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The Contender
Pro (for)
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Iraq: Worth militarily invading again to stop ISIS?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/18/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,991 times Debate No: 60603
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




1st Round: Acceptance

2nd Round: No Rebuttal's, Just arguments.

3rd-5th Round: Rebuttal's, etc.

Title is fairly self-explanatory. Is Iraq worth invading with the full commitment of the US Armed Forces because of ISIS?



This should be an interesting debate, Bithuman. Good luck to you in round 2!
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you Pro, on to the second round. Let it be known that I am not Pro-ISIS. I am obviously staunchly against what they are doing, but I believe staunchly in being as objective as possible on this topic.

Iraq is not worth invading for a couple reasons.

First: ISIS is an exaggerated threat designed by Washington to protect American interests.

My immediate thoughts drifted to a nifty little quote from President Bush: “F**k Saddam, we're taking him out” which he said in March of 2002 to three US senators. This quote naturally leads to Secretary of State Colin Powell, who said in 2003, “My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we're giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence” when he was presenting evidence to the UN Security council to attack Iraq.

Of course that was B.S. plain and simple. There were no WMD’s and they knew it. He later said in an interview with Barbra Walters in 2005, “There was some people in the intelligence community who knew at that time that some of these sources were not good and shouldn't be relied upon”

This quote naturally leads to Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz who testified to the House Budget Committee saying, “It's hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself and to secure the surrender of Saddam’s security forces and his army. Hard to imagine” in 2003.

What am I talking about? I am talking about a country, the US, who went to war with another sovereign nation under false pretenses. It was post-9 /11 world and America was blinded by its emotions. The Government saw an opportunity to engage in a regime change and it resorted to telling great big lies and stretched out truths to convince the American public that they were in danger and that War was worth having.

I don’t make the same mistakes twice… in fact, if you study ISIS and the threat they pose, you can see a direct correlation between the past and the present. America wants a regime change in Iraq again. When ISIS was a growing threat in Syria they didn’t touch them. So far, it has worked quite well. Prime Minister Maliki, a nationalist leader who challenged western oil companies like ExxonMobil, who he didn’t allow into Kurdish North Iraq. Damn him forever for wanting a fair deal, I suppose.

Iraq has been deprived of a leader, and now a Pro-American puppet leader can be reinstated. This tactic is as old as the sun. It’s practically routine. What the Americans have done is let a problem get out of hand, then emerge as heroes. A salesman would call it “solution-selling”. You create a problem, and profit from selling the solution.

We like ISIS because they fight in Syria. In fact, Obama has armed the so-called “rebels” in Syria with small arms and bigger weaponry like anti-tank missiles and some $500 Million in aid funds. So we have basically redone our recent history. We armed an insurgency, as we did with the Mujahedeen in Operation Cyclone under Reagan, and they have mutated into a mild threat to US interests in the region. That’s the only reason the US wants to get involved in any real way. They don’t care about the violence, they just want to cover their interests, namely in Kurdish and Oil Rich Northern Iraq.

ISIS is a US-sponsored bully that until recently we didn’t care anything about. What’s with all the ruckus now? They haven’t changed, they aren’t more powerful…no, instead, they are simply threatening the US’s interests. We are exaggerating them much in the same way we did with Saddam. Indeed, with Maliki ousted, the last major in-country force fighting against American military presence in Iraq has been eradicated, and Syrian President Assad has been stripped of an ally. ISIS continues to wage war against Syria, much to the benefit of America. A separate Kurdish state is now within reach, and with such America will pull stock from Iraq and invest in the oil rich Northern Iraq filled with Kurds.

ISIS, at the very most, has some 15,000 troops. Iraqi Armed forces have some 271,500 active personnel and another 500,000 in reserve plus a hugely powerful big brother named the US. There is no contest here. This should be like shooting fish in a barrel. We could eviscerate them if we wanted to. I have illustrated why we do not.

Second: Even if we did invade, we’d only aggravate an already mistrustful population and create more terrorism

When was the last time a population got bombed and said, “Alright, that’s enough, I’ve learned my lesson, I give up!”? It never happens like that. It’s like Israel “cutting the grass” in Palestine. They mow them down, make them give up…and then… a few days or months, or even years, they rise up again, even more angry than the last time, and it continues. It has never worked out. We came through in the Iraq war in 2003 and bombed and destroyed Iraq. George Bush says “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed” and Dick Cheney says “I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.” In 2005. Then boom, they re-emerge time and time again, and suddenly we are in our current situation.

Thank you, I ask that you only post your arguments for your turn in this round.



Thank you for your response, Bithuman! Also, if there is to be no rebuttals, then I'll just jump into my arguments. Oh, and the BOP is on me.

-Capabilities of ISIS as a terrorsit organization-

ISIS is a jhadist group, known for their cruel tactics. They've been recorded executing mass slaughterings of innocent Iraqi citizens who opposed to convert. They've repeatedly threatened the U.S. and West, and the beheadeing of journalist James Foley only proves their seriousness. But these are not the reasons why the U.S. intelligence is worried about ISIS, it's the fact ISIS is powerful and possess more resources than Al-Qaeda. On September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda carried out the deadliest attack on American soil since the War of 1812. The 9/11 operation only costed around half a million dollars to execute, and with an organization like ISIS with so many funds, they could execute an even bigger attack, killing more citizens. ISIS, when compared to Al-Qaeda, is superior. ISIS controls more territory, possess more firepower, more financial resources, and more money. ISIS has secured massive cashflows from the oilfields in eastern Syria, stolen 8,000 yr old artifacts, and $36m from al-Nabuk. Before the fall of the city Mosul, Iraqi forces discovered that ISIS had $875 million worth of assets and after the city's fall, ISIS looted banks and military supplies, giving ISIS an additional $2 billion to their coffer. ISIS' controlled oil market in Iraq was reported to be $1 million a day. But now that they have sized more oilfields and ground, the market is believed to be rasing $2 million a day(and this will only grow if they are not stopped). This means in a year, ISIS can earn $730 million which is more than enough to sustain a long term operation in Iraq. After ISIS gets this oil, they smuggle the crude oil and trade it for refined products and cash. Also, their leader has threatened to attack NYC and have claimed they're going to raise the jihadist flag over the white house. Now, as Iraqi forces are being defeated, ISIS is gathering U.S. military equipment, ammunition and guns. Follow this link to see the types of weaponry they've captured. (: As every day goes on, ISIS is becoming an increasingly bigger threat. To prove ISIS' effectivness, they have practically defeated Iraq's military, while being vastly outnumbered. For example, 800 ISIS fighters routed 30,000 Iraqi soldiers who were trained by American soldiers and equipped with sophisticated U.S. weapons!( It is too late for the Iraqis to repel off the ISIS offensive, which only means Iraq's fate lies on whether the West will help or not. No one will benefit from the destruction of Iraq, no one. To make matters worse, ISIS keeps gaining ground, and recently, ISIS fighters siezed Iraq's largest dam which, if broken, can unleash a 15ft wall of water on Baghdad. ISIS has also seized uranium in sufficient amounts to make a radiological weapon that could be used against innocent civillians. ISIS has also experimented with spreading their campaign over the internet, and it has proven effective. Western-born jihadists have joined ISIS to take over Iraq, and later, attack the West. To further prove ISIS' influence on foreigners, ISIS sympathizers in Maylasia were plotting an attack on a brewery, but were caught by Malaysian anit-terrorism units ( If ISIS succeeds at taking Iraq, they'll have control of all of Iraq's oil fields. This would give ISIS millions of more dollars and the ability to fight larger enemies (NATO, Iran, etc). Not only would that be a disaster, but ISIS, would be right next to Turkey who is a NATO member. From there, ISIS could attempt to take over Turkey with all the oil, guns, and equipment they gathered from Iraq. If this happened, more blood would be shed. Here's how much territory ISIS already has under its control:

What would happen if ISIS was to be defeated? For one, massive killings of Christians and other minorities would go down. Iraqi and Syrian oilfields would be taken back by their governments. Iraq would reclaim all of the land it lost to ISIS, and the re-building of Iraq would begin. I would like to point out that the Iraqi government would need to change in suport of any offfensive launched by the West or neighoring countries such as Iran or Jordan. Invading Iraq would be pointless with the current government still around. Until the government changes, fighting would most likely not stop.

I have proved that ISIS has the resources, money, firepower, and influence, to harm not only the West, but other neighboring nations as well. I do believe that people are underestimating greatly the capabilities of ISIS to launch attacks on U.S. soil and other countries. Not only is the west fearful of ISIS, but so is Iran and Jordan. The threat from ISIS is to such a degree, that Iran is willing to help the U.S. stop them if they lift nuclear sanctions.

Thank you, and I await your response in Round 3.
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you Pro, on to rebuttals. I think your claim to the BOP is a bit misguided.

“the beheadeing of journalist James Foley only proves their seriousness”

Which was in direct retaliation to American intervention! One Journalist dead contrasts sharply with the alleged hundreds killed by airstrikes. This all proves my earlier points. Retaliation is going to cause more unrest and hatred for the Americans.

“Iraqi forces discovered that ISIS had $875 million worth of assets and after the city's fall, ISIS looted banks and military supplies, giving ISIS an additional $2 billion to their coffer”

You neatly skipped over the fact that US officials believe that “The Mosul heists did provide them with funds "to the tune of millions of dollars," said the official, but not "hundreds of millions."” The information originally came, rather dubiously, from Iraqi sources, not western sources. Iraq, as I illustrated before, has an invested interest in keeping American troops around to continue cleaning up the messes that they make. As for the oil fields, well, that may be their value, but who are they going to sell the oil to? The biggest buyers are against them.

“For example, 800 ISIS fighters routed 30,000 Iraqi soldiers who were trained by American soldiers and equipped with sophisticated U.S. weapons!”

How does that not blow your mind? It cannot be put any more plainly than that! That makes NO sense. That is force that is 37 times more powerful! That isn’t possible. It’s not logical. There is just no way a highly trained and effective army of actual soldiers were routed by a force that is 37 times less powerful. Therefore, there must be some other motive. I don’t claim to be 100% certain, but we can derive two possible causes for this. Number One: The information is propaganda and is false, or, Number Two: Iraq wants to lose because they want American intervention. I claim it is the first, although the second is possible.

No one will benefit from the destruction of Iraq, no one

I disagree. Iraq is a white man’s invention. The borders were drawn up a hundred years ago and have caused nothing but angst since. Iraq is destined to be broken up. It’s just a matter of time. So long as Sunnis and Shiites and Kurds can’t get along, there will be angst. The solution? Break them up. It’s taken countless Iraqi lives and Billions of Dollars to try and keep Iraq together, even when it’s clear they don’t want to be together. ISIS gained a lot of traction on the basis of establishing a Governing system that spoke to and helped the alienated Sunnis.

I disagree with your final statement. If ISIS were beaten back and routed, they would mutate and remerge. It would require a Stalinist society (like the one Iraq originally had, if you’ll recall) to keep the violence subdued. I’ve heard this parrot-story before. We just march in, destroy the insurgents, and then we can leave and Iraq can finally rebuild. Unfortunately it’s not that simple. We tried that and it didn’t work. So why would we do it again. Are you ready to send American boys to their deaths for a country that will only relapse the moment we leave? I claim the solution is much more radical.

Two things can be done. One, we condemn ISIS, obviously, but we also condemn Iraq and let them fight their own battles. Two: We work to break Iraq up. If ISIS becomes a State, we can do much more damage to them than if they are a stateless army. A state has to look out for its population. A state has trading systems. We can do damage to a state. We work to broker peace through deals and treaties, and we break Iraq into three states. We keep boots on the ground in North Iraq, where the oil is, and we let the Iraqis, who, at this point have a more than adequate army, do their job. It’s not pretty, and it’s not exactly ideal, but it might be a solution that actually works, and, if the US leaders have the same plan, you could see how Iraq would want to sway the American public to come in and rescue them again. As I said before, the US has let this problem get out of hand, and now they can emerge as the heroes with the best solution.

As I also said before, the only reason that the US wants to get involved at all at this point is because ISIS threatens American interests, like Northern Iraq. We’ve let plenty of other nations get decimated in very similar ways, whether it be Pol Pot or Saddam Hussein or Mobutu Seko or Augusto Pinochet, all men they put in power. Pinochet tortured and killed his people and died in house arrest with 300 criminal charges against him! It never ends!

I’ll remind Pro that Iraq’s total active army is 20 times the size of ISIS, and if they pulled reserves, it would be almost 30 times the size. If the Iraqi army was armed with sticks and rocks they could beat back ISIS just on the basis of having such a sheer numerical advantage. Also, Iran isn’t afraid of ISIS. For God’s sake they arm and fund terrorists themselves! They just want to benefit on a crisis. We all know that if we really wanted to finish off Terrorism funding in the region we would go after Saudi Arabia, but of course that won’t happen.



I agreed with most of what Con said in Round 1. I believe that we shouldn't be giving the Syrian rebels weapons because they'll only be used against us at a later time. The U.S. most likely helped ISIS by supplying weapons to them in Syria. Thus, the U..S and west created this problem so I believe they must fix it.

My opponent said that an invasion would only make more enemies, but a simple solution to this would be to maintain a small military presence post-war in Iraq so things don't get out of hand. I believe that if the U.S did not pull out in 2011 and did not supply the Syrian rebels, ISIS would not have gained this much of an advanatge. Clearly, the Iraqis are unable to defend themselves, so keeping a miliary presence would be key in preventing another terrorist group from gaining so much force as to pose a legit threat.

My opponent brings up against in Round 3 that American retaliation would cause even more unrest and hatred towards Americans. However,how much worse could the threats get? I mean, ISIS, before American retaliation, has already said they're going to harm NYC and raise the JIHADIST flag over the white house. Even if the U.S didn't intervene at all, ISIS would still aim to hurt the U.S. and West. If we were to disarm our whole military, ISIS would still aim to harm the West. No matter what the West does, ISIS and other terrorist groups will still aim for them. It's not like if the U.S. doesn't retaliate, ISIS will vow to never hurt the U.S.. ISIS won't just put down their guns.

I don't believe the Iraqis made up the claim of ISIS possessing hundreds of millions of dollars on purpose to bring back American troops, and why should they? You already have U.S. airstrikes taking place against your enemy. Also, it was Iraq's choice to take American troops out in 2011, so why would they fabricate intelligence for their return? Also, Con asks who ISIS sells their oil to. ISIS has small rudimentary refineries in Syria. Oil is returned to ISIS where they sell the oil locally in Iraq and Syria via truck owners and middlement networks. It would also be interesting to know that the Syrian government buys the oil ISIS sezied from their oilfields. Currently, though, ISIS sticks to the black market, but it is giving them a good amount of money. Also, ISIS could potentially get millions of barrels of oils a day if they seize the city of Kirkuk and surronding districts. If they succeed, their cashflow can stretch their territory beyond imagination.

My opponent seems to overestimate the strength of the Iraqi army greatly. The Iraqis are uncoordniated and are not on the same level as American soldiers. You must keep in mind also that ISIS has seized some of Iraq's miltiary assets and equipment. It's not like ISIS' weaponry to Iraqi weaponry is like comparing stones to guns. ISIS has military experience in Syria, while the Iraqi military honestly has barely any experience. I believe the the two possibilities my opponent proposes are both unlikely. Iraq knows that if they lose purposely, they'll only speed up the process of destruction of their country. And by the time U.S. intervention arrives, Iraq might already be seized, only making the process of defeating ISIS even harder. The risk to is to large. It could be propaganda, but we know for certain that ISIS controls more cities than the Iraqi military. We know the Iraqi military is losing the battle for they are constantly being pushed backed by ISIS.

I disagree with my opponent's solution of the problem of making Sunnis, Kurds, and Shiites get along. I think instead of breaking them up, we should simply let them all have an equal say in the government. It's honestly that simple, just form a more inclusive government. The only reason why we're here against is because of al-Maliki. He was placed as PM in 2006, and what happens? Practically another Iraqi civil war. Obviously he didn't succeed at uniting all the different religions. I have a lot of faith in the new PM, al-Abadi. Hopefully he can make a more inclusive government, and prevent more fighting.

My opponent says that if ISIS is defeated, they'll only reform again. However, I ask my opponent how long it would take for ISIS to reform to its original power? For ISIS to ever became as strong as it previously was, it would take years of rebuilding. It's not like ISIS is going to pop up the following year only to retake Iraq once again. And, like I said earlier, the U.S would need to urge the Iraqis to allow a military presence in Iraq post war if an invasion did take place. With an American military presence in the region, ISIS couldn't dream of seiging Iraq once again. An invasion followed by a more inclusive Iraqi government would be a huge success. American lives would not be in vain, I assure you.

The West has already condemmed Iraq and let them fight their own battles. The result? Mass slaughterings of innocent Iraqis, ISIS gaining oilfields, ISIS gaining military equipment, ISIS seizing Iraq's second largest city, ISIS seizing Iraq's largest dam, and ISIS on their way to capturing Baghdad. Obviously Iraq cannot defend itself. Are you saying the U.S. should allow ISIS to gain control of Iraq and then we attack them when they've formed a state? If anything we should attack them now, not when they've made a state. Because by the time, a state is created, ISIS would have a lot more resources and only more people would be killed under ISIS. And if anything, we should keep boots in Southern Iraq. That's where majority of Iraq's oil lays, and would tragic if ISIS gains control of it. To fix this problem : I think we should invade Iraq, successfully defeating ISIS. But before that, the Iraqi government should already have changed. The West should then keep an eye on ISIS, while at the same time, maintain a small but reasonable military presence in Iraq to prevent any other terrorist groups from ever seiging Iraq again. If the U.S. didn't pull out in 2011, ISIS would not be so successful in Iraq at the moment.

My opponent says the U.S is only getting involved because ISIS threatens it's interests in the region, such as Northern iraq. However, why is it that the U.S. is not supplying the Kurds in Northern Iraq with weapons and equipment to combat ISIS? Obviously the U.S. is concerned about its interests, but not to the degree you think. They are much more worried about their homeland security.

Thank you for your response, Bithuman. I await your response in Round 4!
Debate Round No. 3


Thank you Pro, I am enjoying the debate so far. On to rebuttals.

“the U..S and west created this problem so I believe they must fix it.”

I agree, but the question is how to not make things worse, because, of course, any action has consequences, not just now, but much later on. The Iraq war was sold on fear and a rushed, illogical made up story. If you have four answers to a problem, A,B,C, and D, but you only show the public A and B, then they will be forced to choose between the two. That is what I believe is happening. If you only say, “Either we militarily intervene or else leave them alone” then it leaves the public with few choices.

We must look at all the answers.

a simple solution to this would be to maintain a small military presence post-war in Iraq so things don't get out of hand

This is not a “simple solution”. Indeed, the cost to keep a single soldier overseas levels out at about a Million Dollars every year. The last Iraq war cost some $1.7 Trillion dollars plus a growing Veteran benefits fund that is expected to grow to over $6 Trillion dollars. That means the last Iraq war cost almost $8 Trillion dollars. Can we afford that again? Do I even have to ask?

Aside from the Economic issue, the Moral and Logical issue remains. What happens when the US weakens and is forced to retreat, which will inevitably happen? It will collapse again, and Iraq will be forced to run its own country. Can you keep a population happy and patriotic when a foreign force is patrolling the streets? Can you regulate the force so that it doesn’t become corrupted?

“(ISIS) already said they're going to harm NYC and raise the JIHADIST flag over the white house. Even if the U.S didn't intervene at all, ISIS would still aim to hurt the U.S. and West

No sources, so I dispute your claims. If you honestly believe they hate the US because the US is free and beautiful you are living in a fairytale, or perhaps a comic book where the bad guys all wear black, where they hate the good guys because they are fated to hate the good guys. There is a very specific reason they moved so quickly at first. It’s because the majority of those early city takeovers were actually supporters of ISIS. Those people are gravitating to the extremists because they feel they have no other options.

How would these terrorists actually harm the US? Why would they bring the wrath of the US army upon themselves? They aren’t stupid. Actually, ISIS is considered to be quite modern and logical in its propaganda and its tactics.

My opponent seems to overestimate the strength of the Iraqi army greatly.”

I overestimated nothing. Those are factual numbers of the Iraqi army. As for this myth of incoordination, well, I think that’s just a load of crap. What does that actually mean? How can a group of travelling insurgents be more “coordinated” than an army that is both trained and supplied by the US army, which is arguably one of the best armies in the world? These questions are typical media-originated questions that people like to parrot but do not actually logically consider.

My opponent says that if ISIS is defeated, they'll only reform again

I never said that, I said they would “they would mutate and remerge” (spelling error). They may not be ISIS when they do re-emerge, but they defiantly would. Take the first Iraq war. From 19 March – April 30 2003, the Army completed its invasion and finished its mission. On May 1, Bush lands on the Aircraft Carrier and announces “Mission Accomplished”. Soon after that, the Insurgency in Iraq blew up again because religious radicals and angered Civilians took up arms. The famous “Ramadan Offensive” took place, and there was a huge increase in terrorism. It was so bad, the US had to resort to air strikes and artillery strikes for the first time since the war had begun. What happens? In the Spring of 2004 foreign fighters and the insurgency spiked yet again. Hundreds died in terrorist attacks. This is when the Fallujah fighting took place, and it was intense fighting, and is considered to be some of the worst fighting in the war.

It was such a hard fight, the US actually used White Phosphorous to attack the insurgents. What happens next? Heavy fighting in which Fallujah is leveled. Iraqi elections in 2005 lead to unrest and a civil war and some of the biggest battles since Vietnam. 2005 beats the record for most insurgent attacks.

2007, Bush sends in more troops to try and crush the fighting. Finally the violence is cut. Civil war continues. 2009 marks another election that leaves the three states divided on a leader. The Shiites vote SLC, the Kurds vote Al-Hadba N.L. and for the IAF, and the Sunnis choose the Iraqi Awakening Alliance. This all leads to the US pulling out, happy with a democratically divided country. Ta-da, in comes ISIS, who scoop up the disenfranchised Sunnis.

That is not a story of democratic success. Even if they had an “equal say” in the elections, they’d still be disenfranchised because of the Shiite majority. They don’t want Democracy. We should stop trying to enforce Western beliefs on these people and accept that maybe Democracy doesn’t really have all the answers for everybody.

And if anything, we should keep boots in Southern Iraq. That's where majority of Iraq's oil lays

If by South you mean North and South East, then you are correct.


However, why is it that the U.S. is not supplying the Kurds in Northern Iraq with weapons and equipment to combat ISIS? Obviously the U.S. is concerned about its interests, but not to the degree you think. They are much more worried about their homeland security.”

The US didn’t do a thing when Iraq was under siege by ISIS. As soon as they threatened Iraqi Kurdistan, the Americans leaped into action, and began to use targeted airstrikes to protect their interests. Massoud Barzani is, of course, a puppet president, who is only in power because he submits to US authority. That’s fine, but remember that note when you look at what happened to Maliki. Iraqi Kurdistan is armed and protected by the US. That is the only reason they started to attack with airstrikes in the first place. The Peshmerga is a highly effective army. They were essential in the capture of Saddam Hussein and the killing of Osama Bin Laden. They are well-armed, much better than the Iraqi army. They have a much better arsenal of air support, like the American Bell OH-58 Kiowa.

I argue that Homeland Security has almost nothing to do with it. Why don’t we do a thing in Africa, where the Boko Haram has just declared an Islamic state? It took until November 2013 for the Boko Haram to be designated as a terror group! They have slaughtered thousands as well, and have forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes, which the Boko Haram regularly burns to the ground. They are doing the same thing ISIS is doing in Iraq! What’s the connection? No oil. ISIS has no more power than the Boko Haram has.



I agree with my opponent that the Iraq war was sold on fear and false intelligence, but the current situation concerning ISIS is completely different. The U.S. is showing the public all four choices instead of just two. The U.S. is showing multiple options as to fix this problem, some of which are airstrikes and the placing of military personel in Iraq. The U.S. is handling this situation much better than previously. They're not stretching lies or anything of that sort this time around.

My opponent brings up the price tag of mainting a military force in Iraq, and indeed it is expensive. Wars costs a lot of money, not going to deny that. However, my opponent seems to believe that the U.S. must be the main battle force if such an invasion took place, not its allies. But in truth, the U.S. could play a supporting role in Iraq, just like they're doing currently with the Iraqi government instead of sending their whole military to Iraq. For example, in Mali, the U.S. supported French forces by shipping equipments, assets, and weapons. They didn't directly get involved, and I think that's what must happen in the future to keep price tags down. If neccessary, British and French forces COULD do the hauling of the invasion, while being supported by the U.S. via cargo planes, supply drops, etc. The U.S. doesn't need to neccessarily directly involved if it's needed.
If the U.S. is forced to retreat, it probably won't happen in a matter of months, let alone years. And if the U.S. is forced to retreat, again, it has allies. ISIS, at the moment, cannot engage with the force of the West and win. Before the U.S. weakens, I doubt it will, ISIS will be crippled and unable to seize Iraq again. U.S. and West intervention will by the Iraqi government neccessary time to fight back against ISIS.

Sorry about that, Bithuman. I use many sources and it's hard to keep track. Here's the source of ISIS claiming these threats : ( Jihadist flag over white house:, and (Threat to NYC : The part about ISIS still aiming to hurt the West even if the West didn't retaliate is my opinion, so it doesn't need a source.
You claim that ISIS isn't stupid enough to harm the U.S., but they're smart enough to provoke them by beheading a journalist on camera? Doesn't make sense. ISIS is CLEARLY provoking the U.S., testing them.
I agree, ISIS is very modern and logical in its propaganda.

I was never denying that fact the Iraqis had more fighters than ISIS, just saying you overestimate their FIGHTING strength, that's all. It's not a "myth", the Iraqi army is highly uncoordinatd and have never enganged is this type of warfare. While on the other hand, ISIS has a lot of experience in this type of warfare due to their involvment in Syria. They're not just "traveling" insurgents, ISIS is larger and richer than Al-Queda for God's sake! Again, ISIS has seized some of the Iraqi government's military assets. ISIS is now equipped with modern U.S. equipment, and they're more coordinated than the Iraqi army. Cleary ISIS is beating the Iraqi army though they're outnumbered for they keep pushing the Iraqi army back! The only reason why ISIS lost control of Iraq's largest dam was because of U.S. airstrikes! The Iraqis were unable to push back ISIS.

I think my opponent and I both do agree that if ISIS is defeated, they won't successfully siege Iraq again as long as Western forces are present. Also, I think you said it yourself, there will be attempts to fight Western forces in Iraq, but no terrorist group will ever gain as much force as to pose a legit threat to homeland security. That was my original argument. So to put it together: Yes, there will be attempts to fight back against Western forces, but NO terrorist group will seize Iraq again and gain as much power as ISIS did.

Yes, I was indirectly referring to South east Iraq. However, now I see Northern Iraq does have a lot of natural resources, so thank you.

The reason why the U.S. hesitated at first was because in such a scenario, it takes time to discuss the right action to take. Also, the U.S. had some faith the Iraqis would be able to repel off ISIS because at first, ISIS didn't have such an strategic advantage. I concur the U.S. is concerned about its interests, but I also believe they are concerned about Iraq. If the U.S. wasn't concerned about Iraq, U.S. involvment would've ended weeks ago.

There are many terrorist groups in the world, and the strongest must to taken out first. The reason why there's no concern about Boko Haram is because they're not on the same scale as ISIS. If Boko Haram had as much financial resources and assets as ISIS, great concern would be raised about their capabilities. But they don't, instead ISIS makes millions a day from their oil market. If ISIS was based in Africa, the U.S. would intervene. Though both Boko haram and ISIS are executing the same atrocities, ISIS is doing it in a larger scale. ISIS has 12,000 fighters, Boko Haram has about 9,000 fighters. Along with the fact Boko Haram doesn't possess any U.S. military equipment like ISIS, nor do they possess a good amount of uranium like ISIS does. Why should we worry about Boko Haram, con?

My opponent seemed to have avoided that fact that if ISIS captures Iraq, then Turkey is in danger. ISIS has already threatened the Turkish government after their involvment in the taking of the town Jarablus in Syria. Turkish cities on the border of Iraq and Turkey will be in great danger in ISIS was to seize Iraq. If ISIS attacks Turkey, then NATO will certainly have to react.

Thank you for your response, and I await your response in round 5!
Debate Round No. 4


Thank You Pro, on to the last round.

I agree with my opponent that the Iraq war was sold on fear and false intelligence, but the current situation concerning ISIS is completely different.”

No it’s not. It’s the exact same thing. “They're not stretching lies or anything of that sort this time around.” You see that is the problem! You can’t say that because that’s what most people said last time and it turned out to be wrong! I remember the Media saying things like Saddam Hussein was going to release smallpox, and that they were storing up biological and chemical weapons, that they could destroy us all in less than an hour if they wanted to, and that they threw babies out of windows and that they used children as shields (like Russell Brand said: What are they strapping them to wooden boards?) and it was all lies. So how can you honestly say that?

We all should remember that one of the worst lies the Government said was that it would be a simple and easy war. There was once a trust fund to send the money gained from back to the Iraqi people, but naturally, it either was myth from the start, or is mostly fiction.

“Those who say we haven’t found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons – they’re wrong. We found them.” – Pres. George Bush (they actually found hydrogen manufacturing plants for weather balloons).

“…my opponent seems to believe that the U.S. must be the main battle force

Of course, as history has shown, it would almost certainly have to be the main battle force, otherwise the US would have its dominant position in the region contested-which would never be allowed to happen. In fact, I doubt most American allies would want to get involved in any serious way. They never got seriously involved before. It’s mainly an American affair.

“Here's the source of ISIS claiming these threats

Your first source is from Fox New Insider, and comes from Vice News. It shows some random Middle Eastern man who rather neatly says not to attack with drones but to send in ground troops, which, again, neatly lines up with the message Fox is trying to push. He says “God willing, we will raise the flag of Allah over the white house”. Who is this man and what is his rank in ISIS? Are these random press releases to be taken as battle plans? We now that he is dead, killed in a battle against Syrian forces.

As for your link from “The Daily Beast”, well that is hardly a source at all. We call that grasping for straws. What the story boils down to is this: An Army Colonel talked with the ISIS leader once in 2009 and this Colonel recalls him saying “’ll see you guys in New York”. From the article “King didn’t take these words from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as a threat…King figured that al-Baghdadi was just saying that he had known all along that it was all essentially a joke, that he had only to wait and he would be freed to go back to what he had been doing.” It’s a poorly written article that relies on second hand information.

but they're smart enough to provoke them by beheading a journalist on camera?”

Revenge for being bombed, if you’ll recall.

It's not a "myth", the Iraqi army is highly uncoordinatd and have never enganged is this type of warfare

Show me one battle where Iraq was terribly uncoordinated and lost the fight. It’s preposterous, from a military history point of view. With a 10:1 ratio you have pretty much won the battle. You could put those forces in the middle of a field and still decimate your foes, but it’s not a 10:1, it’s a 30:1 ratio. It’s illogical. Try to consider it objectively. It doesn’t make sense. How stupid can you be to lose a battle where you outnumber your opponents to that degree? You’d have to be a Neanderthal. They were trained by the US and still receive US intelligence. What’s going on?

they won't successfully siege Iraq again as long as Western forces are present

You’re right, I do agree with that. It’s just logical. However, for how long? A war that would almost certainly never end would bleed us dry. We cannot afford a war like that. Plus, we’d have to enforce the streets, the economy, and most everything else like a totalitarian regime to weed out terror and that, naturally, has consequences. Even if we are protecting them, there will be many who do not understand this or do not care. People want what they want and they generally want to be free to do what they want. That is why populations get turned to extremism in the first place. It is an express route to getting something done quickly.

It’s just like post WW1 Germany. It’s policed and beaten down and decimated and under the surface of a nation desperately trying to rebuild and gain confidence there is Nazism. Hitler got into office because he spoke to the beaten down middle class and because he promised to cut through the democratic bureaucracy and get things done, and he did. He rebuilt Germany, and not in a Democracy. The by-product of this fascism was that his extremism resulted in Millions of Jews dead as a scapegoat. I won’t commend Hitler, but objectively, he was exactly what Post-WW1 Germany was going to get. It was almost fate. Iraq is the exact same. We don’t want to make the same mistakes. We don’t want to get to the point where we create another Hitler for the Middle East.

The reason why the U.S. hesitated at first was because in such a scenario, it takes time to discuss the right action to take.”

You go right on believing that. I’ve demonstrated my points. “I also believe they are concerned about Iraq.” No they aren’t. That’s mostly a façade to get the public on the American side of the fence. Just go through history. We cover our interests and will happily ravage a population or turn a blind eye to a dictator to get what we want. America isn’t that noble. Nobody is.

There are many terrorist groups in the world, and the strongest must to taken out first.”

That’s where I think you’re wrong. If we wanted to take out the strongest, we would hit Saudi Arabia. That’s an epicenter for terrorism. That was where Osama Bin Laden was from. Of course, we won’t do that.

“Boko Haram is because they're not on the same scale as ISIS

So how many people dead does it take to be “on the same scale”, because they are actually quite close. Boko Haram has killed some 7000 people. ISIS has killed 5000 at the most. Boko Haram has sent hundreds of thousands fleeing their countries. ISIS does similar things.

ISIS has money. ISIS has oil. You tiptoe around that idea, and I’ll just come out and say it. That’s the only reason we want them taken down. It’s all money. We don’t have to worry about them. That’s the point. It’s purely selfish reasons we invade, and I’m fine with that, to some degree, as long as we come out and say it. We aren’t invading because we are knights in shining armor, or because we are world police.

“a good amount of uranium like ISIS”

“two U.S. officials told CNN on Wednesday that the small amounts of uranium aren't enriched or weapons-grade, prompting only minimal concern.”

I maintain that invasion will only cost us money we don’t have. It’ll cost plenty of American lives, and will result in a similar situation in another five or ten years, unless we bleed ourselves dry trying to be a Stalinist police force in the region, which will cost Trillions of dollars and will directly contradict our mission statement of freedom and right to sovereignty.



Con, can you bring forth any statements made by the U.S. and West that has no proof behind it? The claim that the Iraqis are unable to repel off ISIS is completely verified. ISIS has complete control over many different cities, such as : Fallujah, Mosul, Qaim, Anna, Sijar, and countless others, while the Iraqi army is desperately trying to hang onto Baghdad. This has been verified by both Western intelligence and maps. The claim that ISIS has more financial resources than Al-Qaeda and controls more territory than them is also verified! Though you can't be competely sure, majority of what the U.S. and West says about ISIS' capabailities is completely true. The U.S. and West said that ISIS can attack the American homeland, is that false? No, about 100 Americans are fighting in Syria against the government there, and about 300 British people alongside them. These American and British citizens can return home with training in the art of building bombs and other IEDs. So, there's an actual real threat to homeland security. Matter of fact, the threat is so real, that Britain raised it's security level to "severe", meaning an attack is highly likely. Now, I am not saying the government doesn't lie, but on the matter concerning ISIS, most of what they've said can be verified.

If the UK anf France were to do the hauling of the invasion, America would still have the dominant position.The Iraqi government is closer to the U.S. than the UK or France. I tend to disagree with your statement that no US ally would want to get seriously invovled. If ISIS is able to captrue Baghdad, the threat level from ISIS would only increase, increasing the risk of an attack on Western soil. I think the West would all get seriously involved if Baghdad is sezied.

Con, it does not matter what rank the middle eastern man was in ISIS, what he said was a threat directly towards the U.S. What he said could give us an insight on the thinking of ISIS, though he is dead. Now, if you were the U.S, would you assume he was a random militant, or a high ranking person in ISIS? You cannot just assume you're safe from attack after what that man said.
The now leader of ISIS did indeed claim, "see you in New York" in 2009.

ISIS has provoked the U.S. by capturing Americans before any retaliation! All the threats that ISIS have directed towards the U.S. was mean't to test the U.S., to see if they'll respond. For the richest terrorist organization, they sure aren't smart. Again, ISIS isn't going to stop targeting the U.S. even if they did stop the airstrikes. Also, why should we comply to terrorists? if they claimed stop bombing us, do you honestly think stopping airstrikes against them would be the brightest idea? if anything, it makes more American lives in more danger because ISIS would then know the U.S. is willing to do anything to ensure the safety of American hostages.

Okay, I will try to explain this to you. ISIS uses many different tactics when outnumbered, some of which the U.S military uses. For example, a couple of ISIS fighters would engange with an Iraqi battalion, while other ISIS fighters sweep around the flanks, looking and exploiting a weak spot. American forces are taught this method when outnumbered, and ISIS is simply executing it against the Iraqi army. Also, numbers don't win wars, Con. The Iraqi army has lost confidence, moral. Why would this happen? Because they practically lost control of numerous cities, and are only hanging onto Baghdad. You also seem to forget the fact that ISIS adapts rather quickly, and by now, they know how the Iraqis fight. ISIS doesn't just approach the Iraqi military and engage in an all open gun fight, they use guerrilla warfare and numerous tactics to defeat them.

Con, we can actually contain ISIS for a long duration of time. Again, if there was an invasion, the U.S. would certainly not go in alone. When the US had combat troops in Iraq, no situation like now occured. The Iraqi government is already changing, the West woudn't have the enforce the economy and streets for very long in a post-war scenario. Iraqi people will have a lot of freedom, the West won't take that away. But, if the Iraqi people feel like the West is taking away their freedom, then the West can simply supply and arm the Peshmerga to combat any terrorist threats post-war. The West can defeat ISIS, remove troops, and supply the Peshmerga with military assets.In Vietnam, if we hadn't stopped supplying the South, they wouldn't have been taken over. This is like the same thing here, just supply the Peshmerga. I would say supply the Iraqi military, but they have already proven they're incapable of driving back ISIS. That would be the prettiest plan for post-war Iraq. I agree, we cetainly would need to be careful for not creating another Hitler in the middle East.

Again, if the U.S. was not concerned about Iraq, why is American involvment in the crisis not over already? ISIS isn't even a major threat to Northern Iraq, so why are the U.S. still discussing miltiary plans? It's simple, the US is concerned of Baghdad being taken over by ISIS and their inluence spreading.

When I said "not the the same scale", I met as in capabilities and influence. My opponent says that ISIS has only killed 5,000 people at most, but they're still advancing further! ISIS is pushing further in Iraq, that death toll will certainly rise. For example, if ISIS captures just the Mosul dam, 500,000 people could die if it stops operating. Thousands more will die if ISIS actually decides to destroy the dam, which woud unleash a 65ft wave on the city of Mosul. In both Syria and Iraq, the number of people fightiing for ISIS is between 30,000-50,000 compared to Boko Haram's 9,000. Let's not forget the fact ISIS combined assets and cash is about $2,000,000,000. ISIS has also engaged with 5 other nations, which are: Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Iran, and Lebanon. Again, compared to ISIS, Boko Haram should not be the one the West should worry about.

Con, if we were to defeat ISIS, the oilfields they sezied would be given back to their rightful governments. We can't get ISIS' oil because they sell it on the black market! The oil is gone, long gone. It's not like if we defeat ISIS, all their oil they sezied will magically apear. ISIS sells their oil, they don't really store them. So tracking down the barrels of oil they seized wouldn't be easy. and we most likely won't find them. That's why it's illogical to think the US wants to defeat ISIS for oil. I tiptoed around nothing, your idea is just illogical.
ISIS is still advancing further into Iraq, they will only seize more and more nuclear facilities if they are not stopped. ISIS doesn't have a nuclear missile which they can aim at the West, but they do possess chemical and radiological material. The two U.S. officals aren't concerned because they aren't Iraqi civillians. The materials ISIS sezied can be used to poision large populations of Iraqis and replace traditional bombs.

I maintain that an invasion to defeat ISIS would be successful, with minimal casualties. Why minimal casualities? Simple, ISIS currently can't engage with Britain, U.S., and France, and win. However, if the West hesitates to long, ISIS will only become stronger and that's where trouble will begin. If we were to attack now, not that many troops would be needed to combat ISIS. After an invasion, the Peshmurga would take up all responsibilities of keeping ISIS out for it is their country, not ours. To do this, the West should increase the amount of supllies given to them. Though ISIS won't be completely eradicated( they're based in Syria), they would be severely crippled. I challenge that we'll be back in the same place 10yrs down the road simply for the fact ISIS won't be stupid enough to attack again once they've been defeated. Christians and other religious minorities would stop being slaughtered, and fear can finally leave the Iraqi people if ISIS is defeated.

Thank you for the debate, Con. It was a lot of fun!
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by 64bithuman 3 years ago
You got it.
Posted by Wolfman19 3 years ago
If I am correct, I will be arguing that the threat from ISIS is to the degree that military force should be used to stop them via invasion?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro showed that ISIS was a valid threat, not able to be dealt with at present by local forces, that in theory at least would be easy for hte US to defeat. Despite Con's rhetoric, I never saw a solid reason tha tit wasn't *worth* doing so. Arguments to Pro.