The Instigator
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The Contender
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0 Points

Cut foreign aid to the middle east

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 4/26/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 551 times Debate No: 90248
Debate Rounds (4)
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Take a look at your checkbook. Do you write checks to pay the mortgage for the neighbor who threatens to shoot your dog? Do you pay utility bills for the man down the street who yells obscenities at you when you drive by his house? Will you write a SECOND check to cover groceries for the neighbor who spent your FIRST check on spray paint to vandalize your best friend"s garage?

The State Department"s Agency for International Development writes those kinds of checks all the time. With YOUR money.

According to, the State Department, in 2015, sent $12.9 billion in economic and military aid to the 20 countries that make up the Middle East.
This money supports the economic and military systems of countries that oppose the U.S., its interests and its allies.

That is why my partner and I stand resolved: The United States government should significantly reform its policy toward one or more countries in the Middle East.

First, let"s define the Middle East:

We will use the Merriam Webster Dictionary"s definition: "the countries extending from Libya on the west to Afghanistan on the east." My case addresses the 19 countries and territories of Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Next, let"s examine the problems in the status quo:

Harm 1. Economic and military aid has failed to accomplish its goals.

S.E. Robinson, the Paul Revere Project: "A simple test applies: Does our aid accomplish our foreign policy objectives? In 2008 alone, For exanple, the U.S. [has] spent $2.2 billion on aid to Kenya, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Has this massive redistribution of wealth halted Sudanese genocide, assuaged malaria in Kenya, prevented Al-Qaeda from rising in Yemen or stopped Bashar Assad from brutalizing civilians? The short answer is no. Sudan remains a treacherously corrupt miasma of ethnic violence, albeit with a newly paved road from Juba to Nimule. Al-Qaeda in Yemen is stronger than ever. The steady rain of artillery in Syria speaks for itself. It is apparent that U.S. aid is flowing to corrupt nations that are hostile to the west, to their own people even. Clearly our aid is not sufficiently bolstering American interests"or human interests for that matter; it is apparent that U.S. foreign aid fertilizes hostility to the West and bolsters morally bankrupt tyranny " Rather than naively continue foreign assistance for the woebegone corners of the world, the U.S. should look to strategically withdraw aid where it does not serve our interests.

Harm 2. Economic and military aid is misused.

Professor Joel Brinkley, in the World Affairs Journal February 2013, describing failed economic aid in Afghanistan: "There could be no better example of what ails the effort to build Afghanistan than USAID"s absurdly named IDEA-NEW program. The purpose of this five-year, $150 million endeavor was to create new economic opportunities for the nation"s opium-poppy farmers that would dissuade them from the illicit trade. The agency"s inspector general later said. During the course of this program the UN said Afghanistan"s opium crop actually surged by sixty-one percent. The nation still produces 90 percent of the world"s opium."

The Iraqi Prime Minister, November 30, 2014, describing failed military aid in Iraq: "The Iraqi army has been paying salaries to at least 50,000 soldiers who don"t exist, the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Sunday, an indication of the level of corruption that permeates an institution that the United States has spent billions equipping and arming. A preliminary investigation into "ghost soldiers" " whose salaries are being drawn but who are not in military service " revealed tens of thousands of false names on Defense Ministry rolls. Follow-up investigations are expected to uncover "more and more," he added."

Harm 3. Economic and military aid funds countries with terror ties

The Guardian, November 13, 2014: "Saudi Arabia is the world's largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba " but the Saudi government is reluctant to stem the flow of money Three other Arab countries are listed [in the paper] as sources of militant money: Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates."

Harm 4. Economic and military aid funds governments that persecute Christians and other religious minorities.

Open Doors USA, February 11, 2015: Open Doors is a nonprofit organization that monitors official persecution around the world and publishes an annual watch list of the countries that are the worst offenders. Fifteen Middle East countries made the list of places where Christians face the greatest official persecution: Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

It is for these reasons that the Affirmative team proposes this plan:

Terminate all State Department economic and military aid to the Middle East until the countries take the following steps:

1. Submit published reports accounting for the use of past aid
2. Stop funding of terror by the nation or by its chief executive
3. Cease official persecution of Christians and other religious minorities.

Israel will continue to receive economic and military aid because it is in compliance with our requirements. Egypt will continue to receive it as well because of its alliance with Israel and because it is also now in compliance with our requirements.

Advantage 1. The U.S. will no longer be complicit in Middle East persecution and terror. U.S. dollars will no longer be any part of the funding for those activities.

Senator Rand Paul, in the Foreign Relations Human Rights Subcommittee on June 24 , 2014: "Our aid money should never go to countries that persecute Christians, not one dime. But today, it does. Some say our foreign aid protects American power. These same people, however, resist attaching conditions to foreign aid. Why would we send aid to countries whose laws punish the free exercise of religion? We are being taxed to send money to countries that are not only intolerant of Christians, but openly hostile. Our job, as the powerful, is to use our might to speak for those who cannot. Whether that is the bully pulpit of our foreign aid, our state department, our immigration policy, or our trade policy, all avenues should be open to us in solving this worldwide problem.

Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, on April 6, 2015: "We give billions of dollars of aid to Pakistan. But what are we getting in return for this? Nothing! Let"s start exercising the power of the purse. This is the perfect time for the United States to start putting conditions on our aid. If you support terror, if you"re a safe haven for terror, if you are aiding or abetting terrorists, you don"t get U.S. aid. Period!"

Advantage 2. Terror and persecution will decrease when countries comply with our requirements, as Egypt already has.

Prosecutor, judge, and legal analyst Jeanine Pirro, January 11, 2015: "Egyptian President al-Sisi -- a Muslim in a country that is 85-percent Muslim -- rid Egypt -- the largest Arab country -- of Islamic fanatics. He threw out Hamas terrorists and outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood, the mother of all terrorist organizations.

U.S.-Arab relations expert Hisham Melham, in the Washington Times, March 24, 2014: The Middle East is bearing the largest share of the world"s problems in Christian persecution, and the United States can help the persecuted Christians by using foreign aid to modify behaviors in countries where persecution is rampant.

Advantage 3. Our plan will annually keep as much as $8.3 billion in the U.S. treasury for domestic needs.

Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, on, March 13, 2013: The pattern of American foreign aid is now becoming clear: We borrow billions from China to subsidize regimes that defy us at every turn. The Palestinian Authority defies the U.S., begs for money (with the implicit threat that conditions will grow even worse if aid is withheld), and then defies the U.S. again. That"s not an alliance; that"s a protection racket. Defy, beg, and defy some more " all while Americans tighten their belts here at home, and we"re led to believe that there"s not enough money even for tours of the White House. Act like an ally. Then, we"ll think about aid."

Advantage 4. Our friends AND our enemies will know where we stand

Senator Rand Paul, on the Senate floor September 12, 2012: "In no way should the United States government be sending money to governments who are not our ally, who blatantly do not respect our country, and who work to compromise the safety of our allies and citizens abroad. I am pleased that the Senate leadership has listened to my pleas for an end to this and have agreed to debate and vote on this pressing issue. Some argue that without foreign aid we"ll have war. I"m arguing that because of foreign aid we have war."

Judge, U.S. foreign aid to the Middle East has a long record of failure. It is misused. It props up terrorist regimes. It funds governments that oppose our interests and that threaten the destruction of our best ally in the region. It supports countries that persecute Christians. It creates safe havens for those who threaten and perpetrate attacks on Americans. It"s time for it to end.


The Middle East is where most of our essential trade partners are. Without them, we wouldn't have some everyday things that we take advantage of. These include oil, precious stones, medicines, electrical machinery, and mechanical machinery ( We use oil everyday, from powering our houses to fueling our cars, oil is an integral part of our everyday lives. We use precious stones for jewelry that most people wear everyday. We use medicines to help keep us healthy and, sometimes, to save lives. We use electrical and mechanical machinery to make most of the products in our lives. From smartphones to toasters, machinery is used for it all.

Another thing that has to be taken into account is the allies that we have in the Middle East. Some of these alliances are the only reason they haven't come after us in a full-blown war. I agree that there is a lot of violence stemming from there, but most of it is caused by ISIS. The money that is being put into the Middle East is used to fight ISIS, and terrorism along with it. There are numerous restraints set into place that keep the money from being used by anyone other than the intended recipient. The allies that we have in the Middle East are powerful, and we can't afford to lose them.

I know that this response was short, but I'm saving some for later...
Debate Round No. 1


I agree that trade is important, but my opponent needs to prove that cutting our aid will harm trade. The most important item of trade we get from the middle east is oil. My opponent is arguing that if we cut our aid, these countries will no longer sell us oil, and our country will collapse. There are a couple responses to that argument: First of all, my opponent has not shown any evidence or logic supporting the belief that these countries will stop selling us things. The truth is, they will not. Many of these countries are wealthy because of the oil trade, largely with the U.S. They would not give up a huge sours of income because we cut our aid. Take the example of Saudi Arabia. They are our #3 source of oil after ourselves and Canada. We currently give them just ten thousand dollars in economic/military aid. Pocket change for a large country. Clearly they would not give up the beneficial oil trade over ten thousand dollars.

The second argument against that idea is that our standard for getting the aid back is both reasonable and easy. In the cases where we send them a more significant amount of money, why would they not comply with the easy standard, and get the money back. If sending money to terrorists is that important to them, they are not the kind of country we should send money to.

The second argument my opponent brought up is that we will lose our alliances, they will "come after us in a full blown war." Please. My opponent has certainly shown no evidence supporting the claim that our aid is all that stands between us and war.

Also, Let me again refer to the above arguments. Saudi is our most powerful "ally" in the region. They, for one, will not suddenly forsake an alliance because of ten thousand measly bucks.

Like above, our standard is low. Any country so determined to persecute, and support terror that it will not give those things up for monetary gain, is, again, not the sort of country we need to keep as an ally.

As I stated in my last speech, the aid money we send is not only ineffective in fighting terror, it is actually used to SUPPORT terror. Let me present another piece of evidence about that., October 3, 2012: Foreign aid is a $19 billion boondoggle that is so laden with corruption and waste that the entire enterprise should be a public outrage, and it ought to be abolished or completely restructured. It was originally intended to promote US foreign policy but is increasingly used for political purposes which often have little to do with American interests. It is questionable whether it has any positive impact on US foreign policy, and nobody knows how much of what we send abroad is stolen, converted to another use, or actually reaches its intended destination". One thing US aid does not do is instill any sort of loyalty to the United States. " Economist and foreign assistance expert Dambisa Moyo makes no bones about the fact that foreign aid is "an unmitigated political, economic and humanitarian disaster" it has made the poor poorer, and the growth slower. It has left countries debt-laden, inflation-prone, vulnerable to the vagaries of the currency markets and unattractive to higher quality investment."


The problem with your argument is that, without the funding, there is no oil that can be sold. Our funding is helping to keep ISIS at bay. Without this, ISIS will take control of all of the trade items we currently receive from the region. The point of an alliance isn't about the money, it's about the lack of support at all. That will be seen as hostile and will not be taken well. The amount of money doesn't matter as much as the actual idea of having aid from the US. Another thing that I would like to point out is that you have used a lot of quotes that all say the same thing. I want to know what you have to say, not them. It seems like your argument is based off things other people have said, not on actual persuasive techniques. I would like to bring this close to home. There is a lot of violence that is caused by people not from the Middle East. So would we just stop funding those cities or families? Would we want other countries to stop trading with us because a few people do something stupid in another country? When you discuss an argument, you must think about if these things were to happen to you. Would you like to be cut off from a major supplier of most of your goods? Would you like a few stupid people to become the reputation of your own country? This is how I would like this to be though about. Put yourself in their shoes, and think about how it would affect you in their situation.
Debate Round No. 2


Again, my opponent is basing her arguments on unfounded and unsupported claims. Now she wants you to believe that without our financial support, ISIS will completely take over the region, destroying our trade goods. If you know much about the region you will be pretty sure that currently ISIS does not have a prayer of defeating Saudi to the south, Iran to the east, or turkey to the north. They are having enough trouble dealing with Syria and the Kurds to the west. If they finally broke through that way, they get to Egypt and Israel, both ready and able to crush them. They are surrounded. Our Arabian oil will continue to flow. The statement that without a few million dollars of aid, countries like Saudi, Iran or Turkey will crumble before the assault of ISIS is laughable.

My opponent says that "The point of an alliance isn't about the money, it's about the lack of support at all." I agree. It is not about money. We can continue to have our alliances without sending them this money. We will still have our bases in their countries, healthy trade relations, humanitarian aid and diplomatic relations. In short, everything that makes up an alliance. The change this plan makes is that we will no longer be handing out free cash to countries that do not support our interests.

Far from helping our alliances and strategic interests, military aid is shown to cause harm.

Patricia Sullivan, assistant professor in the University of North Carolina"s Department of Public Policy, Peace, War and Defense, May 2012: " The United States gives aid without gaining new leverage. In general, U.S. military aid proved to be negatively correlated with cooperation by the nations receiving the aid. In fact, national governments that received aid exhibited less cooperative behavior toward the United States than governments given no military aid. military aid will not usually induce general cooperation. And providing military aid to foreign governments can backfire. Arms transfers to developing countries have been linked to increases in human rights abuses and may impede democratization. Military assistance can enable client states to aggress against their neighbors " which may hurt American interests in the region. Finally, when alliances shift or governments are replaced, America can find itself in combat against an enemy equipped with U.S-made weapons sent at an earlier time. "

Yes, I have "used a lot of quotes that all say the same thing." They are all experts who support my plan/arguments. As teenagers, our statements are not, in their own right, credible. That is why I am using experts to back up my opinion.

As Rand Paul said in my first speech, it is our responsibility to use our power position in the world to speak for those who cannot. In the status quo we are sending money to countries we know will use it for terror. As far as putting myself in their shoes, we are not harming them. Most of the citizens of these countries will be utterly unaffected by this plan. It does, however, express to their governments that they are in need of reform.

Put yourself in the shoes of those who are persecuted by these countries while we do nothing. Put yourself in the shoes of those who are killed by terrorists funded by the United States of America. That must end!

Senator Rand Paul at CPAC, February 27, 2015: "We do not project strength by borrowing money from China to send it to Pakistan. It angers me to see mobs burning our flag and chanting "Death to America" in countries that receive our foreign aid. I say it must end. I say not one penny more to these haters of America!"

Our country is taxing us, and going into debt to fund terror?? Not if I have anything to say about it!


You seem to be dancing around my argument. There is an abundance is of information on how important our aid is to citizens. One thing that you don't understand is that part of the world is mostly in poverty. Also, Saudi Arabia isn't the only country in the Middle East. There are countries in this region that are in desperate need of financial aid to continue as a country. We could cut off funding to Saudi Arabia and it wouldn't make a difference to them, but most countries in that region would suffer greatly without the financial support they are receiving. We are not funding terrorists. There are many precautions in place that keep the money out of the hands of ISIS. You seem to be latched onto the fact that the money is going to terrorists, but it isn't. With these precautions in place, you are completely out of an argument. You seem to believe that a teenagers statements mean nothing in an argument like this, but you keep quoting me (albeit negatively), but if it means nothing, why are you using it? Try using your own ideas instead of those who have spent their lives studying this. If I were to bring in quotes from experts, I would have a whole paper just from quotes without any of my ideas. I am arguing with you, not them. A quote from Gihad Ali states "I'm terrorized in my own land, and I'm the terrorist?" This solidifies my point. Not everyone in the Middle East is a terrorist. The people who aren't suffer because they choose not to be. You use a very factual approach to the subject, which I can respect, but this issue becomes more of a personal issue. This must be evaluated with an undertone of empathy for the sufferers of this stereotype.
Debate Round No. 3


There seem to be two major issues of conflict in this round. First, that this plan will harm the people of the middle east. Second, that I use too much evidence.

As far as harming the people in the middle east, I think my opponent's argument stems from a misunderstanding that I have tried to clear up. Namely, the difference between humanitarian aid, which this plan leaves in place, and the economic/military aid that this plan cuts. As I said in my previous speech, the humanitarian aid we send to the citizens of these countries will continue. Average people will be utterly unaffected by the plan. What this plan does is cut off the money we send to the GOVERNMENTS of these countries. If the aid is needed as badly as my opponent says, all the better! More incentive to comply with our requirements which are both simple and reasonable.

I have been using Saudi Arabia as an example throughout the round because it is typical of the arguments we have been making. Since you were arguing the loss of oil, the example should be the country we buy the most from.

Once again my opponent makes the unsupported claim that none of our money goes to terror, so once again, let's bring up an expert to explain that our money has indeed gone to terror.

Rep. Michael McCaul, speaking at the American Enterprise Institute, February 12, 2015: "We must deny terrorists safe haven overseas by confronting threats early and by removing the financial cushion. The President"s dithering on Syria allowed ISIS and al Qaeda to surge and made the threat more costly to eliminate. Now we are seeing ISIS spread into other failed or under-governed states. In the future, we cannot afford to wait and we cannot afford to finance these countries. We cannot afford to play global whack-a-mole with terrorists. We must identify emerging extremist sanctuaries and implement strategies to keep them from becoming terrorism hotbeds."

As far as my use of evidence, I have been using logical refutations of your points, but when we disagree on a factual statement, the only way to settle the point is to call on experts as I have done.

Finally, I am not ignoring the personal side of the issue. This plan uses the might of the United States to stand up for the voiceless, and strike a blow at terror. For those countries who wish to stand with us against terror, and cease oppression, this aid will return, but those who prefer to stand against us, our interests, our allies and our values will no longer do so with our blessing and our money!

Judges, please stand with me as we give the world a message it has needed for a long time!


The entire basis of your argument this whole time has been to COMPLETELY cut off foreign aid to the Middle East. Now you are saying that humanitarian aid will continue. What I don't think you understand is that all of that money has to go through the government to reach the people. The governments in that region are very strict about financial aid. I also pointed out that, as of late, more precautions have been installed to prevent funding of terrorists. That does not mean that it works perfectly every time. The fact that you are just now bringing up the unwavering installment of humanitarian aid means that, while you may have been thinking about the personal side of things, you didn't say it, and I'm only able to base my responses on what I receive from you. Your arguments sound like they were written as a narrative for an English class. This is great, except that this is a debate, where personal opinion shapes the side we support, and where the conveyance of these opinions shape our entire arguments. I hope you understand that the only personal connections you have made were hateful and not helpful to your argument at all.
I hope that my point has gotten through and that the judges will consider my argument worthy of acceptance. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 42lifeuniverseverything 2 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Ok, so RFD. This is my first one so cut me some slack. Pro: Solid opening, and solid evidential support throughout. Doesn't matter if Firefury doesn't want evidence, bringing it up helps the round anyway. Con: Solid responses as well, but lacking in some key areas that made me vote Pro. The Lacks: 1. Pro is not hateful. Personally attacking your opponent (ad hominem) is never acceptable. Cost you credibility Con. 2. Both of you focused on Terrorism as the main issue, which it should be. Con, you did not bring evidence that ISIS is actually free to roam the whole Middle East w/out aiding allies. You said that the defensive wall would go, but never addressed his response that other aid forms keep the wall strong. 3. Humanitarian aid is not just government pass through. Unicef by no means have to give money to governments in the region. Pro you lose a point for not mentioning this. Overall good job! Ik it read like an English round. It was an actual debate case FireFury