The Instigator
llamas123
Pro (for)
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The Contender
politixndeb8
Con (against)
Tied
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Current U.S. Foreign policy in the Middle East undermines our national security

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/29/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,209 times Debate No: 26699
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

llamas123

Pro

Merriam- Webster defines the Middle East as "The countries of South West Asia and North West Africa." However this definition does not give mention to the violent conflicts, polar extremes, or the groundbreaking waves of change that truly define this region. America"s involvement and policy in this area has jeopardized our national security on too many occasions. Therefore I affirm today's resolution that "Resolved: Current U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East undermines our national security."
To begin, our continued investment of oil in the Middle East has made our nation vunerable. A quote from Ivan Elands newest book "No War For Oil" tells us that To ensure the free flow of oil from the Middle East, the United States maintains military facilities in Oman, Bahrain, and Iraq to name a few"as well as in nearby Egypt and Djibouti. We are putting more than 144 ships and 5 troop divisions into openly hostile territories, and these resources and people do not need to be there. Yet there is another blatantly contradictory problem with our investment in Middle-Eastern oil. We buy and invest in oil from Iran, a country who we are currently attempting to punish economically for making its nuclear program. Essentially we are counter-acting our own defensive policies because of our dependence on oil! More over these people have killed our troops, civilians, and most recently; ambassadors. Perhaps if we showed that we could live without their oil they would be more welcoming of our country. Our dependency on Middle Eastern oil has been a crushing factor of our foreign policy which has undermined our national security.
Representative Ron Paul once said "Maybe we ought to consider a Golden Rule in foreign policy: Don't do to other nations what we don't want happening to us. We endlessly bomb these countries and then we wonder why they get upset with us." This is a perfect elaboration of my second contention: our foreign policy has made us many enemies. Our military actions in the Middle East have killed over 150,000 civilians according to the United Kingdom Guardian. Knowing this, it is no surprise to hear in a CNN report that in response there have been no less than 50 attempted terrorist attacks on American soil from the Middle East. Also, last November, 24 innocent Pakistani civilians were accidentally killed by American Airstrikes. To date, Pakistan still believes the attack was deliberate. As a result Pakistan now refuses to end its 6 month blockade of NATO troop supplies meant for Afghanistan. In sum our foreign policy has been seemingly uncaring of civilians, and as a result the people of the Middle East have tried and on many times succeeded in undermining our national security.
As I earlier mentioned, the Middle East can be defined by its extremes; both good and bad. It is a place where accidents have consequences. This leads me to my final contention; Our foreign policy has led to various accidents, or "Blow-backs," a term which is defined by Merriam-Webster as "unforeseen and unwanted effects, results, or sets of repercussions." Perhaps the most influential blowback is the fact that unstable nations have stolen our weapons and technology. Last December Iran captured one of our drones. They have refused to return it which has made many worry about the fact that weapons in the wrong hands could do considerable damage. In 2009 we invented the Stuxnet virus, which was used to affect Iran"s nuclear program. Shortly after a twin virus called the flame was launched on the Middle East, bearing an identical resemblance to the Stuxnet virus. Someone had stolen our virus, and used it for themselves. Couldn't"t they use the virus on us? Our foreign policy has brought technology into the wrong hands where it can now be used to undermine our national security.
I have worked out a possible alternative foreign policy. In this we cut back on our dependence for Middle Eastern oil, we treat those who dislike us with kindness while we do not put ourselves in their harms way. Finally we support those who support us or want our help. To do this would make our nation secure again, sound again, and strong again. As to do this" progress must be made-- therefore affirm today's resolution that "Resolved: Current U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East undermines our national security."
politixndeb8

Con

The World Book defines the Middle East as, "A region made up of the lands of southwestern Asia and northeastern Africa. All definitions of the region include the countries of Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen." As my opponent has mentioned, this region of land is known for it's extreme beliefs, causing timeless conflicts. However my opponent does not state the resolved correctly, which is "CURRENT U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East undermines our national security." Cambridge Dictionary defines current as "the most recent."
As my partner has made their case on oil a contention, it must be said there is some fallacy in the argument. First off, America has imposed sanctions on Iran, has passed legislation, and stopped buying and investing in ANY oil from Iran. A quote from New York Times, "Under legislation that President Obama signed in December, the United States must take action against countries that continue buying large volumes of crude oil through Iran"s central bank by cutting off from the American banking system the financial institutions engaged in those transactions in those countries." Also, in the case of oil, America does not solely rely on the Middle East for oil, as is usually exaggerated. The Energy Information Administration reports that America is one of the world's largest oil producers, and close to 40 percent of U.S. oil needs are met at home. Approximately 20% is imported from the Western Hemisphere, 15% is imported from Canada, 13% from the Persion Gulf (8% exported from Saudi Arabia), 10% from Africa, and 3% from Other. The Current Administration and policies is NOT what is endangering our troops, rather those have been policies that have existed for decades. In fact it is the Current policies that are actually beneficial, as we are becoming more independent, while imposing sanctions for the rest of the world to follow. The EIA also reports that in a single year, from 2010-2011, the US has reduced oil imports by 10%, or 1 million barrels per a day. Also, under the Obama Administration EIA reports that wind and solar production has nearly doubled.
My second contention will examine the US usages of drones and the positive outcome. Just like any military strategy, there will be some negative outcomes, however in the case of drones: the positive outweigh the cons. In fact, isn't it better to strike at America"s enemies without putting service members in harm"s way? These drones can be flown with a remote control, while never leaving our home soil. It means we can target individuals that are imposing a threat to our national security, while never invading a countries land. Out of the drone attacks in 2012 alone, a study done by Stanford Law School and New York University's School of Law states number of "high-level" targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low -- about 2%. The U.S. has successfully killed hundreds of militants using drones, most notably this year, a drone strike killed number 2 Al Qaeda leader, Abu Yahya Al-Libi.
Hence, I would like to reiterate that my opponent has not been able to support the actual resolve, that CURRENT U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East undermines our national security
Debate Round No. 1
llamas123

Pro

Before I strengthen my own argument, I would like to address my opponents. To begin my rebuttal, I would first like to mention that I did in fact take note of the term "current." Each of my statistics and facts about our current foreign policy in the Middle East was from the past decade, most in the last four years (during the presidency of our current President Barrack Obama). Therefore any clash caused by their statement purely means that we have just appeared to have interpreted this term differently from one another. My opposition also states that we gain only a little of our oil from the Middle East, and to this I agree. However because of this we should not have over 5 troop divisions and 144 ships guarding this supply! We are placing these people and resources into openly hostile territories, while we could be using them for more helpful and beneficial purposes.
Next I would like to address my opponents contention regarding drones. The point of this debate is to decide whether or not our current U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East has undermined our national security. Considering that Iran now has one of our drones which they can now reverse engineer to build duplicates, this is certainly undermining our national security"even more so due to the fact that they flatly refused our demands to return our drone. In addition our drone strikes have killed over 150,000 civilians as the United Kingdom guardian reports, and it is the families and friends of these people are those who now hate America. We have created far too many enemies by the usage of drone strikes in the Middle East. Finally my opposition states that a benefit of drone strikes is that we can control them via computers. In 2009 we released the Suxtent virus which was then copied to make the Flame, which was a destructive virus that severely damaged the Middle East. This leaves me to wonder how beneficial the usage of drones would be if someone hijacked our drone network.
Today"s debate was over whether or not current U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East has undermined our national security. Our foreign policy has made us too many enemies, made us vunerable from our dependence on Middle Eastern Oil, and has led to dangerous blow-backs. From these faults Iran has one of our drones, we have a large portion of our military in openly hostile territory guarding an oil supply, and we have continued to make enemies. All these undermine our national security, therefore vote pro on today"s debate.
politixndeb8

Con

I would to examine the contrast between me and my opponent. My opponent continues to make claims regarding the U.S. involvement in the Middle East, tin attempt to support why this policy undermines our national security. However, my opponent has not considered the evidence to support how the Current Administration has in fact strengthened our national security!
First off, I would like to emphasize on the discrepancy between my opponent's arguments. First, they suggested, "Our military actions in the Middle East have killed over 150,000 civilians according to the United Kingdom Guardian." In their next argument they exaggerated this statistic by saying, "In addition our drone strikes have killed over 150,000 civilians as the United Kingdom guardian reports, and it is the families and friends of these people are those who now hate America." This follow statement is inaccurate. The truth is, drones are incredibly successful, without putting our men at risk. I would like to reiterate, out of the drone attacks in 2012 alone, a study done by Stanford Law School and New York University's School of Law states number of "high-level" targets killed as a percentage of total civilians killed is extremely low -- about 2%. With a 98% success rate of targeting and killing the individuals who are terrorist, and DO impose a threat to our national security, the usage of drones are a no brainer. It should also be noted that a drone killed, this year, the number 2 Al Qaeda leader, Abu Yahya Al-Libi. As well as CNN states, "The first U.S. armed drone attack, which appears to be the first such strike ever, took place in mid-November 2001 and killed the military commander of al Qaeda, Mohammed Atef." CNN also reported that last month, three U.S. drone strikes killed five suspected al Qaeda militants. Since 2001-now, drones have proved they have been effective in killing individuals who are a threat to our national security.
In the argument regarding oil, I agree with my opponent, that US should not fully depend on the Middle East oil. However, it is significant to say that as little as 13% of imported oil, is even from the Persian Gulf. In the past four years, we have seen a significant drop in dependency. The EIA also reports that in a single year, from 2010-2011, the US has reduced oil imports by 10%, or 1 million barrels per a day. In an effort to not rely the slightest on foreign oil from the Middle East, under the Obama Administration EIA reports that wind and solar production has nearly doubled. So in the case of becoming less dependent on Middle Eastern oil, it is our Current Administration that is gradually making it happen.
Hence, under Current U.S. foreign policy, we are witnessing extreme target killing success with our usage of drones, and becoming less dependent on Middle Eastern oil. Therefore, it is the Current U.S. foreign policy that is strengthening our national security.
Debate Round No. 2
llamas123

Pro

llamas123 forfeited this round.
politixndeb8

Con

My opponent has made it clear, that they have not been prepared to debate the Resolved: CURRENT U.S foreign policy undermines our national security. Since my opponent has forfeited the past round, we can assume that they agree with my fellow contentions: the usage of drone strikes have been beneficial in strengthening our national security, and the Current Administration has helped the US become less reliant on Middle Eastern oil. After all, Obama said this week, in his re election speech, "And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together.... Freeing ourselves from foreign oil." Foreign oil has become a top priority, and we have already seen us become less reliant, and we will only continue to see us become less reliant. Therefore, I urge a con ballet.
Debate Round No. 3
llamas123

Pro

llamas123 forfeited this round.
politixndeb8

Con

Judging by my opponents lack of response, it is clear they agree that Current US foreign policy does NOT undermine our national security. Therefore, I urge a con ballot.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by kylethedebater 4 years ago
kylethedebater
in debate practice we spent about a half an hour talking about counterplans so i was pretty sure there were illegal but i was not 100%
Posted by llamas123 4 years ago
llamas123
to be honest I have no clue.
Posted by kylethedebater 4 years ago
kylethedebater
in the pros first speech they provided a counterplan i thought that was against the rules. am i wrong?
Posted by MATTKARIJOLIC 4 years ago
MATTKARIJOLIC
where are y'all finding your information on what our us policy is ?
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