The Instigator
Veridas
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
TheSkeptic
Pro (for)
Winning
117 Points

America's military is the greatest in the world.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/27/2010 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 10,093 times Debate No: 11897
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (61)
Votes (20)

 

Veridas

Con

To answer your comment in http://www.debate.org... why yes, TheSkeptic, I would.

**************************************************************

America's military might is by no means small, it has such a variety of armed and unarmed forces supporting it that it can adapt to most situations and handle them effectively, what that statement does not encompass, however, is the fact that the enemy would be trying to do precisely the same thing.

I intend to prove two points:

Firstly: That America's wealth and technological innovation do not give it any advantage in open warfare that cannot be mimicked or used by other countries.

Secondly: That TheSkeptic is a very foolish person indeed for choosing to debate warfare with someone like myself.

No offence.

First lets look at numbers, according to http://en.wikipedia.org... the US has, in active service, in both combat roles and support roles, a total of 3,624,093 personnel, with an additional 850,000 in reserve plus Department of Defence employees which are at best support-of-leadership positions. Overall you're looking at just over four and a half million. Quite a number.

BUT!

Going on the same link, all but just over 1,100,000 of those personnel are serving overseas, instantly fracturing the military's combined strength. You don't need to be Sun Tzu to know that if two forces of equal size and competency are formed to oppose each other, and one splits up and the other remains in one piece then in open combat, the latter will steamroll over the former.

Iran's total military, eleven million. http://en.wikipedia.org...

That's right, that little grinning horse fellater Ahmidinejad has eleven million meatshields.

And then you have the others who beat America numerically in terms of troop numbers:
China: 8.7 million
North Korea: 5.9 million
Vietnam: 5.9 million
South Korea: 5.2 million

America is eighth on the list. Eighth, because as much as America's military tops three million combat personnel, it has an immense number of bureaucrats, administrators, logistics personnel, commanders, technicians, maintenance personnel, drivers, caterers, and so on and so forth which bolster the numbers but not the active combat potential.

In addition, I would argue that unlike the rest of the world, the US overtrains each individual soldier. The US provides on-the-spot training for soldiers heading out to or already based in a foreign country, basic training about language and customs and practice,as Dr Thomas Barnett said "take a gift in the left hand, these are the sunglasses that don't scare people"

Speaking of Thomas Barnett: http://www.ted.com...

This video was uploaded in 2005, so for a minimum of five years, American senior commanders have been unable to deny the fact that you simply cannot expect your average soldier to do everything. You send Marines to fight, you send medics to heal, you send armour to reduce stuff to rubble and people to a fine paste, what you do not do is send medics to fight, armour to heal and marines to reduce stuff to rubble and people to a fine paste, though I have no doubt that the Marines would have a good go at it anyway. The point being that the US already recognises that it will have to fracture it's forces even more in order to make it more effective at not killing people.

Which brings me to my next point, unique forces, the US Marines are probably the most well known here, but we also have to consider Iran with it's Republican Guard, America is by no means the only country with non-special special forces, England has the Royal Marines and the Desert Rats, America has it's Marines and Airborne and Delta, hell even the Somalians that the US fought in the 90's had a bunch of guys with old 20mm grenade launchers and old decommissioned body armour. Not that they were that effective because grenades were expensive and explosions tend to make people a bit jumpy.

The point being that even considering the soldiers that are better than average, like Delta, like the Marines, like the Royal Navy, are by no means unique and although they can no doubt fight harder and more professionally than the average, they're still made of meat and bone and maybe a metal plate or two.

In terms of equipment, the US doesn't have an enormous advantage, the UAV "Predator" drone is probably the peak of America's technological-military might, the problem with this being that Google enables anyone to copy it using pretty average stuff, actually. All you have to do is combine
http://www.google.co.uk...
with
http://www.google.co.uk...

In terms of armour and artillery, America is currently attempting to develop a super-accurate form of artillery, the problem with this being that like many military projects, it's easier said than done, and even if America makes a super-accurate artillery shell or artillery weapon, it will not be long before the technology becomes less than top-secret and is copied worldwide. Hell China copied the American-used M203 "underslung" Grenade launcher into their own LG-2 in record time, and the Chinese have a history dating back almost a century into directly copying and re-manufacturing foreign weaponry (the best and most prominent example being the Chinese Type 17 pistol, which was basically a copy of the German 19th Century Mauser C96. Hell, the fact that the American military chose not to update it's main battle right from the M4 to the XM8 due to the fact that the XM8 was generally less effective than the FN-SCAR developed in Belgium. That's right folks, A German rifle, the XM8, was beaten by the Belgians.

I know, right?

The Americans do make use of the SCAR but only SOCOM units are equipped with it, so there wasn't much difference in the long run and the dudes at the frontline are still using the M4.

The point is that the weaponry carried by the average American soldier is by no means the greatest in existence, the fact that the M4 has been in service now for almost fifteen years certainly doesn't help, and although the M4 is good, it's not so good that it will enable you to walk away from having, say, eleven million Iranians versus you and three million buddies.

My head hurts, argument end.
TheSkeptic

Pro

I thank my opponent for challenging me right after my comment - quite convenient :). Before it begin, I should make it clear that our burden in this resolution will have to show that America would likely defeat any other country in a 1v1 situation. This is a great way of determining military superiority, but if my opponent wishes to cite power projection or the ability to handle varying situations as being part of the definition of "greatest military", I'm ready to handle that as well. Until then, I will assume that if America has no competing nation in terms of military might, it will effectively be the greatest in the world as of now.

My approach to this debate will primarily be comprised of examining the basic branches of most military forces: ground, air, sea, and other. By taking a comprehensive view of most of America's military might, I'm confident that America has swept any opposition on most fronts, even numbers in some aspects.

Also, I want to note that I will be referencing a lot of units, programs, etc. (as should be expected in a debate like this). Due to character limits, I will only reference a website I will depend on heavily or specific links I desire. Otherwise, most things I refer to here should be easily accessible via a quick Google or Wikipedia search.

====================
Ground Forces
====================

What's funny is that the video my opponent details features Thomas Barnett, who says early on in the video that the USA can kick anyone's @ss -- plain and simple. His talk henceforth is about transitioning to a state of peace, which while important for issues about foreign policy, has no business when having a debate about which country can kick more @ss.

The first point I want to talk about that my opponent also addresses is the USA's amount of personnel. While I agree that obviously there are other countries (notably China) with a higher count this doesn't overpass the fact that often quality beats quantity. What this means in the relevant sense is that though China has large numbers, their technological inferiority, untested troops, and forced conscription puts a fierce damper on their effectiveness. Unless they had trillions of soldiers and were a nation equivalent to an ants, the USA has sufficient technological and personnel training to compensate for their lack in numbers. Innovative programs such as the BCT Modernization help vastly improve America's Army tactical advantage over enemies. Take a look at this link to get a brief summary of China's inadequacy[1].

Quite humorously, my opponent claims that the US "overtrains" it's soldiers. Unless the training was meticulously long or expensive as to damper the effectiveness of such a program, I can't see how over-training would occur. Obviously, it's true a single soldier can't do everything, but that's precisely why we have DIFFERENT UNITS FOR DIFFERENT OPERATIONS. For example, the reason why the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is so damaging for our Marines is because it isn't their job to find the terrorists among the innocent, to rebuild another nation's infrastructure, etc. That is precisely the main job of special forces. Marines and the Army do what they do best -- come into, blow sh!t up, and leave.

My opponent then lists several examples of US technology not being as mighty as we think they are. I'll respond accordingly:

1. He unfairly downplays the importance of special forces - while Britain and Israel have special forces rivaling our own, the secrecy shrouding such units is too much to make any clear decision. However, what we do know is that the USA has quite a lot in their pockets - Seal teams (including former Seal team 6, now DEVGRU), Delta Force, CIA's Special Activities Division, Rangers, etc.
2. The UAV drones America uses are MUCH MORE COMPLICATED than any DIY ones you can make off Google. If it was that easy to make it, by simply Googling it, you really think other countries wouldn't do the same? As is with most DIYs, they feature a product that is similar but far inferior to the ones you are aiming to create.
3. To summarize USA's armor in development only in terms of it's artillery is silly and tunnel visioned. Not only are there many more programs out there (with a large portion dedicated on equipment), we have much more impressive land power than simply a artillery system in the making. First of all, the artillery system is designed to be accurate and overcompensate environmental conditions -- if you're willing to cite the system in question, I'd be helpful to determine it's effectiveness. Secondly, vehicles such as the M1 Abrams (easily at least among top 5 main battle tanks in service) are an incredibly important asset for America's land power. My opponent cites the assault rifles, and while it's true that the Army and Marine corps are looking for a candidate, the M4/M16 are still very powerful and reliable assault rifles.

And of course, the Army relies on supporting it's troops with armor, so this integration should be able to overcome most odds they come across. To focus individually on the M4 and ignore all other aspects is to completely ignore any military conflict.

====================
Air and Sea Forces
====================

The USA has a staggering amount of aircraft and sea ships. To imagine this, the USA has the most (18,169) aircraft systems in service, with Russia's 3,888 being the second most. Such a stark difference in technology and numbers speaks for USA's air superiority. They have a plethora of highly effective aircraft, enabling the USAF to be well-suited for any situation.

Likewise, the US Navy has a vast amount of ships. With USA being the top (1, 559), China comes in on second with only 760 - do note that the USN has a much more sophisticated navy. The pinnacle example are the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, aptly named supercarriers. In today's warfare aircraft carriers are seen as the flagships of any navy, and the USA boasts 11 of them. This means they have HALF of the world's aircraft carriers, with the best competing nations only having 2 (UK and Italy).

====================
Other things to consider
====================

I don't have enough character limits to expand on this point - I will in future rounds.

====================
Conclusion
====================

Determining a country's military might isn't as simple as listing facts, as I have done for a majority of this round. Further, separating branches into different categories isn't as simple as this as well - land troops can take over ports while sea ships can cut off supply routes reinforcing enemy ground forces. Modern warfare, especially given the direction the USA is headed towards, concentrates on having an interconnected system that relies on the strengths of it's units while compensating it with the different varieties others have to offer.

However, what I have listed gives a clear thought of the military capability of the USA. This, coupled with years of experience and an immense military production rate certifies the USA as the sole military superpower of today. There are potential players, but right now it's the USA which dominates.

---References---
1. http://www.cnn.com...
2. http://www.globalfirepower.com...
3. http://www.strategypage.com...
4. http://www.sipri.org...
Debate Round No. 1
Veridas

Con

Since my opponent has openly stated that his reply will be constrained by the character limit, odds are any attempt of my own to directly quote and counter would only enable me to answer for 50% of his argument, so instead I will quote key phrases rather than full arguments.

"Thomas Barnett"

Yes he does, but he also says, and I quote "we field a first half team in a league that insists on keeping score 'til the end of the game" a military defeat is still a military defeat even if their guys are dead and yours aren't. Military strength nowadays is as much about discriminatory violence as it is non discriminatory violence which gives America a disadvantage right from day one.

"quantity vs quality"

Normally I would agree, except that as of, I think, about 2005, China in particular has been updating it's Military in accordance with what it witnessed when the US invaded Iraq, much of the weaponry and equipment used by Iran was used (or mimicked) by China, when China saw how easily the US swept over Iraqi Republican Guard, China soiled itself. Since then, China has been doing everything from providing more training to it's soldiers, getting them better vehicles and equipment, getting them better weaponry and so on and so forth.

Somewhat unrelated as it may be, Russia faced a similar situation against the Nazis, but still eventually won, such was the victory that Josef Stalin, upon seeing the "we have more men than you have bullets" strategy, stated "Quantity has a quality all of it's own"

"Quite humorously,"

Quite humorously, my opponent ignores this very same point used by Dr Barnett despite earlier rely on Dr Barnett's testimony of "we can kill anyone"

"DIFFERENT UNITS FOR DIFFERENT OPERATIONS"

Apparently not, to quote Al Murry "no wonder that Iraq business isn't going well for you yanks, Sadaam gets a bit uppity and what do you do? You send Marines, Marines, Mariiiiines, water soldiers, and you send them to fight in the ****ing desert!"

"the secrecy shrouding such units is too much to make any clear decision."

My opponent doesn't seem to realise that American special forces, the Marines especially, are very loud about how good they are and what they can do.

"The UAV drones America uses are MUCH MORE COMPLICATED than any DIY ones you can make off Google"

http://www.urbandictionary.com...

Whatever works.

"accurate artillery"

I admit that I learned about this artillery system via the Future Weapons program on the Discovery Military channel, which I'm sad enough to watch, the Channel's coverage of the artillery system is here

I'd like to apologise, while it's on my mind, about the Artillery/armour point, I got a bit sidetracked in my opening argument, my opponent cites the example of the M1 Abrams, and while I agree that it's definitely one of the best tanks in the world, it's by no means invulnerable, especially not when there are ghetto-rigged UAVs or copy/pasted super-accurate artillery pieces in the area.

There's nothing wrong with the M4 (I'd hope the M16 would be phased out of use by now save for display weaponry, but then again Marines use M-14s as Display weapons and those are fairly old) but the point is that in a period of actual warfare, the individual weapons can and do make all the difference, it's been theorised that had the Nazis released the Steg-44 onto battlefields earlier that they could have turned the tide in the infantry campaign against the Russians, and held off the combined American, Canadian and European push to the west and to be honest I agree, with Steg-44 was a masterpiece of the time, it's the one rifle that all future assault rifles were based upon, hell it was pretty much the first assault rifle if you can agree that the BAR was too heavy and unwieldy for an everyman weapon.

The same can be said for tanks, our British Matilda couldn't touch Nazi tanks, so what did we do? We developed strategies to get around the obvious strengths and weaknesses until we could build something better.

"the Army relies on supporting it's troops with armor"

So did the Nazis, for the most part, generally speaking they had the best tanks, the battle-hardened troops and the best equipment, what they did not have was the ingenuity or the staying power (taking a second look at that "first half team in a league that keeps score 'til the end of the game) quote is lookin' pretty darn tootin' temptin' right now boy)

The Air force points are good but ignore one fundamental point, over-reliance upon air power is a mistake that has been made at least twice in US history, the first was Vietnam, the second was in the second Gulf War. If we again look at the Nazis, the Luftwaffe blitzed England completely and for a long time the RAF was small and inconsequential to the Luftwaffe, but although the Luftwaffe had free reign over the whole of England for a while, England itself did not fall. It's all good and well having all those aircraft, but if you don't know how to use them then there's no point. This point also stretches to the US Navy.

"listing facts"

No, as much as any army or navy or air force might look good on paper, and it's capability to reduce things to rubble be evident, and it's plans and strategies be sound, it's good to remember that war, and individual battles especially, are confusing, and that as Colin Powell stated "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy"

In addition, the American military is very wasteful and would most likely change dramatically should open and continuous warfare actually hit, lets take for instance the venerable M1 Abrams, a single M1, just one of those things, costs close to eight million US Dollars. (http://www.fas.org...)

Just let that sink in, eight million dollars for one tank, and the Iraqis, despite being armed with the military equivalent of lego cars, have done pretty well against them. Imagine how badly they might fare against an enemy that actually has the means to take them on? (http://answers.yahoo.com...)

I'm not saying the M1 is a bad tank, far from it, but the damage done by the Iraqis is at best a shocking reminder that no armour is invulnerable and certainly no armour is indestructible.

"years of experience"

Against poorly trained, ill-equipped and probably malnourished soldiers who do better once they go to ground and start giving it the guerrilla dance, not an actual well-equipped standing army.

"immense production rate"

Immense waste rate too.

"potential players, the US dominates"

You don't know that.
TheSkeptic

Pro

My opponent's round largely consists of misperceptions and too narrow of a perspective. While I appreciate his comments on the USA's primary assault rifles, most of his other points are largely erroneous or misplaced. At prime is his abuse of military history. He either takes a too simplistic view, unfairly disregards effectiveness, and even gets some facts plain wrong. I will respond with my same format but incorporate my opponent's as well:

====================
Ground Forces
====================

"quantity V's quality"

My opponent rejects my point about quantity over quality by arguing countries like China have been updating it's military. First of all, he has absolutely no stable way of depicting or tracking the progress of China's military given their secrecy. Further, while they are very likely updating their army they are still racked with problems - notable conscription and inadequate equipment. Not only does the USA army beat China in both regards, but it'd be ignorant to forget that the USA is ALSO improving their army as well. I already referenced a long-term program dedicated at transforming the US army for a more appropriate functionality given 21st century warfare (meaning a lot of integration, information networks, etc.).

My opponent misuses the point about Russia facing a similar situation with the Nazis - they survived because the Nazis made two fatal errors: they attacked Russia in their own soil (i.e. harsh weather - Napoleon lost to this) and because their forces were spread from fighting the Allies and Russia.

"DIFFERENT UNITS FOR DIFFERENT OPERATIONS"

Did you not read my round? If you're going to use one quote talking about the Iraq situation, then you should be well prepared to counter my point that the reason the war isn't as smooth as we would wish is because of reasons similar to what Barnett stated - there are other objectives than simply killing Iraqi terrorists. We hope to introduce political stability, which means a.) we can't do things like demolish the entire country and b.) we are using Marines wrongly because of this overzealous goal (it is one of the primary jobs of Special Forces, not Marines, to distinguish between civilians and soldiers whilst training the local militia). The problem in Iraq is largely due to political reasons.

"the secrecy shrouding such units is too much to make any clear decision."

Lol, you kidding me? Having boastful special forces in no way lets us examine their tactics, review their cases, etc. Further, at the least the USA would come in at a close second behind Britain (which in the overall scheme of warfare, doesn't matter that heavily). We still have Delta force, DEVGRU, Special Activities Division, etc. In fact, the amount of branches and units are quite lengthy[1].

"The UAV drones America uses are MUCH MORE COMPLICATED than any DIY ones you can make off Google"

Lol, you kidding me again? I honestly doubt I need to reinforce my point here - having a ghetto attempt at a UAV in no way compares to state-of-the-art military equipment. Why don't you get a large pipe, add some tinkering of metal and gunpowder, get a large cannon ball or two, stick it on your humvee, and create an armored personal carrier? Then go take that and drive into Iraq and come back telling me how you do.

"accurate artillery"

I'm not sure what's sad about watching this program - I do too :). Anyway, your video bolsters my point that the USA army is constantly devising and developing new weaponry. Obviously environmental conditions complicate artillery, but that's one of the primary issues any artillery piece that has been created in the past decade has sought to defeat (among other things). Accuracy involves being able to account for these factors, so honestly I have no clue why my opponent links me a new improved artillery system that helps the USA defeat environmental problems.

While I agree that the main assault rifle could be better, it can fare enough with most units relying confidence in their rifle (around 90%). Unless you can demonstrate a stark consistent example of it's failures then your point is moot (it'd simply be you chanting we need better guns, without showing a demonstrable capable gap in the M4 that leads to considerable repercussions).

"the Army relies on supporting it's troops with armor"

I never stated the Abrams, just stating it's superiority as a main battle tank. It'd be foolish to attack it's lack of invulnerability and yet ignore it's impressive capabilities. Further, to claim that we can "get around" it's weaknesses COMPLETELY misses the point of having a holistic approach to this debate -- no general in their right mind would send a group of tanks into battle alone; it would always be accompanied with personnel units at the very least. And again, using your Nazi point is ridiculous - they lost simply because they bit off more than they could chew, having too many opponents to compensate for.

====================
Air and Sea Forces
====================

My opponent uses historical examples again to advance his claim that over-reliance on air power is a mistake. Yes, it is but the USA military DOESN'T DO THAT. You are taking an unfair approach to this debate -- I stress again, a holistic approach must be taken if we are to sensibly argue this.

But back to your examples: Vietnam and the second Gulf War were political losses. The USA military will obviously incorporate other units in their usage of air and sea forces, but still you should realize how powerful these branches are. Other nations pale in comparison - we not only have the most aircraft/sea ships but also the most technologically advanced. If you wish, I could cite numerous examples of superior equipment but I doubt I need to do that.

====================
Other things to consider
====================

"Thomas Barnett"

I'm not sure my opponent understands the Thomas Barnett TED video: he's arguing that in the context of objectives in foreign policy (notably to achieve peace), a military defeat shouldn't be looked at in reductive terms. Instead, he stresses a more holistic approach that emphasizes other values than defeating your opponent (i.e. maintaining stable peace afterwards, respecting human values, etc.). Given this, obviously the USA will have trouble with Iraq if they want to introduce a democratically stable political atmosphere -- if their only objective was to kill all Iraqi terrorists with casualties allowed, then hell they could carpet bomb the d@mn place. Or even nuke it.

"listing facts"

Listing facts is easy, and we both did it in this debate, but you failed to consider a holistic approach to this debate. No battle between adequate command sends any of it's units alone or among only it's kind - they obviously send a mixture of troops, armor, and other equipment. Thus, you have to consider this when criticizing sole units.

"waste of money"

Did you not read my previous round? I went into how the USA uses a lot of money on it's military budget and YET is quite low on the world ranking for overall spending out of our GDP - we spend around 4% in 2005, which is remarkable. So yeah, if some girl spends 300 bucks a week on clothes that looks quite wasteful...but if her daddy makes billions of dollars a year then she can obviously compensate for this spending.

---References---
1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Veridas

Con

My opponent's round largely consists of misperceptions and too narrow of a perspective."

A funny thing to say considering that you're the one who's gauging a county's military might based solely upon the fact that it has some expensive toys.

and it's misconception.

"He either takes a too simplistic view, unfairly disregards effectiveness, and even gets some facts plain wrong. I will respond with my same format but incorporate my opponent's as well:"

Ad homiem, if I'm guilty of such things then announce it at the same moment that you intend to show how.

"My opponent rejects my point about quantity over quality by arguing countries like China have been updating it's military. First of all, he has absolutely no stable way of depicting or tracking the progress of China's military given their secrecy"

http://www.sinodefence.com...

Mmm, very secret.

"Further, while they are very likely updating their army they are still racked with problems - notable conscription and inadequate equipment."

I did say they were updating their equipment.

"Not only does the USA army beat China in both regards"

For numbers, remember that China still has more active personnel than the US, you know this, don't lie. For the second point, you can't say America has all the best stuff, because if you intend to stand by your "secrecy" point then you can't possibly know the epitome of Chinese military technology.

"but it'd be ignorant to forget that the USA is ALSO improving their army as well. I already referenced a long-term program dedicated at transforming the US army for a more appropriate functionality given 21st century warfare (meaning a lot of integration, information networks, etc.)."

Precisely how and how much such things improve combat potential is arguable and perhaps even nonexistent, it is therefore entirely irrelevant.

"My opponent misuses the point about Russia facing a similar situation with the Nazis - they survived because the Nazis made two fatal errors: they attacked Russia in their own soil (i.e. harsh weather - Napoleon lost to this) and because their forces were spread from fighting the Allies and Russia."

My opponent doesn't seem to realise that I know precisely why the Nazis lost to Russia (also, attacking them on their own soil? as opposed to attacking them on someone else's soil?) but what he fails to mention is that a vast majority of the German Werhmact infantry marched into battle with nothing but a bolt action rifle called the KAR-98. Then you have the MP-38 which wasn't much different from the MP-36, it was pretty much just an improved hammer. Towards the end of the war, as the STEG-44 drew closer to completion, more and more Wehrmact infantry were being equipped with the MP-38, note also the addition of the MG38 being replaced with the MG44 Mashiengun (yes that is where we get the word for it, but I'm not confident of the spelling) The Germans were very very keen to perfect the notion of automatic weaponry and arm their soldiers accordingly. The very presence of the MG44 was something that demoralised Allied soldiers simply because it was that effective.

The unignorable fact is that weapons can turn the tide, it's entirely probable that Germany may have never truly conquered Russia even if it had turned the tide because of Russian weather, and yes attacking Russia was an enormous mistake, however my opponent disregards entirely the part played by the individual soldier and the tools and training he is given, without which an army is nothing.

"Did you not read my round?"

I did, yes, and your round ignored the splintered US military that Barnett spoke of (amusing considering that you believed without question his testimony that America can "kick anyone's @ss") and also didn't adequately answer for my point (which again, Barnett agrees with) that the US over trains each individual soldier. I think I have the right to mock you a little for spouting phrases like "different units for different operations" when you've yet to realise that by nature, that means that the US military isn't as good as it looks on paper because unlike so many other countries, the US takes some unearned pride in it's ability to build nations. Do you think a morally ambiguous nations like China will care about nation building?

"Having boastful special forces in no way lets us examine their tactics, review their cases, etc."

http://www.marines.cc...

No, I not be kidding you.

"which in the overall scheme of warfare, doesn't matter that heavily). "

Thanks for that.

"We still have Delta force, DEVGRU, Special Activities Division, etc. In fact, the amount of branches and units are quite lengthy[1]."

What's this? Using someone else's arguments are we?

"Lol, you kidding me again? I honestly doubt I need to reinforce my point here - having a ghetto attempt at a UAV in no way compares to state-of-the-art military equipment"

and Matilda tanks couldn't stand up to German Panzers, still took them on though.

"I'm not sure what's sad about watching this program - I do too :)"

It's hosted by a generic macho man who's probably never seen boot camp, much less combat, who seems to think himself an expert on military matters because he can spout the occasional piece of blindingly obvious tactical information and it talks about weapons that, bar a few, are mostly too costly, too wasteful, ineffective in the field or just plain dumb.

Oh, and I hate his voice.

"anyway, your video bolsters my point that the USA army is constantly devising and developing new weaponry."

Not an Army project, the presence of the US Colonel was to see if the artillery system in question was worthy of US military use. This was a civilian or weapons manufacturer project, not a development funded by the US Army.

"Accuracy involves being able to account for these factors, so honestly I have no clue why my opponent links me a new improved artillery system that helps the USA defeat environmental problems."

Because you asked for the link, don't be coy. You said: "if you're willing to cite the system in question, I'd be helpful to determine it's effectiveness"

"it can fare enough with most units relying confidence in their rifle (around 90%)"

Now where did that little statistic come from? Also, this point on your behalf contradicts with your argument against my point regarding the STEG-44.

"Unless you can demonstrate a stark consistent example of it's failures then your point is moot (it'd simply be you chanting we need better guns, without showing a demonstrable capable gap in the M4 that leads to considerable repercussions)."

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

Not so great considering that American military units are operating quite a bit in deserts and other dusty environments. Also see the subsequent paragraph.

"I never stated the Abrams, just stating it's superiority as a main battle tank. It'd be foolish to attack it's lack of invulnerability and yet ignore it's impressive capabilities"

And it's arrogant to ignore it's weaknesses in favour of emphasising it's strengths.

"I never stated the Abrams"

Um, yes you did, you're the one that brought it up.

"again, using your Nazi point is ridiculous"

mmm, ridiculous, of course, the point that a previous world power had the best tanks and yet was still beaten is entirely irrelevant in an argument about the superiority and battlefield usage of an modern tank.

"they lost simply because they bit off more than they could chew,"

I was referring to individual tank battles, not the overall war effort, please stop exaggerating.

"but the USA military DOESN'T DO THAT"

So did you never study the Vietnam war? or were you not told about all the air strikes in the second gulf war and how the shock and awe strategy relied mostly on bombers and fighter/bombers flying sorties over places like Baghdad?

Not only does the U
TheSkeptic

Pro

At times, it can be frustrating dealing with my opponent's apparent ignorance of my argument, logic, and crucial issues pertaining to this debate. A recurring flaw is his attempts to scrutinize on a single unit/equipment/etc. and then make generalizing claims from this - an obvious failure on his part. I've accused him of failing to take a holistic approach, and in response he claims so have I (which I will show to be false in this round). As a side note, I suggest my opponent not extend his round into the comment sections; if I can similarly ignore the character limits I might as well pour paragraphs into the comment sections.

"A funny thing to say considering that you're the one who's gauging a county's military might based solely upon the fact that it has some expensive toys."

If you read my first round, I remarked that though just discussing the technology and inventory of a nation doesn't encompass it's entire military might (i.e. ingenuity of it's military commanders), it is still a crucial and indeed major reason why a nation could win a war. If you propose some other argument than focusing on this, be my guest. Otherwise, if you have no alternatives to offer you're wasting your breathe while being a hypocrite.

"Ad homiem"

It's amusing to see you and many others abuse logical fallacies - an ad hominem applies if I attempt to link the truth of a premise to a persons's characteristic; I did no such thing.

====================
Ground Forces
====================

Again, my opponent misunderstands my point and then goes off the other end. Yes, I recognize that we aren't entirely clueless to China's military might - my point is that we aren't privy to all of it either. For example, it's Special Ops program is clouded with issues such as whether it's even operational. Other more pressing issues are whether China is engaging in cyber-warfare. Even so, while we can gauge China's military might and technological progression to some extent, it'd be foolish to ignore that AMERICA IS DOING THE SAME. For you to claim that because I believe we can't know all of China's military might I'm rationally prevented from speculating the progress of America is ridiculous.

"Precisely how and how much such things improve combat potential is arguable and perhaps even nonexistent, it is therefore entirely irrelevant."

So while you can off-handedly remark that China is improving their equipment, and thus they are somehow on par or greater than America, I can't reference a SPECIFIC US military program with outlined objectives, methods, changes, etc. and thus propose to show how it will improve combat potential? That is a double standard in it's finest.

"I did say they were updating their equipment."

And so is America. You ignore my fact about conscription.

====================
Ground Forces - Assault Rifle, Abrams, Special Forces, etc.
====================

The M4 rifle isn't the most overall effective weapon in the world - I agree. But my argument is that even now, it's capable enough to be operationally significant. Let's look at the test you reference, and laugh as it backfires on you[1]:

First, it is from this survey I get my number of around 90% (it can be 80-90, still high) of soldier confidence. Secondly, it should be noted that "extreme dust test does not replicate any typical Soldier use or operational condition." It all concludes with the assessment that "while the M4 finished fourth out of four, 98 percent of all the rounds fired from it went off down range as they were supposed to do," BG Brown said. "However, the three other candidates did perform better at about a 99 percent rate or better, which is a mathematically statistically significant difference, but not an operationally statistical difference." The M4 is a word-class weapon; a 98% percent reliability is good enough to be an effective weapon.

Your link on operational tactics is from the US Marine Crops, NOT SPECIAL FORCES. *facepalm* Obviously I know the US military is much more open about the Marines or the Army, but if it were to do the same on it's Special Ops then this would jeopardize a lot of future missions (which is why they are not relaxed about former Spec Ops publishing revealing bibliographies).

"What's this? Using someone else's arguments are we?"

No, I'm showing that even if you want to bolster the point about Spec. Ops the US military can easily compete for number 1 or 2.

Lastly, I want to apologize for my slight typo on the Abrams - I meant to say that "I never claimed it was invulnerable". I do claim that it's highly effective, enough for it's strengths to surpass it's weaknesses. This is the same for the artillery system - it has some problems (like all) but it's strengths greatly outweigh them, which is obviously why they are considered to being deployed. My point in why you would reference them is because at best, they simply show America has better guns to bring.

====================
Air and Sea Forces
====================

My response to Vietnam and the Iraq War will follow in the next section, but if this is your only point of rebuttal against air superiority and naval capability, then your argument has a gaping flaw.

====================
Other things to consider + History
====================

The Thomas Barnett video is simply discussing America's military in terms of foreign policy objectives, notably peace. If we want to uphold the value that peace is desired and that we don't want to simply kill everyone with nondiscriminatory fashion (a word both you and he uses), then yes America is lacking in some areas. Barnett's goal is PEACE, whereas this debate is about one nation annihilating the other (or at the very least, strangling the other's military capability). His proposal of a leviathan force is for the purpose of usurping inappropriate rulers (Saddam being the case example).

Nowhere in my argument do I ever claim that a soldier's equipment is unimportant. If he carried a stick to war then of course whatever nation he represents will probably lose, badly. But my point is (and this my blur into talks of the assault rifle) the USA's M4 isn't so ineffective and bad as to cause a significant damper in their military effectiveness. Further, in response to your abuse of military history, the German's defeat in their attempts to conquer Russia and England is for similar reasons: they stretched out their supply lines and couldn't successfully incorporate their blitzkrieg tactic[2]. Such a tactic has flaws, notably one of them being it's dependence on the environment. This is why Russia won and England survived - the former fought so gruelingly that the German front wasn't prepared, thus resulting in stringent supply lines and an overall drainage of their troops effectiveness. England was able to survive because of their channels, allowing them to stall and put a stake into the German's capability of sending in troops. The loss in Vietnam and the failure in Iraq now is because of political reasons; Nixon was too intent on implementing the containment policy in Vietnam, as is the same with Iraq in the similar vein of trying to install a new political regime. In the context of this debate, foreign policy issues such as this don't matter.

Finally, my point about holism. While I agree I didn't do much to demonstrate a holistic representation of the US military, my approach was so by stressing that though some unit may have weaknesses, it can be compensated by other units. You commonly claim things such as the over-reliance on air power, or how a soldier is fitted to prepare for every situation. I AGREE, but I respond that no military could possibly be non-holistic and be effective; they would devote all or most of the branches of the military if a total war culminated.

---References---
1. http://findarticles.com...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...#
Debate Round No. 3
Veridas

Con

At times, it can be frustrating dealing with my opponent's apparent ignorance of my argument, logic, and crucial issues pertaining to this debate. A recurring flaw is his attempts to scrutinize on a single unit/equipment/etc. And then make generalizing claims from this - an obvious failure on his part. I've accused him of failing to take a holistic approach, and in response he claims so have I (which I will show to be false in this round)."

Wow, look at all that ad homiem.

"If you read my first round, I remarked that though just discussing the technology and inventory of a nation doesn't encompass it's entire military might (i.e. Ingenuity of it's military commanders), it is still a crucial and indeed major reason why a nation could win a war."

Which conveniently fails to take into account the fact that every large scale war dating back to the days of the British Empire has included an immense arms race as new weapons and technology are developed. America is developing expensive tech designed to be used in very limited circumstances, nations with smaller military budgets (like say for example, everyone) have to make do with tech that can be applied in greater numbers of situations with comparable effectiveness, the entire situation can probably be summed up with a story that's as fictitious as the war we're supposedly talking about: http://www.truthorfiction.com...

War is expensive not only to run but to keep updated.

"It's amusing to see you and many others abuse logical fallacies - an ad homiem applies if I attempt to link the truth of a premise to a person's characteristic; I did no such thing."

Actually Ad Homiem is criticism of the person, not the point, any criticism in a debate that doesn't actually answer for the point is Ad Homiem, you know, like calling me illogical and ignorant.

"Yes, I recognize that we aren't entirely clueless to China's military might "

That's a damn sight different from "First of all, he has absolutely no stable way of depicting or tracking the progress of China's military given their secrecy"

"it'd be foolish to ignore that AMERICA IS DOING THE SAME"
This is entirely my point, for the whole debate your central argument has been "America is constantly updating it's military" while ignoring the point that the ambition is mutual, and one disadvantage that China doesn't have is the potential to waste as much on programs that simply aren't cost-effective (I would like to draw another parallel and state that Nazi Germany made this mistake too with a few of it's planes, tanks and artillery systems)

"For you to claim that because I believe we can't know all of China's military might I'm rationally prevented from speculating the progress of America is ridiculous.
"

Attempting to draw accurate comparison is rationally impossible. The very fact that you do not know means by default that you cannot gauge how well America would do in an all-out war against China.

"So while you can off-handedly remark that China is improving their equipment, and thus they are somehow on par or greater than America"

Liar, I never said that.

"I can't reference a SPECIFIC US military program with outlined objectives, methods, changes, etc. And thus propose to show how it will improve combat potential? That is a double standard in it's finest."

It's a bureaucratic system, not some improved piece of armour or a new gunship or a new kind of troop transport. You think a soldier on the front line is going to care how quickly form B-186 gets through to postal while he's being shot at?

"And so is America. You ignore my fact about conscription."

Actually no I didn't, I said straight up that China beats America in terms of numbers and to imply otherwise is lying, go back and read again.

"
The M4 rifle isn't the most overall effective weapon in the world - I agree. But my argument is that even now, it's capable enough to be operationally significant. Let's look at the test you reference, and laugh as it backfires on you[1]:"

I'd like to state that the posting of the links wasn't a point unto itself, you asked me for evidence of the M4's weaknesses and I provided, also I notice how your article failed to take into account the gas piston and how that wears the rifle down over time. So even if it was a point, it still stands due to that alone. It's interesting to note that in dusty environments (like, you know, the desert, like Iraq and Afghanistan) can cause a gun to jam, but the M4 is particularly hard to un-jam because according to the wikipedia article on the weapon ( http://en.wikipedia.org... ) unjamming the gun requires it's disassembly. Hardly practical in a firefight.

"Your link on operational tactics is from the US Marine Crops, NOT SPECIAL FORCES. "

You do realise that the term "special forces" doesn't mean what it used to, right? The term "Special Forces" can pretty much be attributed to any unit designed to do a specific job in specific environments with greater effectiveness than your average grunt. Also: According to the American Special Ops website ( http://www.americanspecialops.com...) SOCOM is a Special Ops branch, and I quote: "SOCOM is a US military command that oversees the Special Operations components of the US Army, Navy, Air Force and MARINE CORPS." (http://www.americanspecialops.com...)

"spec ops"

Which would make complete sense if it weren't for the fact that in these enlightened times you can just type in the name of a special force into Google and add "tactics" or "weapons" or something and hit gold.

"they simply show America has better guns to bring."

"The Thomas Barnett video"

Which is entirely my point, his proposal is just that, but his proposal is also the only thing stopping the US military from expecting every soldier to be able to do every job, the "handing out aid, shooting back" argument. This is the core of my overtraining point, a soldier is not equipped psychologically to do everything, this is why we have humanitarian workers and specialist soldiers for medical purposes (amongst other things but those two are probably most battlefield-relevant)

"they stretched out their supply lines and couldn't successfully incorporate their blitzkrieg tactic["

Yes of course, that was the single thing that lost them the war, it had absolutely nothing to do with anything else like the development of Russian tanks capable of deflecting anti-tank rounds (the T-34 and it's successors, look it up) it had nothing to do with the introduction of a few million American and Canadian soldiers that weren't as battle weary or demoralised as it's own men, it had absolutely nothing to do with anything else, nope, the war was lost at Bastogne and Arnhem and Stalingrad because that crap all happened simultaneously, didn't it?

"England was able to survive because of their channels, allowing them to stall and put a stake into the German's capability of sending in troops."

Please stop insulting my country. While Geography certainly played a part, do you honestly think we did so little damage to Germany that the only thing stopping them was water? I notice you didn't mention the RAF, something Hitler said had to be destroyed in order for an invasion of England to work, nor did you mention our invention of airborne radar or our development of tanks and weapons in the period between Dunkirk and D-day, had Hitler invaded, he'd have faced a weakened but re-armed and ever-determined nation with the home turf advantage.

"foreign policy issues such as this don't matter."

Strawman, you're the one that brought politics into the wars and that doesn't debunk the over-reliance on air power shown throughout both wars, which is my point.

"I AGREE, but I respond that no military could possibly be non-holistic and be effective"

This is my point, you know, "overtraining" and all that

Oh, also you never showed how my ac
TheSkeptic

Pro

My opponent's round is similar to his previous rounds in the sense that he consistently argues from a jaded perspective - he's constantly and conveniently ignoring obvious contentions, making bold claims with no evidence, or distorting historical facts. To begin, he responds to my introduction of the previous round by claiming that I committed an ad hominem fallacy. All I can do is advise him to actually learn logical fallacies before falsely applying them and looking foolish. For example:

"Actually Ad Homiem is criticism of the person, not the point, any criticism in a debate that doesn't actually answer for the point is Ad Homiem, you know, like calling me illogical and ignorant."

An ad hominem only applies if an insult is used IN PLACE of an argument TO FURTHER a claim. If you actually read my introduction clearly, you would see that my usage of ignorance is chosen carefully -- I'm arguing that you either fail to misunderstand my points or apparently ignore them. I question your logic because you've presented arguments and applied logical fallacies where it's inappropriate to. Simply because your feelings may be hurt does not constitute an ad hominem.

====================
Ground Forces
====================

Do you actually read my sentences? I agree that China's military isn't completely concealed, but I back up my claim from before that we have "absolutely no STABLE WAY" of tracking their military progression. If you still haven't noticed, stable is the key word. This criticism applies to most countries, because unless they were totally open with their military technology we likely won't understand the full scope. But even then, let's say we can still sensibly depict at least a reasonable sense of the growth of their technology - fine by me (and indeed, I might need to soften my point), why don't you start supplying some examples? What's silly is that you always bring up points or issues at hand but never supply your side -- You argue that my point about America upgrading it's military is moot because we...waste too much money? Again, my previous rounds have indicated that WE CAN AFFORD IT better than most countries.

Your link gave references to some Chinese equipment but I'd easily counter that the American counterparts are superior and am ready to backing this up if need be. For example, let's refer again to the Army's BCT Modernization Program: you claim it's purely a bureaucratic system, but this is grossly underestimating it. In the 21st century, information and communication is key and that's what this program aims to do. It wants to achieve a more integrated information network between those involved in an operation to help improve mobility, protection, precision, etc.

"Liar, I never said that."

If you bring up China's growth, but you don't even admit to implicitly implying they are superior, then what the hell are you doing about the resolution? Unless you can supply me a country with a better military, you're just nitpicking at America's military but doing nothing to further your position in this debate.

You criticize the M4 for having weaknesses, but you ignore my point that while it does have some problems it is still operationally effective, with the test only revealing it to be 1% less reliable than the other rifles. I don't deny the M4 has any weaknesses or that it isn't the best rifle in the world -- I simply claim that IT'S GOOD ENOUGH.

If you read your quote, it states that SOCOM oversees the SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMPONENTS of the branches in the US military. I'm not denying the Marine Corps have special forces - I'm denying that every marine is a special forces unit.

====================
Air and Sea Forces
====================

Since it's been consumed in the history section, I won't add anything unless I need to.

====================
Other things to consider + History
====================

Early in my opponent's round he claims that America develops "expensive tech designed to be used in very limited circumstances" - I'd ask him to back this up. Sure, there are many examples in which certain technology IS developed for a rather limited purpose, but at the same time this isn't inclusive of every technological advancement by America. If this was so, America wouldn't simply be wasteful but rather stupid as well. To further dismiss your claim, in my earlier rounds I've responded to your claims about America's military budget: the percentage of our GDP we use for military spending is quite low compared to most countries, therefore as a nation we can afford it.

Thomas Barnett is correct in claiming that not every soldier is fully prepared for all situations, but this has been a constant problem since the earliest wars. We've gone miles to improve this, and while infantry are still susceptible to psychological and environmental (among others) factors, they can still perform reliably under most circumstances. Further, you need to realize that in the context of this debate there is no concern for rebuilding a nation or what not - it's just an epic war similar to WW2 (since we are gauging what nation has a superior military).

Again, my point about the flaws of the blitzkrieg tactic is the MAJOR reason why the Germans couldn't push past Russia, not the ONLY *facepalm*. I acknowledge some technical superiority of Russian equipment, like the tank armor as you mention, but this only proves to support my point that having superior equipment can obviously help you win a war.

Concerning England: well for one, I'm leaning with some military historians who recently have given the naval forces more credit than the RAF for the success during the Battle of Britain (namely that even if the RAF failed, the invasion still probably wouldn't happen). But nonetheless, while I agree that the RAF did a magnificent job (and perhaps more than I appear to in my previous round), this only serves my point that superior planes and pilots can help win a war. You aren't doing anything to further your point or position here. This doesn't show over-reliance on air power being a flaw (while it would be in itself), it simply showed THE SUPERIORITY OF ONE AIR FORCE OVER ANOTHER. More than anything, it shows the importance of air power.

"This is my point, you know, "overtraining" and all that"

And I respond with the simply fact that even though a soldier isn't equipped for all situations, that's what other units are for (both personnel and armor). All an Army soldier primarily would have to do is shoot at the targets, advance inwards (or towards whatever helps accomplish the objective), and do the periodic reload and help for his fellow mates. It wouldn't be a situation like Iraq where he would have to distinguish among the innocent civilians, nor train the local militia (jobs fitted for special forces).

====================
Conclusion
====================

After all this arguing, it's interesting to note that my opponent has cited a country that can best America. To uphold this debate, he would have to present at least one nation superior overall than America. So...?
Debate Round No. 4
Veridas

Con

"An ad hominem only applies if an insult is used IN PLACE of an argument TO FURTHER a claim. "

Yes, which is what you've been doing at the start of every round, offering these little one-sided commentaries to what I presume are the people who will judge the debate and in doing so choose to insult my argument (sometimes without basis, ala your "I will show how his claims aren't holistic" claim right before failing to even attempt) to further your own. You believe that speaking to this currently anonymous third party holds the key to victory or else you wouldn't do it, and you're more than happy to downplay my arguments as "ignorant" or "twisted" or whatever your word of the day is without conclusively showing how. That is ad homiem, I've been doing this for a good number of years, I know Ad Homiem when I see it.

" I agree that China's military isn't completely concealed, but I back up my claim from before that we have "absolutely no STABLE WAY"

So you admit that your earlier point about China being, and I quote "so secretive" is a steaming pile?

"Most countries"

Most countries are, you just have to actually, you know, look.

"upgrading/waste"

Look who's putting words in my mouth, no. My point was that the upgrading is mutual but out of China and America, America is more prone to waste, so while America's military might have whistles and bells, China's military will have missiles and shells.

"WE CAN AFFORD IT"

You've indicated no such thing, you do realise that an army becomes much much more expensive once you actually send it to war, right? You do realise that this metaphorical conflict isn't going to be resolved with both nations defending their own borders, right?

"examples"

Already did with the site about China's upgrades specifically, also the point about China's upgrade in itself, and the sources about the M4 and the SCAR and SOCOM. You've posted on average about two sources so far per round, I like to think I've kept that standard.

"supply your side"

Are you f*cking kidding me? Just because I post the sources next to the argument rather than below it, suddenly I'm "not supplying my side?"

"this is grossly underestimating it."

Then so was your "it's a social networking bibblybobby toy" comment which neither explains it's purpose nor it's cost, which means you either don't want us to know what it does or you don't want us to know how much it cost, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it's both.

"history"

So much for the, what was it? oh yes "distorting historical facts." I guess they can't be too distorted if you're unwilling to show how.

"expensive tech/limited circumstances"

You want me to provide a source for a point so blatantly obvious that even you, without argument, admit that it's true?

"but at the same time this isn't inclusive of every technological advancement by America"

I never actually said every piece of new tech fell into that category.

"If this was so, America wouldn't simply be wasteful but rather stupid as well."

Yeah, see, mmm, lowest 10%.

"To further dismiss your claim"

Dismiss? That counts as dismissing to you?

"in my earlier rounds I've responded to your claims about America's military budget: the percentage of our GDP we use for military spending is quite low compared to most countries, therefore as a nation we can afford it."

le sigh

First and foremost, an overview of the budget from 2009: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Lowest in the world my fragrant irish arse: http://static.globalissues.org...

You're arguing with percentages, sneaky but not unbeatable. Your percentage itself is still much higher than your original figure (what was it? 4%?) and you fail to take into account yet again that if you have more money you can spend more while keeping your percentage "low."

But lets imagine war did break out and suddenly the military is priority one, oops, all the cash for the military is spent, so which of the other parts of the US would you cut back on to gain the money? and we aren't talking the odd two or three million here, you're going to need billions for logistics, munitions, training, equipment, communications and so on and so forth.

You can afford it now (actually even that is debatable, considering the defecit and the economic condition of the west in general, but that's for another debate) because right now your military is sucking down cash for leisure. Much of the money is being thrown into two fairly small warzones with fairly small quantities of activity. Try twenty or thirty times the activity that's going on now and you're still short of total war.

"Thomas Barnett is correct in claiming that not every soldier is fully prepared for all situations, but this has been a constant problem since the earliest wars. We've gone miles to improve this, and while infantry are still susceptible to psychological and environmental (among others) factors, they can still perform reliably under most circumstances."

So you're fine with eating away at a person's sanity as long as "they can still perform reliably under most circumstances?"

"Further, you need to realize that in the context of this debate there is no concern for rebuilding a nation or what not - it's just an epic war similar to WW2"

Yeah, there was absolutely no need for nation-building after WW2.

"Again, my point about the flaws of the blitzkrieg tactic is the MAJOR reason why the Germans couldn't push past Russia, not the ONLY "

I didn't say it was the only, I just don't believe it was a defining factor. Even if Germany hadn't been put on the back foot by Russia, have you actually seen the size of the place? the occupying force alone wold have crippled Germany's army.

"I acknowledge some technical superiority of Russian equipment, like the tank armor as you mention"

ahahahahahahaha.

It wasn't superior, not even remotely, the only reason it was so effective was because the Russians said "hey lets try tilting the armour" The Germans expended so much money trying to develop an ultimate tank shell and it just bounced off the Russian's armour. The Russians lost T-34s of course, but the basic premise still allowed an inferior tank to take on, and beat, a superior tank. Sometimes the key to winning is just being smart enough to know that money=/=stength.

"UK Navy stopping invason of England"

U-boats, anyone?

"Superior RAF"

Again, it wasn't superior, you know why the RAF was so good? Let me tell you why the RAF was so good.

They took the cheapest, weakest and most pathetic plane they could.

They stuck an (at the time) enormous engine on it.

Then they glued eight machineguns to it.

and they let teenagers take it for a spin.

Eight machineguns at that kind of time, all facing in one direction, that was H4><. The Germans had no defence against a nippy little sod with eight machineguns. That's a bit like giving a ninja a laser.

The guns didn't work at high altitude, the germans had faster and better planes and more experienced pilots, the RAF did so well because someone somewhere said "anything's better than nothing"

"you aren't doing anything to further your point or position here"

I am, you just haven't realised it yet.

"This doesn't show over-reliance on air power being a flaw "

That point was about you guys, not us.

"it shows the importance of air power."

Until you can develop a plane that can plant a flag, planes alone won't win wars, that's the point here, not that they aren't important.

"It wouldn't be a situation like Iraq"

How can you say that? This war is metaphorical, it could be fought on the moon for all you know.

It's interesting to note that my opponent has yet to show how America's military is superior to all others.
TheSkeptic

Pro

My opponent can refer to his experience and complain about a supposed ad hominem attack (interesting that you can't even spell it correct and yet claim to know it when you see it), but unless he actually knows what the fallacy is he's simply embarrassing himself. Here's a simple lesson: even if I stated in my round that my opponent is a pathetically pompous idiot, this itself wouldn't constitute an ad hominem UNLESS I conclude from this insult that his argument is wrong. No where in my round did I do this -- when I refer to your arguments as ignorant or illogical, this was to simply summarize the criticisms in my argument (which can be summarized by critiquing your arguments for disregarding some facts, etc.). That is the point of an introduction, isn't it? If you're butt hurt about this, too bad. You should find another retort than ad hominem.

====================
Ground Forces
====================

"So you admit that your earlier point about China being, and I quote "so secretive" is a steaming pile?"

False dichotomy - learn to round an argument. I argued that there are gray areas when attempting to trace the progress of a nation's military technology (especially China, for example we aren't even sure about the amount of their military spenditure), but EVEN if we were to continue argue on this issue and thus deal with a fuzzy area, America's technology still seems to be superior.

What's even more ludicrous is that you argue China's practicality and supposed cost-effectiveness prevails over America's waste. Even if China was more cost-effective, this can be disregarded by the fact that America can afford the military spending in the face of a war. Highlight this with the fact that the USA spends about half the world's amount in military spending, outclassing China by 9x. You say I've "indicated no such thing", but if you read my d@mn rounds, early on I gave links and pointed out that in 2005 we only spent around 4% of our GDP. 4 PERCENT. You retort by giving me a graph from the Wikipedia page on US military spending, while amusingly sighing in the process, but ironically the same expression can be fired back. The graph depicts the percentage of our SPENDING, not taking into context the GDP. From the same Wikipedia link: "For FY 2010, Department of Defense spending amounts to 4.7% of GDP. Because the U.S. GDP has risen over time, the military budget can rise in absolute terms while shrinking as a percentage of the GDP. For example, the Department of Defense budget is slated to be $664 billion in 2010 (including the cost of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan previously funded through supplementary budget legislation), higher than at any other point in American history, but still 1.1–1.4% lower as a percentage of GDP than the amount spent on defense during the peak of Cold-War military spending in the late 1980s."

Then, you bring up sole examples such as the inferiority of the M4 against the SCAR and SOCOM. I countered by demonstrating the relatively insignificant operational effectiveness. You then give me a link about a few of China's equipment and expect me to reply to all those with these character limits, but let's compare a few: the Chengdu J-10 is an impressive multirole aircraft, but the USA boasts the F-35 Lightning II and the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The artillery system can potentially be compared to the one you linked a video about, lol. Their main battle tank can be challenged by the Abrams. As you can see, the list is long and I'm not going to compare every unit simply because you lazily gave me a single link. Rather, it's your burden to at least reference some examples and explain their superiority. Should I just do what you did and give a link of America's military equipment, and expect you to refute all of them without wasting character limits?

====================
Other things to consider + History
====================

"Thomas Barnett"

You seriously arguing that it's a particular flaw of America that being a soldier in war is psychologically stressful? THIS PRACTICALLY HAPPENS TO ANY COUNTRY AT WAR.

"Yeah, there was absolutely no need for nation-building after WW2."

It's frustrating dealing with your quips; they totally ignore the point most of the time. The point of nation-building after WW2 was for reasons like PEACE. In a practical situation, most nations would not go to war without having other nations mixed up, nor will they simply annihilate another country with nothing being done about the aftermath. But in this debate, a hypothetical between America and some other country is being considered, without the aftermath (and what moral acts should be done) being considered.

"I didn't say it was the only, I just don't believe it was a defining factor. Even if Germany hadn't been put on the back foot by Russia, have you actually seen the size of the place? the occupying force alone wold have crippled Germany's army."

So you acknowledge that elements such as geography affected Germany's success...great, rams in my point of the flaws of blitzkrieg or a general flaw on Germany's part (i.e. they don't have enough numbers to compensate for their ambitious goals).

"It wasn't superior, not even remotely, the only reason it was so effective was because the Russians said "hey lets try tilting the armour""

It's always enjoyable seeing you smug about a point, and then falling face first as it crumbles. You did this with the point about the M4 (as I used your own link), and about the US military expenditure (as I used your own link). Unfortunately, I don't have another link of yours to use on this point but whatever: the T-34 tank (regarded as one of the best WW2 weapons created) excelled mainly because of it's balanced attributes, high production rate, and high reliability - attributes that the German tanks lacked. With the Allied having an immense production rate as well, during the Eastern Front the Russians were able to focus on the production of T-34's as well. The T-34 IS an example of superior technology; having high production rates, balanced attributes, etc. is not an inferior tank in tactical terms.

"...the RAF did so well because someone somewhere said "anything's better than nothing""

LOL, so your argument is basically what, they got lucky? Having worse pilots and planes means you win? No, the RAF prevailed because the German's made/had the following critical errors: they had a lack of heavy bombers and short range flight for their fighters means fighting over English land would take more toll per German loss than per British loss. The deal breaker is that Hitler changed plans from annihilating the RAF and instead bombing London - a fatal mistake that allowed the RAF to retake air superiority.

====================
Conclusion
====================

"It's interesting to note that my opponent has yet to show how America's military is superior to all others."

My opponent has debated before, so is he foreign to the concept of a burden of proof? For example, in my previous round I clearly asked of my opponent to supply one country that is better than the USA - he gave none. I have neither the patience nor the character limits to visit every nation and compare them the America. Do I claim that atheist is true only by going through every religion and invalidating them? No, as an atheist my opponent should know better.
Debate Round No. 5
61 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wolfhaines 3 years ago
wolfhaines
Russia learnt very quickly that having lots of troops doesn't win wars. Britain controlled India with only 20,000 troops, it also took control of India with far less than that. Britain has never had a large military, the Navy bulked up the numbers for centuries. It is the quality of troops that count. And that is something Europe has- extremely highly trained and experienced troops. Britain prides itself on getting the job done without masses of equipment, without masses of casualties, and without showing off. Most special forces from around the world go to Norway to do Arctic training, because their expertise in that field is unmatched. When it comes to jungle warfare, the French host masses of foreign nationals in French Guyana (as does Belize). Desert warfare is an American speciality, and most nations go there to train in Nevada or wherever. When it comes to amphibious warfare Britain and Netherlands help train foreign troops. Numbers count for nothing in the modern world, we all learn from each other and help each other in respected fields.
Does America have the most powerful military in the world? Yes. Why? Because it has the capability to logistically support any troop in any part of the world for any length of time. It is no more advanced on a troop vs troop basis than other allies, it is no larger than some other nations militaries, it is just better logistically organised by far.
Posted by gavin.ogden 3 years ago
gavin.ogden
Ah, it sure is telling when people hold the military up so high, since it is the most primitive form of problem solving known to man. Heck, if you can't reason with em', blow them up, right?
Posted by GodSands 3 years ago
GodSands
In history, the American Army hasn't been too outstanding. It lost the Vietnam War, and although it finished WW2 it only fought in WW2 for the last two years, by which it only did because Japan invaded Pearl Harbour. It's had it's own civil wars, and it's invaded Iraq twice. I don't think so far the American Army has won a war without the help of allies? Perhaps it has though, not sure.
Posted by GodSands 3 years ago
GodSands
http://wiki.answers.com... - A very insightful article.
Posted by GodSands 3 years ago
GodSands
The British army is believed to be the most trained army in the world. Therefore the British army is considered to be the best army in the world. Especially the SAS.
Posted by democrat435 3 years ago
democrat435
this debate is very exciting. i am with pro for sure!
Posted by democrat435 3 years ago
democrat435
wow!
Posted by Boxersam101 3 years ago
Boxersam101
I cant believe he actually used Wikipedia as a citation for his information....
Posted by Veridas 4 years ago
Veridas
If anyone's at all interested, Russia Vs Germany: http://www.megaupload.com...
Posted by Veridas 4 years ago
Veridas
"I am aware that it doesn't exist. That's why I said it was HYPOTHETICAL. This is all me arguing against your point, I still believe that there can be a greatest in the world, it just depends on how you measure it."

Using hypothetical scenarios to state that any country is any better in any way than another country=madness and mental retardation.

"If it was highest number of men, someone else could win. If it was highest number of bombs, someone else could win. If it was most advanced technology, someone else could win. That's why this whole debate was kind of a mess, because how do you define "greatest"? Most bombs? Most people? A combination?"

Says the guy that's spent so long saying "we win lol"

"I'm not a complete moron when it comes to history, despite what you may think. I AM AWARE that the playing field is never even. But the point is that in order to test one military's strength against another IN A HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION, the environment must be equal."

Funny, you're only saying all this after I've spent a great deal of time and energy I'll never get back having to explain that war in general depends on more than brute force.

You can stop now, you know, it's clear that I've made my point.

"Testing for one variable requires that all the other variables must be stable! That's what I meant with the standing on boxes thing. It's like trying to find the world's fastest man. They run the exact same length of track, because if that varies, it wasn't a fair race."

and yet war isn't fair, the only fair fight is the one you lose.

Will do my best to answer your question in the next comment.
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