The Instigator
Kyro
Pro (for)
The Contender
Emilrose
Con (against)

In the United States, national service ought to be compulsory.

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Debate Round Forfeited
Emilrose has forfeited round #4.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/11/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,497 times Debate No: 103508
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)

 

Kyro

Pro

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Constructive
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Counter-Rebuttals and Conclusion

We are assuming that, constructively, each person can only see the text from previous rounds. For example, Con cannot refute Pro's Round 2 points in Round 2; he has to wait until Round 3. If Con were to refute Pro's Round 2 points in Round 2, he would have forfeited the debate.
Emilrose

Con

Accepted.
Debate Round No. 1
Kyro

Pro

I will be arguing for the position that in the United States, national service ought to be compulsory.

First, I will state my definitions. National service is defined as "the system in some countries by which young people...are ordered by law to spend a period of time in the armed forces" by the Cambridge English dictionary (7). Compulsory is defined as "[something] that must be done; necessary by law or a rule" by the Cambridge English dictionary (8).

I propose that this debate be judged by the value of Life. Life is the most important value of all, because it comes before every other value. One cannot have security, liberty, autonomy, or quality of life without first having Life itself.

Contentions:

1. Having a strong military is paramount to national security.

National security is defined as "The safety of a nation against threats such as terrorism, war, and espionage" by the Oxford English dictionary (2). The safety of a nation is a prerequisite to securing the Life of its citizens.

In order for a state to be safe against outside threats, it must have a strong military. Without a strong military, a state can easily be attacked and defeated. When a state is at war with other states, the Life of its citizens can be placed in jeopardy. The same is true if a state is defeated in war, and its citizens face potential death or new governance that could infringe on their freedom.

The last time that national service was instated in the U.S. was during the Vietnam War (3). At this time, the U.S. believed that the Vietnam War had to be won to prevent the spread of communism across Asia (3), which would then pose a threat to the Life of U.S. citizens as well as the Life and freedom of the citizens of affected countries.

2. The effects of being forced to serve in the military are similar to having an inadequate armed forces.

When a person is forced to serve in the U.S. military, they may have to put their own Life at risk for their country. Therefore, being a part of the army would put a person"s Life in jeopardy

However, people who are not in war can lose their Life as well. In the Vietnam War, for example, up to 2 million civilians may have been killed over the course of the war, while only 1.1 million soldiers were. A country"s civilians have their lives put at risk if their military isn"t strong enough to fend off incoming threats.

3. More people are adversely affected by a lack of national security than by national service.

When a country has a strong military, civilian casualties in that country are kept to a minimum, and, thus, Life is maximized. For example, in World War Two, only 1,700 U.S. civilians were killed (4), because the U.S. instated a draft that ensured a strong military.

If a country is taken over because its military is too weak, then civilian casualties can become much greater. For example, the countries taken over by Nazi Germany had death tolls that ranged from 60,000 to 3,000,000 (5).

While this is not the value which I have proposed, I would also like to discuss Security. Security is defined as "The state of being free from danger or threat" by the Oxford English dictionary (6). When a country is taken over, the Security of all of its citizens is put at risk, because they no longer have their country"s military to defend them. Cruel dictatorships, such as the Nazis, can take the Life of many citizens and the Security of many more (5).

From all of these arguments, it is apparent that the negative consequences of a weak military are much greater than those of compulsory national service. This is because national service secures the Life of all of a country"s citizens. For these reasons, national service ought to be compulsory in the United States.

Sources:

(1) https://en.oxforddictionaries.com...
(2) http://michiganintheworld.history.lsa.umich.edu...-
(3) https://www.britannica.com...
(4) http://www.centre-robert-schuman.org...
(5) http://www.english.illinois.edu...
(6) https://en.oxforddictionaries.com...
(7) http://dictionary.cambridge.org...
(8) http://dictionary.cambridge.org...
Emilrose

Con

Opening Argument:


Military Service isn't Suited to All

I'll begin by noting that military service is, and should be, a career choice. People who decide to serve in the military are people who likely have an invested interest in it, and are thus well-suited to working within the army. People who have joined the military who don't qualify for these two (rather vital) things, generally, will either quit or get dishonourably discharged from the army. [1.] http://thelawdictionary.org...

Preventing People from Pursuing other Career Paths

Naturally, people who want to pursue different career paths will not be immediately able to do so if they have to complete a mandatory military service; and there's only a very limited amount of 'areas' that they can actually fit into while in the army--the primary ones being medic training, or general combat.

Assuming that one individual wishes to become a veterinarian--upon high school graduation, they would eligible to apply for university degrees in this area; likewise, they will do the same if they plan to be a dentist, a chemist, a lawyer, a teacher, etc.

If they were made to complete mandatory military, however, their plans for the future (and the benefits they could reap for society as a whole) would be placed on hold or perhaps even ruined for good. Some of the best years of their life, would be taken away, and never brought back.

*****

'The aging process has its roots deep within the cells and molecules that make up our bodies. Experts have previously identified the molecular pathway that react to cell damage and stems the cell's ability to divide, known as senescence.'


[2.] https://www.sciencedaily.com...

It's basic biology that the younger you are: the more you will be able to absorb, and thus learn. This is why if people are going to going to university, it's best for them to do it while relatively young.

Diversity in Society

This more or less alludes to what I was previously saying, but surely one of the main aims of society should be to maintain some diversity? If all men (Peo didn't specify anything in relation to females) are expected to join the army as soon as they leave school--how will they be able to express the differences that they inevitably have?

I.E, you may have some who is politically neutral, and doesn't want to associate with the military; you may have someone who identifies as left-wing, and again doesn't want to associate with the military, likewise you may have someone who is extremely nationalistic and right-wing, who thoroughly enjoys the military; the point here being that people are, by default, all individuals--thus providing they are abiding by the law, should be able to pursue whatever paths they like and be the human being that they truly are.

(I've pretty much covered my opening case here--will provide rebuttals/closing arguments in the following round.)

Debate Round No. 2
Kyro

Pro

I will now go through each of Con's arguments and demonstrate their invalidity or insignificance. Con, please point out if I am misrepresenting your arguments.

Rebuttal One: Military Service isn't Suited to All

Con's first argument is "that military service is, and should be, a career choice. People who decide to serve in the military...likely have an invested interest in it, and are thus well-suited to working within the army."

What Con's argument fails to address is that there are actually a plethora of different career options when serving in the military (1). Some of the military career fields (which each include multiple different jobs) include
Business Administration and Operations,
Counseling, Social Work and Human Services,
Cybersecurity,
Engineering and Scientific Research,
Education and Training, and, of course,
Combat Operations (1), among many others.
Clearly, there are enough options for almost anyone to find their place in the military.

Con also says that "People...who don't qualify for these two...things, generally, will either quit or get dishonourably discharged from the army."

First of all, Con provides no evidence to support this claim. Con's source lists the ways that one can be dishonorably discharged, but does not provide statistics about discharge rates.
In addition, the only offense listed in Con's source that drafted military members may be significantly more likely to commit is being Absent Without Leave. Every other offense is a crime regardless of whether one is in the military or not.

Rebuttal Two: Preventing People from Pursuing other Career Paths

Con states that "there's only a very limited amount of "areas" that they can actually fit into while in the army". However, as I outlined above, there are a multitude of options for military members.

Con says that "Assuming that one individual wishes to become a veterinarian--upon high school graduation, they would eligible to apply for university degrees in this area...If they were made to complete mandatory military...their plans for the future (and the benefits they could reap for society as a whole) would be placed on hold or perhaps even ruined for good."
To paraphrase, Con says that military service prevents people from pursuing their dreams.
First of all, national service time frames are not exceedingly large. Drafts only last a few years. If one is drafted into the army at age 20, they will surely be out in less than five years. That gives them plenty of time to pursue their career paths afterward. The life expectancy of a U.S. citizen is about 78 years (2). If a draft's service time is three years, the draft would only take up 3.8% of a person's life, leaving them plenty of time to do other things.

Con also says that "It's basic biology that...if people are going to university, it's best for them to do it while relatively young." Con provides a source for this argument, as well as a quote about brain cell aging. However, Con fails to link the obscure quote to any meaning, with regard to learning and age.
In addition, even if Con were to link aging and slower learning, as I stated above, drafts are not very long. If one is drafted at 20, they surely won't have to stay longer than 25, which gives them plenty of time to learn whatever they wish to learn.

Rebuttal Three: Diversity in Society

Con's argument essentially boils down to draftees being unable "to pursue whatever paths they like and be the human being that they truly are." Con also points out that there could be a draftee who "doesn't want to associate with the military".
I already explained in my above rebuttal that draftees have plenty of their life awaiting them after they finish their service.
I agree with Con that some draftees may not want to be part of the military. However, the draft serves an important purpose: the protection and safety of the United States of America, its citizens, and its allies. The Life and Security of so many people protected by a strong U.S. military far outweighs the preferences of some disgruntled draftees.

-
Through these rebuttals, I have demonstrated that Con's case is thoroughly flawed. In addition, Con's valid points are insignificant when compared to the importance of the benefits that I presented in Round One.

Sources:
(1) http://todaysmilitary.com... - Website created by the U.S. Department of Defense
(2) http://data.worldbank.org...
Emilrose

Con

In accordance to Pros rules, I will provide rebuttals in this round and counter-rebuttals/conclusion within the next.

Rebuttals:

'In order for a state to be safe against outside threats, it must have a strong military. Without a strong military, a state can easily be attacked and defeated. When a state is at war with other states, the Life of its citizens can be placed in jeopardy. The same is true if a state is defeated in war, and its citizens face potential death or new governance that could infringe on their freedom.'

Obviously on an international level, having a reasonably military is important but I think Pro is rather exaggerating its significance here. One of the priorities of all countries, should always be to avoid war--instead of displaying an antagonistic attitude and a national predisposition towards it; which over-concern with the military and compulsory service may well do. What Pro is forgetting, is that countries that have no compulsory military service are in fact categorized as the most powerful countries in the world. [3.] https://www.usnews.com...

I would also ask Pro is outline exactly what 'threats' he's referring to, as thus far, his case is purely speculative and the threat level that he's trying to base his argument around, is completely undefined.

'When a person is forced to serve in the U.S. military, they may have to put their own Life at risk for their country. Therefore, being a part of the army would put a person"s Life in jeopardy.'

Pro basically concedes here that there is an increased risk of losing ones life in the military; and that is surely not a good thing? One example of a country with compulsory military service would be Israel--since it's 1948 establishment, it's been involved in some 15 wars. [4.] https://en.wikipedia.org...

These wars, have had some pretty detrimental outcomes. [5.] http://www.independent.co.uk...

'When a country has a strong military, civilian casualties in that country are kept to a minimum, and, thus, Life is maximized. For example, in World War Two, only 1,700 U.S. civilians were killed (4), because the U.S. instated a draft that ensured a strong military.'

I think countries like Israel (and others like Colombia, Kuwait, etc.) wholly negate this assumption. The reference to U.S in WW2 fails, as this was a worldwide conflict, and western policies on war/intervention have changed since then. (I.E--lessons have been learned.) [6.] http://www.un.org...

'If a country is taken over because its military is too weak, then civilian casualties can become much greater. For example, the countries taken over by Nazi Germany had death tolls that ranged from 60,000 to 3,000,000.'

See above link; WW2 occurred to due lack of diplomacy among nations and failure of preventative measures. Now, we have strict international law.

'While this is not the value which I have proposed, I would also like to discuss Security. Security is defined as "The state of being free from danger or threat" by the Oxford English dictionary (6). When a country is taken over, the Security of all of its citizens is put at risk, because they no longer have their country"s military to defend them. Cruel dictatorships, such as the Nazis, can take the Life of many citizens and the Security of many more.'

Pro is placing a great deal of emphasis on the Nazi regime, seemingly overlooking the fact that this particular period in history was indeed quite unique. Moreover, Europe now enjoys a mostly peaceable relationship, one that is bound by (again) international law and to a large extent, the European Union--which since its creation, has sought to maintain economic sharing and prosperity within Europe. (let's not forget, that Germany had endured economic despair prior to the Nazi regime, which is the largest contributing factor in why WW2 took place.)
Debate Round No. 3
Kyro

Pro

In this round I will fortify my own arguments and conclude my case.

In response to my national security argument, Con states that I am "exaggerating [the military's] significance here. One of the priorities of all countries, should always be to avoid war--instead of displaying...a national predisposition towards it; which...compulsory service may well do."

Con essentially states that compulsory national service may lead to states becoming predisposed to war. However, Con fails to provide evidence of this statement, so it is completely unsubstantiated.

Con also says that "countries that have no compulsory military service are in fact categorized as the most powerful countries in the world...I would also ask Pro is outline exactly what "threats" he's referring to, as thus far, his case is purely speculative".

The United States is the most powerful country in the world. That would appear to mean that the U.S. has little need of military expansion. However, the U.S. is also in a special situation compared to other countries. The United States serves as the world's police force (1).
The U.S. is responsible not only for its safety, but the safety of many other countries.

One part of this concept is the membership of the U.S. in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) (2). Every NATO member is responsible for the Security of every other member (2). Since the U.S. is the most powerful country in NATO, it is often majorly responsible for defending other members.

The U.S. is also involved in the war on terror. The U.S. spends a significant amount of manpower and military focus on the Middle East and fighting terrorism (3). When all of the different responsibilities of the U.S. are seen in aggregate, it is clear that the U.S. needs a stronger military than any other country.

Con provides the example of Israel as "a country with compulsory military service", showing that Israel has been in many wars, and taking this to mean that national service does not improve the Security of a country's citizens. However, Israel is a unique case. Israel, a Jewish state, is surrounded by Muslim states (4). Islamic militant groups like Hamas are constantly battling Israel, trying to take its land (5). Israel is also the site of Jerusalem, a place which is holy to both Jews and Muslims. Israel has compulsory national service because it has to have it in order to stay alive.

Con also lists Colombia and Kuwait as examples. Kuwait, again, is in the middle of an area ravaged by terrorism. Terrorist organizations like ISIS put the Security of every Middle Eastern state in jeopardy. Con provided no source to back up her Colombia example.

Con claims that "The reference to U.S in WW2 fails, as...western policies on war/intervention have changed since then." It is possible that the U.S. is in a different situation now than it was in the WW2 era. However, as I stated above, the U.S. has many things for which it uses its military. Again, the U.S. is part of NATO (2). This means that the U.S. military protects not just its own citizens, but the citizens of many other countries.

Responding to my Security argument, Con says that I am "placing a great deal of emphasis on the Nazi regime, seemingly overlooking the fact that this particular period in history was indeed quite unique." Con then says that things have changed since that time.

Once again, I concede that the world is not in the same situation as it was during WW2. However, there are still major threats that have to be addressed in the world. The U.S. spends a lot of its military power on the Middle East (3). In doing this, the U.S. protects the Security of countries near the Middle East, as well as other countries that are subject to attack from terrorist organizations. For example, on November 13, 2015, Paris experienced a terrorist attack that killed 130 and injured 350 (6). These attacks were perpetrated by Middle Eastern threats (6), which the United States is working to neutralize.

National service has many functions that are vital to a free country, and, in the case of the U.S., a free world. National service in the U.S. would help against the war on terror, help to protect allied countries when they come under attack, and defend Security around the world.

I have shown through my rebuttals that Con's refutations of my arguments are invalid, and therefore my arguments still stand. Conversely, I have refuted Con's arguments and shown them to be insignificant. For these reasons, I have won the debate.

Sources:
(1) http://www.nationalreview.com...
(2) http://www.nato.int...
(3) http://www.aei.org...
(4) https://opb.pbslearningmedia.org...
(5) http://www.bbc.com...
(6) https://www.britannica.com...
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Kyro 8 months ago
Kyro
Just a reminder, Con, remember you can't refute anything from Round 4, since, obviously, I can't either!
Posted by Emilrose 8 months ago
Emilrose
I wasn't going to :P
Posted by Kyro 8 months ago
Kyro
Don't forfeit please!
Posted by platoandaristotle 8 months ago
platoandaristotle
By "national service" you mean the military, correct?
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