world, extremely far from other nations whom could pose a threat to the United States if they were to border us. The United States has their drones but they are also creating other robots as well."

All great advantages, agreed. Even the greatest advantages do little good for a nation that rests confident on laurels, refusing to counter new threats or adapt to new dynamics. Entropy alone will do in the greatest of nations given time. If the US is to remain unconquered, we must never buy into the myth of unconquerability.

###

"Pro's claim that western democracies conquered the USSR is false. Internal troubles done in the Soviets, it also doesn't coincide with the definition of conquer "to take control of (a country, city, etc.) through the use of force" western democracies didn't defeat the Soviets, the Soviets defeated the Soviets."

Please note, I think Con"s objection to the word "conquered" here is fair, since Western states did not occupy Soviet territory after their Cold War victory. Substitute in the word "vanquished." The USSR was conquered by the Russian people although Western competition and warfare by proxy certainly were important elements in that downfall.

I look forward to Con"s concluding remarks.

[1]http://web.mit.edu...
[2]http://historynewsnetwork.org...
[3]http://www.nytimes.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Fairness

Con

"The US was not conquered in WW2 but that doesn't mean that the US was unconquerable. "

The US was certainly, most definitely unconquerable at the time. Barbarossa had nothing to do with American willingness to go to war in 1941, it was all Pearl Harbor. Japan, only other power apart from the British Empire, had American territory. Their military generals and admirals knew invasion wasn't possible, let alone conquest.

How old do you think Hitler was? IF Hitler was born in 1828... He'd be over 110 years old by the time Germany invades Poland. Furthermore, if you think long range bombers over New York would submit the United States to German conquest then I don't think we should ever debate again.

Throughout American history, invasion has always been a threat, conquest of the United States, even when it was a minor power, was shown way to difficult and costly to be realized.

Germany developed multiple plans for invading the United States, it was realized for what it was.. unachievable. The British Empire during the American Revolutionary War was unachievable for the same reasons as I've stated, patriotic Americans, guns, oceans, geographic location, and allies.

During the War of 1812, a fractured United States was shown to be to difficult and costly to see it carved up.

A nuclear armageddon is no good thing but that would leave America as unconquerable.

Rome, Abbasid Caliphate, Jin Dynasty, Iraq, Japan, Germany, China, Russia... Not America.

Your own source of evidence spoke of Iraqis dusting off corroded weapons dating back to the 1890s. Iraq under Saddam was no freedom safe haven. Human right abuses to the point of using WMDs, Iraq lost multiple wars ect, the people living there isn't as patriotic as say... A nation that is known as the land of the free, home of the brave, mightiest nation in the world ect. Bundys' claim of patriotism is towards the United States, not the United States government.

You talk like America doesn't adapt and just stays the same.

Prove that tactics of asymmetric warefare can bring the United States under the flag of its invader... The United States can lose a war, abroad. The United States has never lost a war on its own soil. America is spending multiple times more then others, like the YouTube video showed, American robotics is alive and well, America has use to laser weapons and railguns.

You are also talking present, before you were talking about the past and talking future scenarios against the United States and don't think that technology won't bring forth cheaper methods of extracting oil? The United States will also be the largest producer of oil by the end of the decade.

Seriously?... ""As a lot of the wars fought by the United States a lot of them took place against other powers in North America, the United States conquered a lot of them which became states."

The great size of America didn"t protect them from invasion? I thought Con said it would."

Grabbing at straws are you? Sharing a land border leaves the risk of invasion no matter ones size. Also seem to forget that America wasn't conquered though.

Russia also claims the right to use them, who do you suppose the world will side with? The nation that threatened Europe and the world with tyranny, sided with aggressive nations whom fought wars conquest, killed millions of their own, buddies with the nation laying claim to the Pacific, threatening to build and use nuclear weapons on the US, South Korea ect.. Or, the nation that fought beside them, threatened nuclear holocaust to protect their allies, sent billions of dollars in aid? Tough one huh?

"And yet there are no immortal nation-states." No one can prove or disprove that.

Germany tried formulating plans for invasion of the United States, admitted it unrealistic, this was realized by all whom thought about it.

https://en.wikipedia.org...

https://en.wikipedia.org...

https://en.wikipedia.org...

America's adaptation to the what is known as nuclear triad prevented the Soviets from attempting any such aggression towards the United States or its European allies.

Russian size and population was going to prevent German conquest of Russia. Even if Russia is conquerable doesn't mean the United States whom shares the advantages of size and population as well as the most armed population with high number of patriots, geographic location and allies is.

To end on Trump, if he becomes president and harms relations with our allies, 4-8 years brings anew and relations very likely much more than not that those relations would be repaired.

I thank you for a fun debate, good day.
Oromagi

Pro

CON:"The US was certainly, most definitely unconquerable at the time[1941]"

PRO: Con asserts that even if the Axis had held their fire until Europe and China were conquered, even if the USSR had been neutralized, the US would have remained unconquerable. We have no way of proving otherwise, of course, but Axis victory has consistently been one of the most revisited "what if"s" in alternative history for good reason. What if, for example, Werner Von Braun, the father of rocket science, had remained a Nazi developing intermediate and intercontinental ballistics for the Axis? If the US had remained out of the war, would the Manhattan Project have developed an atomic bomb first? Not likely. If by, say, 1947, the Axis had the sole capacity to nuke the eastern seaboard and American fleets (a reasonable enough hypothetical if the US had not joined the war), would the US still seem unconquerable?

CON: "If Hitler was born in 1828""

PRO: Typo. The referenced material documents Hitler writing about bombing New York City in 1928.

CON: Throughout American history, invasion has always been a threat, conquest of the United States, even when it was a minor power, was shown way to difficult and costly to be realized.

PRO: Difficult and costly, yes, but that"s not the same bar as unconquerable. Less likely scenarios have succeeded, after all- Alexander in Persia, Cortes in Mexico.

CON:"The British Empire during the American Revolutionary War was unachievable for the same reasons as I've stated, patriotic Americans, guns, oceans, geographic location, and allies."

PRO: French intervention in 1778 was critical to American independence and hardly inevitable. France lost more combatants and spent more money in the struggle than the colonies, made mass invasion impossible for the British, and forced the Surrender at Yorktown. Louis XVI"s chief military and economic advisors were against intervention and the King was skeptical in spite of popular support for war. If France had rebuffed American appeals, the revolution"s failure would have been one very possible outcome. [1]

CON: "A nuclear armageddon is no good thing but that would leave America as unconquerable."

PRO: Be sure to tell that to the Roach King when his army arrives.

CON:"Rome, Abbasid Caliphate, Jin Dynasty, Iraq, Japan, Germany, China, Russia... Not America."

PRO: The basic tenant of the blind faith that is American exceptionalism. Americans are just as vulnerable to bad policy and geopolitical shift as any other nation of peoples. I recommend Barbara Tuchman"s "The March of Folly" for a detailed account of nation states, including the US, refusing to learn the lessons of history.

CON:"Your own source of evidence spoke of Iraqis dusting off corroded weapons dating back to the 1890s."

PRO: Again, a single anecdote does not refute the fact that Iraqi civilians were well armed in 2003 and had cause to resist invasion but the majority of civilians chose not to: a well-armed population is not necessarily unconquerable.

CON: "Iraq under Saddam was no freedom safe haven. Human right abuses to the point of using WMDs, Iraq lost multiple wars ect, the people living there isn't as patriotic as say... A nation that is known as the land of the free, home of the brave, mightiest nation in the world ect."

PRO:"Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it." -G. B. Shaw

CON: You talk like America doesn't adapt and just stays the same.

PRO: In fact, I"d go so far as to say that the US is one of the most adaptive societies in human history. However, the US has also always maintained a countervailing conservatism destructive to adaptivity that seems to be enjoying a period of ascendancy in politics. The federal govt. invests today half the share of GDP in research and development that it did in 1988. [2] The 2012 Program for International student assessment ranked the US 36th in mathematics, 28th in science while China continued to boast first place in both. [3]. NASA"s 2015 budget is half of what we spent (adjusted $) 50 years ago. [4]. Many nations are ahead of the US when it comes to adapting to renewable energy and autonomous vehicles. The US may have contributed more than any other nation to the development of the Internet, but now lags behind 30 other nations in internet speed. [5]. There are good reasons to suspect that the US is losing technological advantage.

CON: "Prove that tactics of asymmetric warefare can bring the United States under the flag of its invader."

PRO: Con knows that there"s no proof of future events but we can learn from history: the Arab uprising against the Ottoman Empire, the Irish War for Independence, even the American Revolution are examples of Davids defeating Goliaths.

CON: "You are also talking present, before you were talking about the past and talking future scenarios against the United States "

PRO: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." -George Santayana

CON: "and don't think that technology won't bring forth cheaper methods of extracting oil"

PRO: Saudi Arabia announced this week a 15 year plan for divorcing its economy from oil dependency. [6] If even the Saudis can recognize that oil is a dead end, why can't the US? The first 3 months of 2016 each broke the record for warmest month on record: worse than a dead end, oil is a death trap. [7]

CON: "The United States will also be the largest producer of oil by the end of the decade."

PRO: While the rest of the world invests in a more sustainable energy infrastructure.
This is precisely the type of folly that might expose the US to catastrophe. When oil is gone in 50 years, [8] will the US be ready?

Seriously?... ""As a lot of the wars fought by the United States a lot of them took place against other powers in North America, the United States conquered a lot of them which became states."

CON: "Sharing a land border leaves the risk of invasion no matter ones size."

PRO: Agreed. And the US shares the longest land borders if any nation on earth. [9] Checkmate.

CON: "Also seem to forget that America wasn't conquered though."

PRO: Native Americans were conquered by European invaders. Oceans and vast geography were helpful, but ultimately non-decisive in that contest.

CON: "No one can prove or disprove [there are no immortal nation-states]."

PRO: With the oldest continuously empowered constitution, the US might reasonably claim to be the oldest current nation-state but at 226 years, our govt is younger by an order of magnitude than than the lifespan of the Roman Empire or the reign of the pharaohs. The lifespan of societies are shortening, not lengthening, as history progresses.

CON: "America's adaptation to the what is known as nuclear triad prevented the Soviets from attempting any such aggression towards the United States or its European allies [and much bombast re: US vs. USSR].

PRO: Let"s agree that US Foreign Policy proved superior in the 20th century contest between those two nations. The question is whether successes in the last century necessarily immunize the US from potential failure in the current century. I see no reason to make that assumption.

CON:"To end on Trump""

PRO: Let"s hope America doesn"t.

CONCLUSION

I suspect that Con is only interested in the question of conquest framed as "if country x invaded our shores today, could x successfully establish a permanent holding?" Not a particularly likely scenario, but also entirely unknowable without hypothetical context. To my mind, the question is more like "given that the US currently possesses the greatest destructive power any nation has ever held, is it nevertheless possible for such a country to be conquered?" I think the answer is yes. Empires, superpowers, dominant armies have been conquered before and will be conquered again. But such failures are never accounted to a single act, some irresistible attack. Rather, conquest is one possible end after a combination of forces, internal and external have weakened great power. If the question were "will China overpower the US tomorrow?" the answer would be probably not. But the question is could the US ever be overpowered and the answer largely depends on decisions the US makes today.

When Gibbon described "The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire," he didn"t begin with Alaric crossing the Rhine and end with Hadrian"s ashes scattered in the Tiber because those events were almost incidental to the conquest of Rome. The story of Rome"s conquest was rooted in 400 years of war and civil war, plague and drought, bad generals and mad emperors. If not the Visigoths, then the Vandals might have finished the job. The question of conquest was not about barbarian might, but the failure of Rome to perceive and counter the threat.

Is the US today similarly susceptible to a failure to perceive and counter threats? I think the answer is yes and for proof we need look no further than Con"s popular and conventional argument, some variation of which was probably oft recited by senators in the forum- " We are stronger than all others, we have never been conquered, therefore we are unconquerable." In such satisfaction lurks catastrophe.

Thanks again to Con for an interesting debate.
Please vote in the affirmative- the US can be conquered.

[1]https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
[2]http://www.aaas.org...
[3]https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
[4]https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
[5]http://www.geekwire.com...
[6]http://m.csmonitor.com...
[7]https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov...
[8]http://www.usatoday.com...
[9] http://10mosttoday.com...
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Fairness 1 year ago
Fairness
Asymmetric warfare would not lead to the conquest of the United States, I honestly don't see how one can argue that it would. Do you think an invader would commit itself to those tactics within US borders which would lead to their flag flying over all what is the United States? Those tactics take place on home turf by the people that live there, not by the invaders.

Patriotism is an emotional attachment to a nation which an individual recognizes as their homeland. national pride... A dictator known to committing atrocities and crimes against humanity on Iraqis would negate ones patriotism for their nation.

Iraqi refusal to fight doesn't mean perhaps the most blind patriotic people would also not fight, Americans are not known to be unpatriotic.

Native Americans aren't US citizens. The US is 2nd to China in renewable energy and the growing trends suggest the US is continuing projects to be cleaner.

There is no reason to assume American advantages will lag behind competitors in the following centuries. Quickly looking at R&D spending shows the US spends more on it then anyone else.

To Canada and Mexico's shared border to the United States as concern for America's potential for being conquered is just as absurd as the last point.

To your last assertion that "Is the US today similarly susceptible to a failure to perceive and counter threats? I think the answer is yes and for proof we need look no further than Con"s popular and conventional argument," I'm not a expert on national and international affairs and advising the United States' president on the proper course of action. However, as you confessed to American adaptive nature being #1, it is safe to say that the United States will continue to adapt and prepare and plan for all possible contingencies, including the little green invaders.

Anyways.. It was fun but I felt the urge to respond to your response. I have trouble stopping. Hahaha
Posted by Fairness 1 year ago
Fairness
This would be that thing I spoke of during the creation of this debate. The British conquered what became the United States, the United States didn't become the United States, an independent nation, until 1783. Therefore, the territory that is now the United States was not the United States until after the United States conquered it from their enemies and annexed it into the United States. So fortunately for me, that attempt to win a debate with that tactic wouldn't work. Since the Native nations was not the United States until after it was.
Posted by Deb-8-A-Bull 1 year ago
Deb-8-A-Bull
White man already did.
No votes have been placed for this debate.