The Instigator
TheCategorical
Pro (for)
Losing
15 Points
The Contender
Nails
Con (against)
Winning
27 Points

Economic Sanctions ought not be used to acheive foreign policy objectives

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/9/2010 Category: Arts
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,386 times Debate No: 10775
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (17)
Votes (7)

 

TheCategorical

Pro

This debate is a trial of my new, highly experimental case and might be a total ouright fail. The point is that I will not defend my case, I will enjoy the spectacle of my opponent bashing my case for 2 rounds. Only someone with LD expirience please.
1st round: arguments like a real debate
2nd round: Optional: Critiques and ideas

Thank you to whoever accepts this debate

Resolved: Economic sanctions ought not to be used to achieve foreign policy objectives.
I affirm the stated resolution
Economic Sanctions: Restrictions upon international trade and finance that one country imposes on another for political reasons. A ban on "selling to and buying from" products.

Value: Just Efficiency: Justice is composed of two things efficiency and morality. The first ensures that the action is successful. For example, you extend your arms to save a falling child and catch him. The second ensures that in doing that you were morally correct. For example, you are effective in pulling the pin off a suicide grenade, this is not morally correct, therefore you are not just. A man who fails to save a falling child is not the child's hero, because by failing he has done nothing morally correct. It is the same as inaction. A man who is successful in saving the child is correct.
Value Criterion: Utilitarianism-Utilitarianism is defined as the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. It is literally the best moral outcome. The resolution does not imply a universal standard of morality, as such the most just or utilitarian standard is compatible. When something ought to be used it is the best option.

Contention one: Just Efficiency
Economic sanctions have to be both just and effective as outlined by my value. As such I will provide prerequisites for justice and statistics for efficiency.
Prerequisite one: Sanction must be multilateral
If a country sanctions alone, chances are that the world sees their cause as unjust and not worthy of joining. Decisions made in groups are often more likely to reflect the majority. Take for example a dictatorship versus a democracy. In most dictatorships, the main reason that they are unjust is because the dictator is not limited by others in his selfish decisions whereas in a democracy a larger portion of the population is represented.

Prerequisite two: Sanction must be for security reasons.
If a sanction is not for security reasons then what justifies a country in pressuring harassing another? Economic sanctions that are not for security reasons are abuse. These sanctions endanger the lives of one country for no reason at all. I will remind the negative that choosing not to trade is not a harmless act rather it severely endangers the populous that depends on foreign products for food and imports that they cannot make themselves.

Only 15% of the sanctions have been multilateral and only 7% of sanctions have been for security purposes as well as being multilateral. The vast majority (93%) do not meet the prerequisite. That is according to Navin A. Bapat & Clifton Morgan. As such economic sanctions, considering the massive possibility for abuse, should be eliminated from the repertoire of government war weapons.
"We see that 38% of the security sanctions are multilateral, versus only 10% of the non-security cases."
"In total, there are 99 cases where sanctions were imposed due to security related disputes, which corresponds to approximately 19% of the cases. In the remaining 423 cases, sanctions were imposed for reasons other than security."
[Navin A. Bapat & T. Clifton Morgan. Unilateral versus Multilateral Sanctions Reconsidered. 2009.
99 + 423 = 522 99 / 522 = .189 | .189 * 38% = 7.21%
423/522 = .81 | .810 * 10% = 8.10% 7.21 + 8.10 = 15.31%
According to Navin A. Bapat, 80 of all 522 sanctions imposed so far have been multilateral, only 15%. The vast majority of sanctions have been imposed by a single country.

A: Just War-1 Security and Mathematical Efficiency
Furthermore economic sanctions do not meet Just war standards. Economic sanctions violate Just War principles of both jus ad bellum and jus in bello. Jus ad bellum requires that a belligerent party have valid grounds for engaging in warfare. To engage in warfare at all, the belligerent party must have a just cause. "Just cause" requires "a real and certain danger," such as protecting innocent life, preserving conditions necessary for decent human existence, and securing basic human rights. The argument to be made is that economic sanctions are not necessarily for security. If not for security, then how could they be just? Secondly, under the requirement of proportionality there must be a probability of success. Beyond unilateral economic sanctions: Better alternatives for U.S. foreign policy by Joseph J. Collins found the success rate to be as low as 5%. Clearly, one-twentieth is not a high probability of success. This cross applied to the 7% of just sanctions and there is a one thirty fifth (0.0035) of a percent chance that the sanction meets just efficiency requirements. In other words less than 2 out of 522 sanctions are just and efficient.
B: Just War-2 Focus and ineffective targeting
Jus in bello requires that the war be fought in accordance with certain standards of conduct. The means used "must respect the immunity of the innocent," where "innocent" refers to "those who are no threat." This encompasses (1) women, children, the aged, infirm; (2) clergy, religious, foreigners; (3) unarmed persons going about their ordinary vocations; and (4) soldiers on leave or who have become prisoners. However, in economic sanctions the most affected portion of the populous is the innocent. While the army is held in high priority to protect the majority of the country, the people are forgotten. In a sanction, "civilians and soldiers are exposed to the same risks. Scarcity and proximity make them equally vulnerable. Or perhaps not equally so: in this kind of war, once combat begins, noncombatants are more likely to be killed. The soldiers fight from protected positions, and the civilians, who don't fight at all, are quickly made over. . . into "useless mouths. Fed last, and only with the army's surplus, they die first." This according to Michael Waltzer- just and unjust wars second edition. This however will not stop every regime, especially if the regime, as it would during unjust occupation, does not care about the people.
Nails

Con

I'll take from the opening statement that this is intended to be a way to improve PRO's current case, so I won't time with my own.

========
=His Value=
========

�"Justice is composed of two things efficiency and morality."

This is just an assertion, nothing more. I that justice demands efficiency. He says that "[efficiency] ensures that the action is successful" but I still don't see why this is a requirement of justice.

Suppose a child fell into a pool but couldn't swim. Would you not jump in to save him, even if there was still a 90% chance he would drown? Of course.

This concept of 'efficiency' goes completely against his criterion of utilitarianism as well as any form of statistics. Accepting his criterion of utilitarianism, we ought to act in a way in which we would expect to be most happy. The formula for the expected value of an action is:

probability x magnitude

For example, would you rather a 30% change to win $5 or a 10% chance to win $50?

Moreover, under a utilitarian moral system justice is not normative; it is comparative. If we have two potential actions, we choose the better one. An action need not be efficient to be better. Suppose I give you a free lottery ticket. Would you keep it? It's not efficient: there's a very low probability of winning the lottery. However, it is still superior to the alternative, which is guaranteeing that nothing is achieved.

==========
=utilitarianism=
==========

I have no opposition to his criterion.

==========
=Contention 1=
==========

�"Economic sanctions have to be both just and effective as outlined by my value"

1. His criterion simply says it has to be the superior option. As stated above, effectiveness is not a necessary component of a utilitarian moral action.

2. He never proves that an action must be effective; he simply states it.

3. This is a redundant statement. If it is just, it is necessarily effective, according to my opponent.

4. What is the point of a criterion if he plans on impacting straight back to the value?

�"These sanctions endanger the lives of one country for no reason at all."

Sanctions that are not used for security purposes are not 'for no reason at all.' They are often humanitarian endorsements, such as refusing to trade with Burma because it oppresses its citizens.

---

Beyond that, my opponent is actively hurting his case with this argument. He has clearly isolated what makes sanctions ineffective: that they are unilateral and that they are not for security purposes.

We reach a clear conclusion from this:
We should use multilateral sanctions for security purposes.

You can turn his contention here. The decision that would maximize utility would not to be to reject sanctions, it would be to accept future sanctions, provided we ensure that they are multilateral and security-related.

::A - Just War::

�"If not for security, then how could they be just?"

While only a handful of sanctions (such as sanctioning Libya for harboring terrorists) are implemented in order to protect ourselves, that does not make non-security-related sanctions unjust. Is ending an intracountry genocide unjust? How about stopping human trafficking? There are many things sanctions can be used for outside of security purposes that would be considered just.

�"Better alternatives for U.S. foreign policy by Joseph J. Collins found the success rate to be as low as 5%."
�"7% of sanctions have been for security purposes as well as being multilateral.
�"This cross applied to the 7% of just sanctions and there is a one thirty fifth (0.0035) of a percent"

Why are you cross-applying evidence about a single country's success rate to the percent of sanctions that are made up of multiple countries?

�"In other words less than 2 out of 522 sanctions are just and efficient."

Sanctions against: South Africa, Libya, Cambodia

Those are 3 off of the top of my head, and I'd guess that atleast one of the 500 sanctions I've never heard of has worked. Empirical examples disprove what my opponent is saying.

::B - Just War::

Who cares whether we are killing innocents or combatants as long as we are achieving the greatest good for the greatest amount? That's the mindset my opponent demanded that we take by outlining the criterion of utilitarianism, meaning this point has no link.

------------------------

My opponent has set out for himself the burden of proving that sanctions don't work towards the greatest good. He has outlined what makes sanctions effective: that they are multilateral and that they are implemented in the interests of security.

We know what makes sanctions effective, so in the future we can ensure that sanctions are effective, thus achieving the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. Rejecting sanctions by affirming stops this, so you negate.
Debate Round No. 1
TheCategorical

Pro

I don't want to be overly formal in this debate especiallly because it is not designed to be formal. Just to clarify:
Value: Yeah, I get your argument, but my point is that you, who failed to save the child, cannot be hailed as a hero because you have not affected the outcome even though you tried. I should make that more explicit. take for example, you impose a plan to help children in Africa. The plan has been guaranteed to fail, yet it goes on. You would be moral had you helped children in Africa, but you failed. IF the plan had succeeded you would be just, but it didn't succeed.
VC: Not to make excuses but I just forgot to fix this part. The fixed case would be V: Justice VC: Just Efficiency. Sorry, and you don't have to respond to the altered case.
The rest of your arguments are well crafted and I understand the fallacies in my arguments. Thank you. Good Luck
Nails

Con

"2nd round: Optional: Critiques and ideas"

The major problem that I have with the case is the lack of offense. "Sanctions usually don't work" isn't an excuse not to have them. Using that same example I gave above, suppose you see a child drowning. Even if you only had a 10% chance to save his life, you would still jump in the water to save him.

You either need to make the argument that:
A. The harms of sanctions outweigh the benefits; or
B. Sanctions are actually a hindrance in achieving foreign policy objectives

There needs to be some negative impact that outweighs the positive impacts.

Another issue I noticed was that you talk about Just War principles with a criterion of utilitarianism. A war is just, according to your criterion, so long as it increases overall happiness. Side constraints such as "don't hurt innocents in war" are meaningless under utilitarianism.

Also, the math that you do in your first contention is incredibly inaccurate. I pointed part of that out in the previous round. Another issue is that you dismiss all sanctions that are not multilateral/security-related without any good justification. We sanctioned South Africa until they ended apartheid, which was completely unrelated to their own security. Was that unjust?
Debate Round No. 2
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by dartmouthlder 7 years ago
dartmouthlder
TheCategorical- do you participate in Maine LD/were you at the state championships?
Posted by TheCategorical 7 years ago
TheCategorical
This was not a real debate, it can be assumed that I gave in because it was a trial run to see the faults in my case. Anyways, why debate a faulty case?
Shogla: Yeah, i get the counterplan perspective, but by trying it out, in my opinion it doesn't work, so I made a statistics case to compromise. That is why my value was Utility, I forgot to change it. And on inaction, I have a few relevant statistics that do provide "counterplan" which shows that war is more effective and less costly on average but I find it sufficient to say that justice is not acheived by sanctions period. And when my opponent argues that it is in some way I just resort to my statistics which in the end speak for themselves, despite my opponents empirical argument. And from then on say that giving the government the opportunity to commit injustice 99% of the time with sanctions is not moral therefore they should be taken off the table
koopin: If you guys think I should respond to all the arguments just tell me! I will do my best, otherwise, this was just a sidenote so, if Nails responded to the second round he would understand the case. Forgot the sources...
Cherymenthol:Again, a trial run. Currently I do have the definitions, the only one I had at the time was ES. And yeah I didn't defend my case...trial run....
Posted by Cherymenthol 7 years ago
Cherymenthol
Pro's case falls for this reason:

Failed to define FPO, which con should have placed as national security (in reality it is)

Than run Realism and point out how morality has not place in The International Forum, Realism.

Than by pointing this out PRO can't fulfill burden.

Also if you don't buy this the only way to warrant Morality is through ought, and ought means desirability.

So PRO drops....

If this were legit...

but PRO would also drop because they fail to meet burden of LD.
Posted by Koopin 7 years ago
Koopin
No sources?
Posted by Koopin 7 years ago
Koopin
Win for nails.
Pro started out strong, but when Nails responded, Pro got weaker.
Posted by Shogla 7 years ago
Shogla
Well... you talk a whole lot about efficiency, but (lacking time/evidence) economic sanctions still get things done, still fulfill justice, and when they don't, they can still be considered better than no sanctions because they attempted to achieve justice. Yes, I know you said attempted is still not justice, but I say that the value of Attempted Justice is superior to Inaction for Justice.

If you added a counterplan (if I understand the word right, I am new) that provided an alternate option of fulfilling justice (I.E. war/diplomacy) then you fulfill the burden of proof that economic sanctions ought not to be used MOST of the time, which looking at the NFL guidelines is all you need to do.
Posted by TheCategorical 7 years ago
TheCategorical
Well, the assertion is that justice is impeded by sanctions. Therefore justice is acheived when sanctions are not used.
Posted by Shogla 7 years ago
Shogla
Sorry, although the question still applies.
How do you fulfill justice by not using/ how is it against justice to use economic sanctions?
Posted by TheCategorical 7 years ago
TheCategorical
I am the affirmative, in other words, against sanctions.
Posted by Shogla 7 years ago
Shogla
TheCategorical
Your case seems like one big block. You whittle down all the economic sanctions so that you are only supporting 'smart/targeted' sanctions, which are effective and work. You do not say why we should use them, other than the fact that they accomplish the FPO. How do we fulfill justice with economic sanctions alone, not including the outcomes? The question of the resolution, 'ought' is applying to the sanction themselves. This case may work, but you would need to completely refute your opponents case and hold well to your own. I would suggest finding some new contentions, as these seem like restatements of your value/criterion, and answering my question above in your case.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by dartmouthlder 7 years ago
dartmouthlder
TheCategoricalNailsTied
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Vote Placed by IrishMafia 7 years ago
IrishMafia
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Vote Placed by mcala7 7 years ago
mcala7
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Vote Placed by TheCategorical 7 years ago
TheCategorical
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Vote Placed by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
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Koopin
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