The Instigator
WesternGuy2
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
HPWKA
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

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: 1/16/2014 Category: Arts
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,141 times Debate No: 44087
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)

 

WesternGuy2

Con

Thanks for accepting this debate
I hope we have a great debate!
Evidence is only to be presented when asked for
Last speeches, no new evidence is to be presented
1st speech- opening
2nd- rebuttals
3rd- more rebuttals
4th- summary
5th- Closing statement
Good luck!
CON- Case

Definitions
Merriam Webster- undermine- to subvert or weaken insidiously or secretly

Foreign Policy- actions the United States government takes on behalf of its national interests abroad to ensure the security and well-being of Americans and the
strength and competitiveness of the U.S. economy. - California State University
Current-from the Obama administration onwards
We would like to provide two observations

Obsv 1- As no foreign policy in the history of civilization is 100% effective, the Affirmative cannot nitpick certain miniscule harms in the current foreign policy. Our opponents have to show you, Judge, that there is a great magnitude of harms that undermine the national security.

Obsv 2- Since the United States is the biggest superpower in the world, almost no one can undermine it"s national security. Using the Rand Corporation"s key term of threaten, a country has to have the intent and capability to be considered a threat. Any argument the Affirmative argues on this debate, has to meet this "threat" criteria.

Contention 1- The Current US foreign policy in the Middle East keeps the United States safe.

According to CIA- The United States cannot avoid terrorism simply by pulling back from the Middle East, Pillar, a Federal Executive Fellow in the Policy Studies program of the Brookings Institution argues. Retrenchment would not serve our foreign policy or security interests. America can do little to change its status in the world. Indeed, the US partnership with Israel"the most frequently voiced complaint by Islamic terrorists"moderates Israeli policies and sustains Israel's confidence in its security. Reduction of US support for Israel would not reduce terrorism, and might even encourage it.

But while our opponents may say that we are currently drawing our troops out of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, according to CountDownToDrawDown.org:
Reports indicate that the Pentagon wants to keep at least 25,000 troops in Afghanistan to maintain peace and stability.
There were only 34,000 troops there when Obama took office. If 25,000 troops are kept after 2014, the net withdrawal would only be 9,000 troops, making troop levels the same as what they were in 2007.
Likewise, the United States is also very safe from terrorists currently. The Atlantic reports that only 0.01% of all terrorist related deaths in 2011 were private US citizens.

The impact is that if we must withdraw the current foreign policy from the middle east because it undermines our national security, then how come terrorism might increase without the foreign policy? Currently with the foreign policy, many US citizens are being protected. The national security is currently safe with the current policy in the Middle East.
[Retrenchment means a cutting of expenses- Merriam Webster]

Contention 2- Current US Foreign Policy decreases probability of an Al Qaeda attack

Because of the current US foreign policy, last year, Osama Bin Laden was killed
This was dramatically decreased the probability of an Al Qaeda attack, which is considered the top terrorist threat to the United States, according to the Council on foreign relations.

According to the Center for American Progress and the National Counterterrorism Center"s Worldwide Incidents Tracking System:

There was a 16 percent drop in successful attacks by the Al Qaeda network in the year after bin Laden"s death compared to the year before.
There was also a 35 percent drop in casualties caused by the Al Qaeda network in the year following bin Laden"s death compared to the year before.
There were only 81 successful attacks by the Al Qaeda network in Pakistan since bin Laden"s death, down from 159 the year before.
There were 0 successful attacks by the Al Qaeda network in the United States since bin Laden"s death.

The impact is clear. The current US foreign policy is doing a great job from protecting the United States as well as other countries. Under the Obama foreign policy, Bin Laden was killed. Since the probability of attacks on the US and other countries decreased dramatically since, the US national security is not being undermined with the current US foreign policy.
HPWKA

Pro

Before beginning my argument in proper, I would like to point out a couple of issues.

1.) Con's first contention states that current US foreign policy keeps the US "safe". It should be said that this statement on its own does not help his position. The issue is, does current US foreign policy keep the US safe, relative to other possible policies the US could enact. If not, then Con's position is wrong, and current US foreign policy DOES undermine national security.

2.) Con's second contention states that current US foreign policy decreases the likelihood of an Al Qaeda attack, relative to previous years/administrations. That's nice, but aside from having the same issue as the first contention, Al Qaeda is only one of many threats the US faces.

Both of Con's contentions operate under an extremely narrow scope, and thus don't necessitate a direct response, as my following argument(s) will contradict his position on the resolution, without necessarily contradicting his contentions. I'll now begin.

Current US foreign policy (Obama administration) has led directly to about 2,000 US deaths, tens of thousands injured, and tens of thousands suffering from Post-Traumatic-Stress. Hundreds of Billions of dollars have been spent on just Iraq/Afghanistan alone, as the US has seen both its popularity and economic dominance dip, relative to pre-war levels.

Con defines "National Security" as, "actions the United States government takes on behalf of its national interests abroad to ensure the security and well-being of Americans and the strength and competitiveness of the U.S. economy.".

The "security and well being of Americans" suffers significantly, when 2,000 of them die, and tens of thousands more are injured/traumatized. The "strength and competitiveness of the U.S. economy" suffers significantly, when hundreds of billions of dollars are funneled to a war that killed/injured the above Americans, and don't help the US combat the growing economic threat of China.

Are there alternative foreign policies that wouldn't result in the above conditions, which CLEARLY harm US "National Security"? Yes. If the Obama administration had immediately had withdrawn ALL the troops from Iraq/Afghanistan, nearly none of those roughly 2,000 Americans would have been killed, and tens of thousands would be spared injury/mental-illness. A significant chunk of that "hundreds of billions of dollars" would be available, which could be pumped into economic projects to keep the US competitive against China, or redistributed to low-income families, which would likely save/improve thousands of American lives.

That's it for my first argument. The US clearly has a foreign policy that undermines its national security in a significant way, compared to other possibly policies the US could have enacted.
Debate Round No. 1
WesternGuy2

Con

Thank You for a timely response!
I will first strengthen what this debate is about, refute my opponents refutations, refute their arguments, and then go back to my own.
First, I want to point out my opponent never touched my framework, so I assume that he agrees with it
Now, my opponent says that my first argument is non-topical since I need to prove that the current US foreign policy in the Middle keeps keeps the US safe, relative to other possible policies.
This can only be true if my opponent brings up a different plan that is better than the current foreign policy.
Only then, does the con have to prove that the current foreign policy is better than the pro's proposed foreign policy.
His refutation to my second argument is that its too narrow to refute, and his arguments will contradict that.
Since Al Qaeda is the most dangerous terrorist group, and number one most wanted terrorist group brought down by the US, it is a very important part of US foreign policy and warrants a refutation.
So, let's go to my opponents case
They have two parts to their argument
Lives, and Money.
They talk about how if we had withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan sooner, more lives would be saved, and hundreds of billions of dollars would be saved
First, about evidence, I would like to see the URL for the dollar quantity, if that is all right. Also, I ask my opponent for the evidence that immediately pulling out the troops would save all 2,000 lives.
Now, to refute the merits of the argument
First, lets talk about lives
Ever since our current foreign policy has killed Osama bin Laden, There has been a 35 percent drop in casualties caused by the Al Qaeda network in the year following bin Laden’s death compared to the year before. Judge, clearly if we hadn’t fought the Iraq or Afghanistan wars, the amount of people dying from terrorism would instead be increasing.
As the negative team, we will not be losing so many lives. We will stop terrorism and decrease terrorist caused deaths by 35%, according to National Counterterrorism Center’s Worldwide Incidents Tracking System. According to The Atlantic, 13,288 people killed by terrorist attacks last year. Judge, this means we will be saving about 4,700 lives every year. Over a century, this number would amount to 470,000, which outnumbers our opponents 2,000 lives being saved. Judge, my opponent is advocating for 2,000 people willing to give up their lives for America being saved at the expense of 13,288 innocent people killed by terrorist attacks every year. Judge, you cannot let this happen!

Second, lets talk about money,
Judge, you must realize that no price tag can be placed on human life. The US fought these wars to prevent additional people dying from terrorism. Ever since our current foreign policy has killed Osama bin Laden, There has been a 35 percent drop in casualties caused by the Al Qaeda network in the year following bin Laden’s death compared to the year before.

Clearly, since my opponents arguments have been refuted, I will go on to my own.
My first argument is that without the current foreign policy, terrorism will increase. Judge, this is DETRIMENTAL and this cannot happen. So whatever my opponent says about how there are other solutions, you have to understand that by implementing these different solutions, terrorism will increase, and that is something the US does not want to go through.

My second argument is that Al Qaeda has significantly dropped in threat level since Osama Bin Laden's death, which was was a part of the US foreign policy.
There was a 16 percent drop in successful attacks by the Al Qaeda network in the year after bin Laden"s death compared to the year before.
There was also a 35 percent drop in casualties caused by the Al Qaeda network in the year following bin Laden"s death compared to the year before.
There were only 81 successful attacks by the Al Qaeda network in Pakistan since bin Laden"s death, down from 159 the year before.
There were 0 successful attacks by the Al Qaeda network in the United States since bin Laden"s death.
Judge, under the current US foreign policy, Al Qaeda has decreased in potency and has decreased as a threat.
Since, the con has proven why the current US foreign policy is NOT undermining our national security, and that all the solutions my opponent presented were shut down, you have to vote con in this debate.
I would like to thank my opponent for their time, and good luck on their next round.
Thank You
HPWKA

Pro

" I ask my opponent for the evidence that immediately pulling out the troops would save all 2,000 lives."

Firstly, I never said "all" 2,000 would be saved, just the vast majority. As for "evidence", its as simple as this. 2,000 US citizens can't die in Iraq and Afghanistan, if they are in America. Similarly, tens of thousands of US citizens won't incur injury or mental illness, if they don't participate in the war/occupation which caused these aggravations to occur.

The following is essentially Con's entire argument, and it makes no sense at all.

"There has been a 35 percent drop in casualties caused by the Al Qaeda network in the year following bin Laden"s death compared to the year before. Judge, clearly if we hadn"t fought the Iraq or Afghanistan wars, the amount of people dying from terrorism would instead be increasing."

What? Your first sentence establishes that ever since the US assassinated Bin-Ladin, American casualties in Iraq/Afghanistan have gone down. However, you fail to mention that US casualties were decreasing before the assassination, and in some cases, before Obama even took office. Also, you neglect to realize that US troop withdrawal coincides with this miraculous fall in casualties, meaning the lack of US death may be more a function of less troops in harms way, then US foreign policy actual reducing the threat of harm.

This isn't the worst of it. You use your problematic premise to conclude that the Iraq/Afghanistan wars saved American lives! WHAT!?! The fact that casualties are going down in Iraq/Afghanistan doesn't contradict my claim, that we would have a LOT LESS casualties, if we weren't there in the first place. You are confusing "a really bad thing getting less bad", with "a really bad thing never happening".

Con gives us another gem with this. "According to The Atlantic, 13,288 people killed by terrorist attacks last year. Judge, this means we will be saving about 4,700 lives every year. Over a century, this number would amount to 470,000, which outnumbers our opponents 2,000 lives being saved. Judge, my opponent is advocating for 2,000 people willing to give up their lives for America being saved at the expense of 13,288 innocent people killed by terrorist attacks every year."

Con, we are discussing US foreign policy, and how it effects US citizens. Of the 13,288 people killed by terrorism, The Atlantic goes on to say only 17 of them were US citizens.

That's pretty much it. Con has failed to refute any aspect of my arguments. He keeps going on about how casualties are going down for US citizens, ignoring the fact that were my foreign policy put in effect, there wouldn't have been such casualties in the first-place. He hasn't addressed my monetary claim at all.

"First, about evidence, I would like to see the URL for the dollar quantity, if that is all right."

http://www.globalresearch.ca...

The above link details that the total cost of the "war on terror" will be around 6 trillion (maybe more). Obama's share is likely in the hundreds of billions of dollars.




Debate Round No. 2
WesternGuy2

Con

Thank you for a timely respnse.
I will go over my opponents refutations.
First, they talk about how they don't need evidence to to prove that the evidence is correct. First, my opponent cannot say a vast majority will be saved instead of all 2,000. They don't give this number, and if they cannot give us this number, the number itself should be disregarded.
Second, the Iraq and Afghanistan policies were actually beneficial to our national security. According to the Council of Foreign Relations On both Iraq and Afghanistan, the administration has displayed an admirable degree of flexibility and adaptation. In Iraq, for example, the president reconciled his earlier campaign positions with the realities he found on the ground. He slowed down the withdrawal of U.S. troops substantially, finally bringing them home in late 2011, in line with the schedule first designed and agreed on by Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki back in 2008. According to the Center for New American Security Finally, resources have been increased dramatically, enabling this new leadership armed with a new strategy to make substantial gains toward a successful outcome. President Bush began, and President Obama dramatically increased, a major reinforcement of troops shifting the U.S. component from 33,000 to nearly 100,000 troops on the ground today.

Judge, I want you to remember. My oppoent agreed to this resolution that Current U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East undermines our national security. I agree, lives are imporant, however, if my opponent can't prove that the killing of these lives will undermine our national security, then all of his lives arguments should be DISREGARDED. If my opponent wants to talk about lives, he will have to go somewhere else.
My opponent says that my card wasn't detailed enough (the 35% card). If he would like to read the card, it is here. (http://www.americanprogress.org...)
He also says that the drop in American causualties was because of a withdrawal of troops. However, this is still part of the current US foreign policy, and it saved lives.
They also talk about how causualties going down doesn't contradict my opponent's claim.
However, again, however, immoral this might be, this debate is NOT ABOUT LIVES, it is about the national security of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
"Con, we are discussing US foreign policy, and how it effects US citizens."
My opponent is misunderstood by the topic. It would be great for him to take a look at the resolution again.
He also says I never addressed his monetary claim.
I will QUOTE ON QUOTE take from my previous argument what I said about the argument
"Second, lets talk about money, Judge, you must realize that no price tag can be placed on human life. The US fought these wars to prevent additional people dying from terrorism. Ever since our current foreign policy has killed Osama bin Laden, There has been a 35 percent drop in casualties caused by the Al Qaeda network in the year following bin Laden’s death compared to the year before."
Also, to add on, again, if my opponent can't relate this monetary number they present to the harms against national security, and if they can't prove that these harms outweigh the benefits the current foreign policy presents the US national security, then you HAVE TO VOTE CON
HPWKA

Pro

"First, my opponent cannot say a vast majority will be saved instead of all 2,000. They don't give this number, and if they cannot give us this number, the number itself should be disregarded. "

What? 2,000 soldiers can't be killed in a war, if they aren't fighting the war, but are safe at home. I say MOST of the 2,000 will be saved if the US had withdrawn immediately, because the US can't teleport its soldiers back, and I'm assuming a FEW soldiers/personnel will invariably be killed during the few days it takes to withdraw. Your opposition to this line of argument makes no sense.

Con then goes on to essentially argue, that "Iraq and Afghanistan policies were actually beneficial to our national security. According to the Council of Foreign Relations On both Iraq and Afghanistan, the administration has displayed an admirable degree of flexibility and adaptation".

That's nice, but that's not the issue. The issue, is did this administration pursue a foreign policy that's detrimental to our national security, relative to the one I'm proposing, and the answer is yes. For all of Obama's "flexibility and adaptation", 2,000 US citizens still died, tens of thousands were injured/traumatized, and billions of dollars spent. If my policy of immediate withdrawal was enacted, nearly all of the above casualties wouldn't be, and Obama's "flexibility and adaptation" wouldn't have been needed.

"I agree, lives are important, however, if my opponent can't prove that the killing of these lives will undermine our national security, then all of his lives arguments should be DISREGARDED."

Con defined Foreign policy (which I mistakenly referred to as National Security earlier), as "actions the United States government takes on behalf of its national interests abroad to ensure the security and well-being of Americans and the
strength and competitiveness of the U.S. economy". If we are using this as an operative definition for our debate, its clear that US lives matter. Traditionally, national security is defined as survival of a state, both economically and physically. Its clear that thousands dead/injured, and hundreds of billions of dollars wasted, is a detriment to the survival of a state.

Con states that I misunderstand the topic, though in what respect, he doesn't mention. It seems to be in reference to an earlier exchange, when I admonished him for using non-US terror casualties in his argument. If this is the case, then it seems Con doesn't understand the topic. This resolutions is about US foreign policy and US National Security. The deaths of non-US citizens, while regrettable, don't directly impact US National Security.

Con attempts to address my monetary claim (hundreds of billions of dollars lost), by saying that casualties in the war on terror have dropped since Bin Ladin's assassination, and that since lives are > money, my claim fails. As stated earlier in our debate, this is a nonsensical argument, that doesn't follow on any level. If my "policy" had been enacted, there would been nearly ZERO casualties, as opposed to 2,000 casualties (even if that 2,000 is better then previous years), AND billions of dollars saved.

Con then asks me to elaborate on how hundreds of billions of extra dollars would improve national security. A few ways. National Security is partially dependent on economic dominance, and its no coincidence that China has surged economically, while the US has fallen during its "war on terror". The extra money and attention, could be funneled into creating jobs/industry/innovative fields, helping to slow our economic slide. Furthermore, since the well-being of US citizens is also part of National Security, we could also have invested the extra money in providing health-care to the needy, further bolstering National Security, relative to Obama levels.


Debate Round No. 3
WesternGuy2

Con

Thank You for a timely response
So this is the 4th round, so it is the summary
First let me tell you judge
A foreign policy has multiple objectives including the ones I mentioned
However, the resolution limits this scope to the national security alone. National Security, is the security of our nation AS A WHOLE. If a terrorist attacks us like on 9/11, then that is a BREACH to our national security. US lives, though important and related to foreign policy, is not about our NATIONAL SECURITY. If a US citizen dies OUTSIDE the US, it is not a breach of our NATIONAL security. My opponent has still not shown me how the death of US citizens outside the boundaries of the US affects the US citizens' national security WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I hope I can be clear enough. This is my opponent's last chance to bring anything up regarding this, but if he does, I have the ability to refute it in the last round.
First, my opponent keeps throwing around a 2,000 soldiers lost in war. Again, not pertaining the national security. Also, this number is SINCE troops were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan DURING THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION. Since Bush is not the President anymore, my opponent has to factor in the lives saved ONLY during the Obama Administration.
The Afghan/Iraq War has helped our national security in many ways, far outweiging my opponent's monetary and lives cards.
First, the war has stopped the production of nuclear weapons and ensured that they are not going to attack the US. Whatever harms my opponent gives is minscule by the amount of destruction of a nuclear weapon. Second, there have been 0 Al Qaeda related terrorist attacks on the US since Osama Bin Laden was killed. 9/11 cost 3.3 TRILLION dollars which is far more than my opponent's number. Also, almost 3,000 people died from the 9/11 attacks, far more than my opponent's lives number. Obviously, if another terrorist attack happens, all these harms could occur. However, due to the current foreign policy, this has not happened.
Because we save 3,000 lives from dying from a future terrorist attack at 3.3 trillion dollars, you have to vote CON.
Thank you.
HPWKA

Pro

Con is now contending that the deaths of US citizens don't relate to National Security. Though there are apparently no definitive definitions, a general consensus seems to define National Security as the survival of the state. Clearly, a state cannot survive without a strong economy or populace. As I have demonstrated, this current administration has sacrificed both, for a net result that could have been accomplished without such losses.

The 2,000 death number I am using are fatalities since Obama took office. Tens of thousands have been injured, and hundreds of billions of dollars have been wasted during his terms as well.

"First, the war has stopped the production of nuclear weapons and ensured that they are not going to attack the US. Whatever harms my opponent gives is minscule by the amount of destruction of a nuclear weapon. Second, there have been 0 Al Qaeda related terrorist attacks on the US since Osama Bin Laden was killed. 9/11 cost 3.3 TRILLION dollars which is far more than my opponent's number. Also, almost 3,000 people died from the 9/11 attacks, far more than my opponent's lives number. Obviously, if another terrorist attack happens, all these harms could occur. However, due to the current foreign policy, this has not happened.
Because we save 3,000 lives from dying from a future terrorist attack at 3.3 trillion dollars, you have to vote CON."

The US could have stopped the production of nuclear weapons (assuming they would have been produced) through surgical strikes. A full-scale invasion and occupation was completely unnecessary if this was the aim of the war. Furthermore, the US (especially since 9/11) has advanced systems defending our borders. Even if some Jihadist acquired a nuke, the chances are remote that he would be able to detonate it in America.

You assume Obama's direct policy is the reason why we haven't undergone another 9/11. However, this record of not being hit by another 9/11-type-attack, dates back to...9/11, long before Obama did anything. The likely reason the US hasn't been hit by another large-scale attack is:
A.) It was extremely lucky it worked the first time.
B.) The Bush administration made immediate reforms that would prevent any such attack from happening again, and it hasn't.

Con's "refutations" have been refuted.

Debate Round No. 4
WesternGuy2

Con

WesternGuy2 forfeited this round.
HPWKA

Pro

Well, I guess this is it.

US foreign policy clearly undermines US national security, as it has lead directly to 2,000 US deaths, and hundreds of billions of dollars wasted, where it otherwise could have been used to strengthen national security, either through defense fortification, economic dominance, or social programs for US citizens.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by WesternGuy2 3 years ago
WesternGuy2
I am sorry for the forfeit, but I was busy with my debate tournament and did not have time.
Hope its all right
Posted by WesternGuy2 3 years ago
WesternGuy2
Sorry about that
I said in my speech that any sources are only presented when asked for
If you would like any sources, please let me know, and I can give them to you as a comment
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
Actually, after looking it over, I don't see any sources, so I doubt I will actually get anything out of reading this debate. Sorry.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
looks interesting and substantive...
Posted by ararmer1919 3 years ago
ararmer1919
No one will take this. Anti-American rhetoric will only get you so far amoung the less informed. There really isn't a counter argument for this debate.
No votes have been placed for this debate.