International Intervention and Human Rights Abuse by State Actors
One Month Voting Period
72 hours to debate
Rd. 1) Introductions/stipulations/acceptance/analysis
Rd. 2) Opening arguments
Rd. 3) Rebuttals/Reconstruction
Rd. 4) Concluding Remarks
This debate establishes two criteria which, if met would be sufficient to justify military intervention. They are (1) international military intervention is likely to successfully reduce human rights abuses by state actors, and (2) international military intervention is in the interest of the state which is to intervene.
While not all human rights abuses obviously merit an international response, it should be assumed that the degree and magnitude of human rights abuses impacts at least 10,000 people subject to the abusing state's power. Ten thousand is an arbitrary number, but one chosen so as to establish a minimum threshold for involvement. That is not to say that intervention as described by the resolution would be unjustified below that threshold, but rather to limit this debate's scope only to those conflicts which engage more than 10,000. While additional criteria may factor into consideration for specific cases of intervention, as this debate shall only consider the two criteria listed above.
PRO's Burden of proof is to argue as a general principle that whenever (1) international military intervention is likely to successfully reduce human rights abuses by state actors, and (2) international military intervention is in the interest of the state which is to intervene, that intervention as such is justified. Neither PRO not CON are obliged to "prove" their side, but only tasked to argue, more or less compellingly, on behalf of their perspective. CON's Burden of proof is only to negate PRO's claim.
It is stipulated that outside sources, while the may prove necessary, are not necessarily required here and no source points may be awarded for or against either side.
YYW wrote: "PRO's Burden of proof is to argue as a general principle that whenever (1) international military intervention is likely to successfully reduce human rights abuses by state actors, and (2) international military intervention is in the interest of the state which is to intervene, that intervention as such is justified." He also stated that these are "two criteria which, if met would be sufficient to justify military intervention." YYW also confirmed in the comments that he must uphold BOTH of these criteria to achieve his BOP.
This impact and relevance of this information is clear: if Pro only upholds one of these two criteria, or if Con can sufficiently undermine one of these two criteria, Pro has failed to meet his BOP. Pro must successfully uphold both points in order to meet his BOP.
While sourcing is not required and while voters may not assign points for sources, I submit that credible sources add weight to arguments. If an expert in the field is saying something, he is more apt to be correct or valid than are me or my opponent. We may both be smart people, but neither of us has the same expertise or knowledge base on intervention as does a UN or State Department official, for instance. Therefore, while sources themselves may not be scored, if faced with two competing arguments, one could factor in sources to determine which is more valid in this debate. This is the "ethos" component of the ethos-pathos-logos triad.
I agree to the 10,000 number, for the purposes of this debate. I like semantics, and since no outright prohibition on them has been proffered, I hereby reserve my right to employ them (though I think it's VERY unlikely I will in this debate.) With that, I turn things over to Pro...
Many thanks to Bsh1 for what I think will probably be a very enteratining debate, and to all judges who may read this.
“The humanitarian intervention debate.”
Holzgrefe, J. L.,
Humanitarian Intervention: Ethical, Legal and Political Dilemmas (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2003); J. L. Holzgrefe and R. O. Keohane,
Humanitarian Military Intervention: The conditions for Success and Failure
Taylor B. Seybolt
Oxford University Press, 2007
Just and Unjust Wars
Basic Books, 1977
“The perils of humanitarian assistance in armed internal conflicts: Somalia in the 1990s”
Taw, J. M.
Small Wars and Insurgencies, vol. 15, no. 2 (autumn 2004)
“Military risk and political commitment in United Nations humanitarian peace support operations.”
Whitman, J.; Belgrad and Nachmias
Foreign Affairs, vol. 73, no. 6 (Nov./Dec. 1994)
Thanks again to YYW for initiating this debate! I will use this round to present my own arguments. I will rebut Pro in later rounds.
Please note that this debate, as set out by Pro, is about military interventions with humanitarian components. But, the type of intervention used is inherently military in nature.
I have two qualms with Pro's definition of humanitarian intervention. Firstly, "threat" of force is not intervention. Intervention implies that positive action has been taken, not simply suggested. Secondly, delivering aid is, in itself, not intervention. Intervention implies interference in political goings on, specifically, protecting people against government abuse or creating a more just governmental system. Therefore, I propose the following definition: "military force against another state when the chief publicly declared aim of that military action is ending human-rights violations being perpetrated by the state against which it is directed." 
CONTENTION ONE: Humanitarian Intervention
(A) Military intervention has a losing record; it fails to establish long-term peace
“In the case of Kenya, the first and only country to which R2P was applied, some 1,500 people died and some 600,000 were uprooted prior to international involvement. So R2P was not a preventive measure, but it did succeed in halting the violence and preventing further displacement. But should the story end there or should it extend to ensuring that displaced people are effectively protected in the aftermath of violence? Reports show a lack of security for ethnic groups in areas of return, an absence of planning for those who do not wish to return, inadequate compensation for destroyed homes and property. Moreover, thousands still live in camps and temporary settlements. Yet we don't hear…about the promotion of compliance with the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement with regard to rebuilding. Welcomed by the World Summit in 2005…the national human rights commission in Kenya considers its government to be violating these Principles in its treatment of IDPs after the violence.” 
"Few interventions happen without a pervasive occupying force to ensure the peace. The intervention in Libya was remarkable, and fairly unique...But most interventions require commitments far beyond the initial phase of combat. The 20th century’s last humanitarian intervention, Kosovo, remains unsettled. As of February 2012, there are nearly 6,000 NATO troops still in Kosovo, nearly 2,000 of which are American – 13 years after the intervention. The intervention unleashed a massive humanitarian crisis: the forced expulsion of over 150,000 Serbs, according to Human Rights Watch. The treatment of those Serbs is, to this day, a spot of contention and even anger both in Serbia and in Russia. To this day the situation in Northern Kosovo remains tenuous and insecure, thanks to the American-led NATO intervention." Other examples of failed interventions include Afghanistan, Somalia, and Sierra Leone. "Military power is, at best, a clumsy instrument of statecraft, and we have a terrible record of realistically predicting the consequences of its use. Normalizing the use of the military to interfere in conflicts that don’t involve us carries enormous costs that are often ignored in the heated public debate about how to end suffering. Nevertheless, those costs need to be kept paramount as we consider options — and especially if we choose to use the military to intervene for humanitarian purposes." 
(B) Intervention is often futile
“[We] must also recognize that many regional conflicts are so deeply rooted that no outside party, from within or outside the region, will succeed in ending the fighting.”  We can see this in the empirical examples of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Sudan.
(C) Intervention does not deter
“Like the domino theory, deterrence by example is largely irrelevant in the context of actual events. The aborted U.S. intervention in Haiti, for example, is not going to lead to a rash of military dictatorships any more than strong American responses to Manuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein deterred Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic from pursuing his aims in Bosnia. To formulate policy on such a premise would be a mistake.” 
(D) Nations don't want to put boots on the ground, and so go to extreme measures to avoid it
“While it might be possible to claim that NATO’s actions were purely altruistic, the actual intervention was severely limited in its ability to stop human-rights violations because NATO was unwilling to put its soldiers on the ground, in harm’s way, perhaps due to the results of the mission in Somalia." Instead, “NATO stepped up its show of force by expanding its target list to include infrastructure within the FRY. These new targets included civilian-use facilities such as bridges, factories, electricity grids, and water treatment plants.” In fact, in April 1999, while the bombing of the FRY was continuing, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued various reports that directly condemned the manner in which NATO was conducting its operations, drawing upon the principles of proportionality and legality. As one scholar notes, ‘[i]f the intervention was predicated, as it was by NATO, upon overwhelming humanitarian necessity, one must wonder how an intervention constructed solely of dropping bombs could quickly improve the plight of the Kosovars.'" 
(E) Prextextual interventions can--and likely will--occur
“If humanitarian intervention were legal, the cost of the potential abuse of pretextual interventions would outweigh any benefit derived from altruistic interventions. A pretextual intervention is a nation's intervention in a different state for the nation's own gain, not for the protection of human rights. Furthermore…the [UN] Charter provides for collective security measures that sufficiently protect human rights." 
CONTENTION TWO: Self-Interest
(A) Instability not a danger to Security
“The most common, and fallacious, argument for intervention is that global instability is a threat to security. That argument relies heavily on the discredited domino theory and the notion of deterrence by example. Global instability does not, per se, threaten vital [national] interests and is the normal state of affairs. A policy that views disorder or instability as a security threat would force [nations] to expend vast resources in pursuit of an unattainable objective.” 
(B) Using the example of the U.S. we can see that intervention is rarely in our interests
"There is widespread acknowledgement that most regional conflicts do not represent an intrinsic threat to America's national security. Even the interventionist-minded Clinton administration does not claim that regional wars are a direct threat to American vital interests, and officials have been quick to point out that foreign policy failures in Somalia, Haiti, and Bosnia should not be viewed as jeopardizing the nation's security. As Secretary of State Warren Christopher has cautioned, regional conflicts should not 'detract from our ability to concentrate on the strategic priorities.'" 
(C) Using the example of the U.S., we can see that intervention actual harms our strategic interests
“As tragic as many of the regional wars are, most cannot be resolved by American military intervention. In fact, military involvement often aggravates the situation. Furthermore, intervention can create a number of problems for the United States, including a rise in anti-American sentiment, diminished American credibility if the mission fails, domestic skepticism about future military operations even when legitimate U.S. interests might be involved, and threats to vital interests where none previously existed.” 
(D) Intervention leads to war and conflict
Prof. Frederick Schuman explains: “Since other powers feeling themselves threatened by an expanding power, they will at some point resist its further aggrandizement; relentless pursuit of power spells war-which is the ultimate negation of all morality. But relentless pursuit of ethical ideals…also spells war, since we live in a world of inescapable diversity in which…formidable powers can always be counted upon to reject…any particular definition of virtue sought to be imposed upon them by the power of others.” The problems with a failure to deter only create conflicts that spiral further out of control as well, as interventions not only fail themselves, but also fail to reduce human rights abuses elsewhere, sometime even increasing global tensions (e.g. Iraq-Iran dynamic.) 
1 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
2 - Cohen, Roberta [Nonresident Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Panel on the Responsibility to Protect and Human Rights], “The responsibility to protect: The Human rights and humanitarian dimensions,” Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement, Harvard Human Rights Panel Annual Symposium
3 - http://www.pbs.org...
4 - http://www.cato.org...
5 - Hafkin, Gregory [J.D. Candidate 2010, Boston University School of Law], “The Russo-Georgian War of 2008,” Boston University International Law Journal, Vol. 28:219 (2010)
6 - Benjamin, Barry M. [J.D. Fordham Law School; Current Member of the New York Bar, specializing in Government and Public Affairs] “Unilateral Humanitarian Intervention: Legalizing the Use of Force to Prevent Human Rights Atrocities,” Fordham International Law Journal (1992)
7 - Amatzia Baram, "Deterrence Lessons from Iraq," Foreign Affairs, July/August 2012
In the interest if clarity, I want to restate the resolution: "If international military intervention is a likely viable means to ameliorate human rights abuses by state actors, and intervention as such is in the intervening state's best interest, international military intervention is a justifiable."
CON contends that the "threat of force" is not intervention because intervention requires "that positive action has been taken, not simply suggested." A threat is more than a suggestion, and intervention in this sense is the intentional exercise of hard power to coerce a given end. CON"s source (which is Wikipedia) doesn"t actually support his semantic issue against intervention including the threat of force, because it only talks about "military force" being used to the end specified in the resolution. Military force and intervention are not the same thing, because while intervention may mean military force being used, it doesn"t require "boots on the ground." It could be only the threat of force, which, again, would be an exercise of hard power, and therefor intervention. (Wilson, 2008) However, we are also not talking about all kinds of hard power, just hard power that entails military action.
CON"s first tagline is "Humanitarian Intervention." He cites the example of Kenya where the "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine was invoked as grounds for intervention, as articulated in a Brookings Institute Article by Roberta Cohen. But his conclusion that "military intervention has a losing record; it fails to establish long-term peace" lacks sufficient grounding because even if military humanitarian intervention did not completely succeed in one case, as the article suggests, that does not mean that in all cases all humanitarian military intervention will always fail. Moreover, that same article does not actually take a stance against military humanitarian intervention. Rather, Cohen only points out some obstacles that intervention as such must overcome if it is to be successful.
There is a similar problem with the PBS article CON cites written by Joshua Foust, in that the article"s main point is to stress the costs of intervention. Foust does not argue that military intervention always fails, but rather contends that "military power is, at best, a clumsy instrument of statecraft" and therefore "if we choose to use the military to intervene for humanitarian purposes, we should be up front and honest about the likely high costs of doing so." I agree with Foust, here -which is why I"m proposing such a rigorous framework for humanitarian intervention.
Says Cohen: "The international community to date has shown itself unwilling and unable to robustly protect people from atrocity crimes committed in their countries. [Responsibility to Protect] is a tool to raise awareness to the obligation we all have when it comes to protection. It should have the support of everyone here."
I would argue, consistent with Cohen"s article and main point, that the reason why Kenyan intervention failed was that there was not that intervention as such is itself a problem, but that the way intervention in that case was planned was insufficient, and that intervening countries did not have enough of an incentive to see the "job" through to the end. This stresses why it is absolutely necessary for intervening countries to both ensure that intervention is a viable means to humanitarian ends, and why why intervening states must have an interest in the outcomes intervention is purposed to effectuate if intervention is to be successful.
CON"s further sub-points to his first contention include that intervention (b) is often futile, (c) does not deter. CON"s Cato Institute article only argues American intervention is futile on the basis of it"s presupposition that the United States does not have in interest in preventing global instability. This is beyond the scope of the resolution, however, because the resolution explicitly requires that international military humanitarian intervention must be in the intervening state"s best interest if it is to be justified. So, if we assume the article"s premise is true that the US had no interest in intervening for the examples it lists, then the article and it"s points are irrelevant. But, that aside, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan (the examples CON and his article cites) were not military interventions executed principally for humanitarian reasons so they don"t necessarily hold water against evaluating the criteria for justifying humanitarian intervention required by the resolution.
CON"s subpoints (d) and (e) are in conflict with one another because on the one hand he"s arguing that states are reluctant to intervene because of the risk intervention entails, but on the other he"s arguing that states will "jump the gun" to intervene for humanitarian reasons with ulterior motives. He"s right that states are reluctant to intervene, and that even when state"s do intervene, they are reluctant to commit sufficient resources to achieve the ends intervention is purposed to. But, that is the reason why, as I stressed in an earlier round, that states must also have an interest in intervention"s outcome and that they should not intervene only for altruistic reasons because only when a state"s humanitarian military intervention is in pursuit of its goals are state"s likely to commit enough resources to actually intervene successfully.
CON"s second contention examines self interest from four different angles. His first subcont. denies that instability is a threat to security, which is irrelevant because the quote he cites is from the CATO institute article I addressed earlier. However, it is salient to note that the article only examines military intervention (and not necessarily humanitarian military intervention) from the perspective of US interests, and the resolution is not specific to the United States. This is likewise why his second subcont."s sub points (b), (c) and (d) do nothing to advance his argument, as they are only specific to the US. Moreover, while countering instability might be one reason that states would see an interest in intervening, countering instability could hardly be said to be the only reason why states might see an interest in intervening. So, CON"s conclusions are at once too bold, insufficient to negate the resolution and precariously close to non-topical.
To be explicitly clear: this debate"s is to weigh two conditions" sufficiency for justifying international military humanitarian intervention. This debate"s purpose is not to contend that military intervention, humanitarian or otherwise, is not always in the United State"s best interest -which is all, more or less, CON has tried to prove. CON will be admonished to recognize that this resolution is only about whether or not international military intervention is justified if the following two conditions are met: (1) intervention is a viable means to stem human rights abuses by state actors, and (2) the state which is intervening has sufficient interest in doing so. As I have said before, this debate"s purpose is not to state specific cases where military intervention would or would necessarily be justified, but rather to debate the permissible conditions under which humanitarian military intervention would be justifiable.
Once more, I have argued that "the link between effectiveness and justification" here "is based on the premise that military intervention for human protection purposes can only be justified in humanitarian terms if the intervention does more good than harm." (Holzgrefe, 2003; at 50) Therefore, IHMI must be a viable means to remediate human rights abuses, if it is to be justifiable. Likewise, military action should only be undertaken when political concerns are at stake for intervening nations because as Seybolt articulated, "to ignore politics is to invite disaster" for the reason that in the absence of an intervening state"s political interest"s being at stake, the probability of a successful intervention is dramatically depreciated. (Seybolt, 2007; at 21) So, international humanitarian military intervention must also be in the intervening state"s best interest, if it is to be justifiable.
As such, because none of CON"s arguments have actually undermined those two conditions"s being sufficient to justify international military intervention to ameliorate human rights abuses by state actors, an PRO victory is therefore compelled.
Again, many thanks to CON for this titillating intellectual exercise, and to all judges who may read/vote on this debate.
(Wilson, 2008): http://www.ernestjwilson.com...
I thank YYW for for a stellar, cordial debate. In this round, I shall confute Pro's original case, and then proceed to reconstruct my own case. First, however, I shall discuss the framework for the round.
Pro posits that " intervention in this sense is the intentional exercise of hard power to coerce a given end." Frankly, to exercise something is to use it, and a threat does not use hard power, it only suggests that it will be used. It seems then, that Pro's own explanations lack coherency.
Pro fails to respond to my second objection to Pro's definition, which is that delivering aid is, in and of itself, not intervention. Extend this point.
Pro then errs by hazarding that my definition fails to address the resolution. Pro asserts that intervention is not solely military force, but consider that Pro's own definition states "use of force" and "use of military personnel" and that Pro refers explicitly to "international military intervention" and "international humanitarian military intervention." It is very clear that Pro is referring to military action, and so here too Pro's objection to my definition lacks coherency.
Based off of this analysis, I urge judges to prefer my counterdefinition.
C1: Humanitarian Intervention
SA: Intervention fails
Pro oppugns the link between my example and my tag line. Regardless of the linkage to the tag line, the source is denotative of how intervention and R2P fails. We must also remember, that Kenya is the only nation in which R2P was explicitly invoked, and so, arguably, it is the best case study for R2P. Finally, consider the problems with the Kenya disaster: (1) lack of security for returning refugees, (2) insufficient planning, (3) failure to rebuild, (4) long-term failure to respect human rights. These issues are mirrored and encapsulated by other instances of intervention, including Iraq, Bosnia, Somalia, the Congo, and Libya. Kenya is simply an exemplar of why intervention fails, and its lessons have clearly yet to be learned.
Pro then contests the verisimilitude of my interpretation of Foust. The article does place great stress on the fallbacks of intervention, summarizing it with the following quip: "military power is, at best, a clumsy instrument of statecraft." At worst, I would say, it only worsens the crises it attempts to ameliorate. Let us examine what Pro does not address: (1) most interventions require long-term commitments, (2) states have a terrible record at predicting outcomes of intervention, and (3) the example of Kosovo.
The example of Kosovo, specifically, shows how intervention can backfire and actually create or magnify humanitarian crises. Consider that the exact same problems in Kenya, i.e. lack of security for returning denizens and long-term human rights abuses, abound also in Kosovo.
Pro then insists that the reason Kenya failed was that there was a lack of planning and that there was insufficient international support. As regards planning, that is precisely my argument--that intervening powers don't plan sufficiently and are unable to predict outcomes well. Suppose that a civil war breaks out in a remote area--let's say southern Cameroon. For every day the outside powers delay intervention, 5,000 people die and another 20,000 are displaced. In a week, 35,000 people will have perished, and 140,000 people will have been displaced. It is going to take more than a week to adequately plan for, mobilize for, and deploy force to combat the crisis. In other words, if humanitarian intervention is designed to halt conflicts before the spiral out of control, those missions need to occur with alacrity. But, if humanitarian intervention is to avoid causing the crisis to degenerate, it must be meticulously planned, which takes time. Simply, humanitarian intervention can either be risky and fast, or well-planned but too late to do anything. An inability to balance the competing time concerns inheres in the very notion.
As for the international support, the global community is a divisive and fractious one, and we cannot expect it to mobilize behind goals in a timely or coordinated manner. Look at how hard it was to garner global acquiesce for the intervention in Libya, especially with Russia and China displaying their proclivities for obstructionism.
SB: Intervention's futile
Pro attempts to dismiss my Conry evidence by pointing out it focuses specifically on the U.S. That is largely the case, but it does not give Pro the free pass he is attempting to garner. Pro needs to address the logical substance of each of my cards.
Conry exposits on the futility of intervention, saying: "“[We] must also recognize that many regional conflicts are so deeply rooted that no outside party, from within or outside the region, will succeed in ending the fighting.” This is true, and Pro never disagrees. Look at Iraq--this was an initiate that was international in nature, but has failed regardless because the underlying sectarian tensions have not be remediated. In fact, regional partners like Saudi Arabia and Qatar have only exacerbated conflict in Iraq. Another instance of this might be Libya, where international cooperation has miserably failed to end the violence as long-term conflicts that had bubbled under the surface during Gadhafi's reign exploded to the surface.
Pro, by arguing for international intervention, in essence, takes a pro-multilateralism stance. This is faulty for several reasons. Multilateralism carries with it significant costs of its own; it requires sacrifice of power and control over intervention. Further, it may seriously compromise the military effectiveness of those operations, as recent debates over command and control in UN military operations suggest.  Moreover, the UN is a highly gridlocked organization. If this statement weren't obvious on its own, I have a source that emphasizes this: “Once paralyzed by cold war rivalries, the [UN] is nowadays asked to do too much: enforce peace in Sarajevo, face down a truculent Saddam Hussein and clean up messes in Cambodia, Central America, Afghanistan and South America.’”  While the crises may have changed, the principle hasn't.
Pro, fails to ignore the logic, and just lays down the blanket argument that the Conry cards are invalid. We can see that Conry's logic does hold up when placed under scrutiny, despite Pro's error-laden claims. Conry observes that intervention has failed to deter those who would abuse human rights. We can look to an example as recent as Koni to substantiate this. Despite African Union efforts to halt his reign of terror, he has continued to engage in his militant activities. Gadhafi also fought to the bitter end, exacting a huge toll on his populace. A third instance would be Milosevic in Bosnia, which Conry expounded upon.
SD and SE:
Pro mistakenly claims these sub-points conflict. In SD, I argue that due to a reticence to put boots on the ground for solely humanitarian reasons, nations tend to drop bombs and take other, more extreme measures that do more harm than good.
In SE I assert that nations may use humanitarianism as a pretext for other motives. This does not conflict with SD for two reasons. (1) nations operating under ulterior motives are willing to set boots on the ground because they are not intervening just for humanitarian reasons. If nation A intervenes for humanitarian purposes, it sees little profit in the war, and so minimizes risk, but if nation B intervenes under the pretext of humanitarianism (but for the real purpose of gaining access to mineral extraction facilities, for example) it is willing to put troops on the ground, to avoid indiscriminately damaging the infrastructure it will need to utilize those facilities. (2) My SD never said that nations are reluctant to intervene and my SE never said nations would place boots on the ground. Pro totally misread these point. SD is saying that nations don't want boots on the ground, and SE is saying that nations will abuse the humanitarian justification for intervention to legalize otherwise illicit interventions. Nations could drop bombs and avoid placing boots on the ground even while operating under a false pretext. There is literally no conflict here.
Since Pro never actually contests the points (he only says they conflict), we can extend them.
Pro's attack again centers around a critique of the Conry evidence.
Let's review Conry's logic: the world is inherently unstable. It is a waste of funds to try to change that. Therefore, the search for stability is a waste of funds. This train of though is never attacked, Pro drops it, and I'm extending it.
SB: No Interest
Again, Conry's logic holds up. Most international crises do not effect those states in a position to intervene. Rwanda did not affect Europe or America, Haiti did not affect Europe or America, and so on. Therefore, there's no reason to intervene. Pro drops this, please extend it.
SC: Harms Interests
Again, Conry's logic is not faulty. If a nation intervenes and fails, it's credibility will be hurt and skepticism will rise domestically. If a nations intervenes and makes the situation worse, as I've shown can happen, it engenders enmity, which can create problems down the line.
This is totally dropped. Extend it. Pro's only attack on it is that it's specific to the U.S, but it is not specific to any country. Pro is just incorrect here.
Ultimately, if intervention has a such a great potential to proliferate animus, generate war, and waste resources, it's not in a nations interest to undertake.
We can cross-apply all of my arguments to Pro's case as well.
1 - http://www.thepresidency.org...
2 - Benjamin, Barry M. [previously cited - R2]
Thanks to YYW. While I'd not describe the round as "titillating" it is kinetic, engrossing, galvanic, and bracing.
To explicitly clarify something that I assumed CON knew, my definition of hard power is Joseph Nye's, and it is Joeseph Nye's conceptual definition that CON's "framework" argument has thus far failed to refute. I mean, semantics are fun, but facts are facts: "hard power, is achieved through military threat or use" of force. (Stratiegic Studies Institute, United States Army) In that way, while I applaud CON's attempt to explicate how I've failed to counter his objection, I've not only not failed, I've rendered incoherent -to use his word- any possibility of CON's framework's viability. But of course, we're talking about international humanitarian military -which is why the second paragraph under his "framework" heading at once doesn't make much sense, and doesn't undermine anything I've said.
So, I'm going to address CON's rebuttals, and then talk about my own case some more.
I'll remind the judge that CON's cited example (Kenya) does not mean that the Responsibility to Protect, "fails" as both an international legal concept and as a justification for military intervention -but what transpired in Kenya only illustrates that wherever any state intervenes, intervention must be a viable means to ameliorate human rights abuses by state actors and that the intervening state must have an interest in stoping human rights abuses by state actors. The essential thrust of CON's argument is that because there were some problems in Kenya, no state should ever intervene to stop human rights abuses by state actors. What CON fails to grasp is that even if there was one instance of intervention's failure, that does not mean that all future cases of intervention will also fail and should therefore not even be attempted. Even if there were problems like CON cites, that doesn't mean that intervention in some other case would necessarily result in catastrophe.
CON's little anecdote about military power being, "at best, a clumsy instrument of statecraft" is funny, namely because it doesn't mean what he thinks it means, but also because of how naive and obtuse it is. But, because I don't think CON knows what statecraft is, I'm going to define it for him. Statecraft "seeks through strategy to magnify the mass, relevance, impact, and irresistibility of power. It guides the ways the state deploys and applies its power abroad.
These ways embrace the arts of war, espionage, and diplomacy." So, CON's article might justifiably conclude that military power might be a "clumsy" measure for a state to nation build, that is beyond the scope of this resolution because the resolution is not about the extent to which military force might be used to stop human rights abuses by state actors. Indeed, military force might very well be the only means by which an intervening state could coerce an abuser of human rights to stop brutalizing his or her people -and that would have to be the case for military intervention as articulated by the resolution, to be justified.
I'd just like to remind my opponent and the judge, at this point in time, that this is a debate over the conditions under which military intervention to stop human rights abuse by state actors is justified. This debate's purpose is only to frame the conditions under which military force may be justifiably used to stop human right's abuses. This debate's purpose is not to, contrary to the kinds of arguments CON has been proffering, reflectively evaluate the successes of historical interventions in various times and places. So, the judge, then, must only consider those arguments which speak directly to that end.
Subsequently, CON attempts to reconstruct his Conry article's relevance, with paltry success. Even granting the premise that "many regional conflicts are so deeply rooted that no outside party... will succeed in ending the fighting," what CON fails to recognize is that we're not talking about regional conflicts. We're talking about human rights abuses by state actors, and whether if (1) military intervention is a viable means to stop that abuse, and (2) the intervening state has an interest in stopping the abuse, that intervention is justified.
But, even if some regional conflicts were an instance of human rights abuse by state actors, and even if those conflicts were irresolvable by external means, I am perfectly consistent in saying that in those cases, intervention as proscribed by the resolution wouldn't be justified because intervention in this hypothetical case wouldn't be a viable means to ameliorate human rights abuse. Indeed, I'm not arguing that in all cases where there are human rights abuses by state actors, that intervention is necessarily justified. Rather, I'm arguing that ONLY WHEN (1) military intervention is a viable means to stop human rights abuse, and (2) the intervening state has an interest in stopping that abuse, then is military intervention justified to stop human rights abuses by state actors.
CON then deviates beyond the scope of the resolution while misstating my rebuttal in a prior round and proceeds to incorporate some interestingly irrelevant information before extrapolating on some structural problems with the UN. CON claims that I'm implicitly arguing for multilateral intervention, in egregious error. I never said that, nor will I say that, because the unilateral v. multilateral dichotomy speaks to 'whom will intervene if there are human rights abuses', but not a question of whether those states which do intervene are justified in doing so.
Likewise, while I acknowledge that there are all kinds of problems with the UN, and the obstinance of certain P5 members of the security council in their recalcitrant obstruction whenever human rights abuses need to be stopped, (ahem, Russia, and China, I'm looking at you!), that's a separate issue beyond whether military intervention is justified because even if Russia and China veto a UNSC resolution authorizing the use of military force to stop human rights abuses by a state actor, that doesn't mean that a country which both could stop that abuse and had an interest in stopping that abuse would not be justified (in a moral sense, as justification for this debate was framed in the first round) in intervening.
CON attempts to piece back together one of his arguments by stating "due to a reticence to put boots on the ground for solely humanitarian reasons, nations tend to drop bombs and take other, more extreme measures that do more harm than good." I think he meant "reluctance" rather than "reticence" because the latter doesn't really fit, but I'm not concerned. The reason I'm not concerned is simple: even if states want to do more than intervene (by any military means) for humanitarian purposes, that doesn't mean that intervening states loose justification for intervention for humanitarian reasons because there are other interests in play.
In the matter of CON's self interest point, while the realm of international politics and world affairs is always already more or less unstable, that doesn't mean that states don't have an interest in facilitating stability at all. While also no state necessarily has an interest in facilitating universal stability, the reason that Conry's logic is without merit centralizes on the reality that all states have at least some interest in stability in some place because in the absence of stability, the kind of peace required for commerce to take place, for citizens to live their lives and indeed for their own society to function is imminently jeopardized to the extent that stability is lost. So, even if the world is never going to be perfectly stable, that doesn't mean that the pursuit of stability is always in vain. Ergo, Conry's logic dissipates like the smoke in mirrors that it is.
CON claims that I've ignored a lot of his arguments, which really isn't true. I've dismissed all the irrelevant stuff he's written, because it's irrelevant, or at least not directly on point -as has been the case with virtually every example he's offered because this debate is not about evaluating historical interventions. This debate is about framing the conditions under which military intervention to a very specific end is justified.
In conclusion, what CON had to do here is argue that even if a state can ameliorate human rights abuses by state actors by intervening militarily, and even if the prospectively intervening state has an interest in doing so, that state is not justified in intervening militarily. CON didn't do that. Instead, he wanted to evaluate historical interventions and offer reasons why they were problematic, and incorporate a plethora of irrelevant information that doesn't speak to whether or not military intervention is justified if it is a viable means to stop human rights abuses and the intervening state has an interest in stopping human right abuses.
Specifically, this debate"s purpose is not to state specific cases where military intervention would have been a good idea, but rather to conceptually frame the conditions under which humanitarian military intervention was justified. I argued, (1) international humanitarian military intervention must be a viable means to remediate human rights abuses, if it is to be justifiable and (2) international humanitarian military intervention must be in the intervening state"s best interest, if it is to be justifiable. CON never directly refuted either of those points, so they still stand and PRO has won this debate.
It's been fun!
Peace and Love,
Strategic Studies institute: http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil...
Statecraft, defined: http://www.au.af.mil...
Thanks once again to YYW for a tremendous round of debate! I will use this round to address the main point of clash (framework and contentions), and then recap with some reasons to cast a Con vote today.
Pro assumed that I knew that his definition was from Joseph Nye. Pro's assumption was erroneous, and I should notbe penalized for it. Pro cited Seybolt, not Nye, for his definition, and this is the first time he's mentioned Nye. Pro says that I failed to address Nye's concept--obviously, since Nye was never once mentioned. Pro is asking me to rebut something never even brought up in this debate, and that is abusive.
So, let's look at the rest of Pro's remarks here. Pro says that hard power is achieved through the threat of use of force. But he can't take out my objections against this just by repeating his initial definition. He must actually address my attacks, which were as follows: (1) to exercise something is not merely to "threaten" to use something, but to actually use it, and (2) that delivering aid is not, in and of itself, invervention.
Firstly, if intervention is, as Pro clarified in R3, the "exercise of hard power" then hard power must actually be used, not just threatened. If you buy into Pro's R4 explanation of hard power, then there is a semantic conflict: you cannot exercise hard power via suggestion, but yet Pro says you can. Which is it? This is one reason to prefer my definition.
Secondly, R4 is literally the first time Pro addresses my second objection. His only remark here is that it "doesn't make much sense." Pro never explains WHY it doesn't make sense, so I don't really understand his reasoning here. My logic is that simply dropping a bundle of food from a airplane, for example, is not International Military Humanitarian Intervention when you consider that, to use Pro's own R2 phrasing, humanitarian intervention means "force...aimed at preventing or ending widespread and grave violations of the fundamental human rights of individuals...due to violence." Where is the force here? There isn't even a threat of force. Also, aid is needed in places where nonviolent crises arise; it is not specific to violent conflicts. This is a second reason to prefer my definition--Pro dropped this point most of the debate, and makes a warrantless attack against it in the final round, which is easily disected.
Pro, in R3, objected to my counter-definition, saying that it failed to address the resolution. I defended my definition in that same round. Since he hasn't responded to my remarks or reiterated his own objection, I must assume that he concedes that my definition does meet the resolution. So, while there are problems with Pro's definitions, there are no such observed problems with mine. Prefer my definition.
C1: Humanitarian Intervention
SA: Intervention fails
Pro again attacks my Kenya example as a form of cherry-picking. However, as I said, Kenya is the only nation where R2P has been applied. It is, frankly, the only cherry available to pick--the only example of R2P to examine. Pro also never rebuts that the following problems did occur in Kenya: (1) lack of security for returning refugees, (2) insufficient planning, (3) failure to rebuild, (4) long-term failure to respect human rights. This has become a pattern among instances of humanitarian interventions, with similar results in Bosnia, Somalia, the Congo, Libya, and Kosovo. Therefore, if we look from the R2P microanalysis to a macro-view of humanitarian action overall, we can see a trend of failures emerging. I can name even more if Pro would like, including Mali and Hati.
I am well aware of what statecraft means, and a bit taken aback that Pro would demean my arguments by refering to them as "naive and obtuse." Pro should address my arguments, not insult them. Moreover, Pro's own points show how much he has misconstured my points.
Pro says: "military power might be a 'clumsy' measure for a state to nation build, that is beyond the scope of this resolution because the resolution is not about the extent to which military force might be used to stop human rights abuses by state actors." Part of the reason humanitarian interventions fail to stop human rights abuses is that the fail to rebuild. This was point 3 in my Kenya example, and was also evidenced in Kosovo. Rebuilding, helping to build up infrastructure (governmental and physical) is key to bringing stability back into a region. I doubt that a crises-stricken region can rebuild on its own. What Pro is basically saying here is that humanitarian military intervention, which is what this debate is about, cannot effectively rebuild. Ergo, it cannot effectively create long-term peace.
Ultimately, this line of reasoning is within the scope of the topic because we need to examine the long-term impacts of intervention as part of any rationale justifying its use. This brings us back to Foust's points: "(1) most interventions require long-term commitments, and (2) states have a terrible record at predicting outcomes of intervention."
Pro also totally drops my analysis that: "humanitarian intervention can either be risky and fast, or well-planned but too late to do anything. An inability to balance the competing time concerns inheres in the very notion [of intervention.]" In this way, intervention is caught in a Catch-22, whereby no matter when it is initiated, it is highly likely to fail.
Pro basically concedes that intervention is futile when he says that "even granting [Conry's] premise..." Again, he never challenges Conry's logic, so it stands. His only argument is that we're not talking about regional conflicts, but rather human rights abuses by a state. The flaw here is that many human rights abuses are regional conflicts. The on-going crises in Sudan, for instance, pits the Dinka and Murle against the Nuer peoples.  Outside interveners have been unable to resolve the differences between the people, just as Conry predicted. Another example is Bosnia, where Christian-Muslim animus is still evident. Regional tension exists everywhere, and is present in a multiplicity of crises, including also the Congo, Mali, Libya, and Somalia. Therefore, in the many cases where such regional tensions abound, intervention is going to fail.
This is totally dropped by Pro. Extend it--the impact is clear: intervention does not deter future rights abuses from being perpetrated.
SD and SE:
Just for the record, reticence does mean reluctance.
Pro drops that nations don't want to put troops on the ground and so go to extreme measures to avoid it. Pro, in fact, says that the means by which intervention occurs is irrelevant to deciding whether or not intervention is justified. This is a very bold and callous claim to make. Consider, if nation X doesn't want to put troops on the ground, but is justified in intervening in nation Y, it decides to firebomb those regions of Y where most rebels reside. After a month, 100,000 rebels die. In that same time 500,000 innocent civilians die. Is this justified? This is clearly wrong. It's a bull in the China shop appraoch, that ends up killing people who don't deserve to die. The ultimate goal of intervention is to stop human rights abuses, but by taking this "at all costs; by any means" appraoch, you commit human rights abuses yourself when you murder civilians.
Pro also drops that nations will use humanitarianism as an excuse to intervene for other reasons. This could lead to exploitation.
Pro never reasserts his claim that my points conflict, so he concedes this argument to me.
SA and SB:
True--some stability may be in a nations interest to promote, but that misses the crux of her assertions. Most nations in a position to intervene, namely the Western powers and their allies, don't have an interest in, say, the stability of Malawi or the stability of the Congo, but yet we waste resources doing so. Instability is not inherently bad, and the effort to combat it wherever it occurs is misguided, and ultimately disasterous.
SC: Harms Interest
Pro literally never addresses this: "If a nation intervenes and fails, it's credibility will be hurt and skepticism will rise domestically. If a nations intervenes and makes the situation worse, as I've shown can happen, it engenders enmity, which can create problems down the line." He never attacks this logic, so it can be extended cleanly.
For the second time, Pro utterly fails to touch on this. Intervention spurs on war. That is a massive impact that goes against Pro.
So why, after all of this back-and-forth, should you vote Con today? First, let's return to the resolution, which states: "If international military intervention is a likely viable means to ameliorate human rights abuses by state actors, and intervention as such is in the intervening state's best interest, international military intervention is justifiable." As Pro stipulated to earlier, he must uphold both criteria for him to win. Upholding one is not sufficient--he must achieve both. I have shown:
1. Intervention causes war
2. Intervention is not in a nation's self interest
3. Pretextual interventions will be legitimized
4. Nations will go to extreme measure to avoid putting boots on the ground
5. Intervention is futile
6. Intervention does not deter
7. Intervention is caught in a catch-22 that renders it useless
8. Intervention (esp. R2P) has a pattern of failure
9. Intervention fails to rebuild
10. States can't predict outcomes.
So, when we ask ourselves, is intervention likely viable, we have to say "no." And, when the risks are so high (explotation, war, death), and our ability to predict the outcomes is so low, intervention in any case is too much of a risk, and should not be undertaken. Moreover, Pro has dropped almost half of my arguments, giving me more offense technically in this round.
Thus, I ask that you VOTE CON. Thank you.
1 - http://en.wikipedia.org...(2011%E2%80%93present)
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