The Instigator
Oreo222
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
TheJuniorVarsityNovice
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Is the U.S. doing more harm than good in the fight against ISIS? (Pro=Yes, Con=No)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
TheJuniorVarsityNovice
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/19/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 883 times Debate No: 73741
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

Oreo222

Pro

I'll be arguing to show that U.S. is doing more harm than good in the fight against ISIS.
My opponent will be arguing that the U.S. is doing more good than harm in the fight against ISIS.
TheJuniorVarsityNovice

Con

I accept with the understanding that the burden of proof is on PRO.

I will maintain that the US is not doing more harm than good in the fight against ISIS which I will refer to as ISIL. Please note that I do not have to prove that the US is doing less harm than good, I must simply prove it is doing something other than more harm than good.


I will define ISIL a group of radical sunni muslims based in Syria and Iraq who wish to establish a caliphate in the middle east.

Will define 'more harm than good' as a statement about whether our actions over there are supporting or hurting US interests objectively. Whether or not they are actully helping destroying ISIS is unimportant to me because when talking about good and bad (harm), the answer will depend on who is being benifited and becuse the resolution is about the US, we are most likely talking about the interests (good or bad) of the United States. This makes sense because each country is benifited differently by the US' actions against ISIS depending on their political situation...ect, so in order to have an objective discussion we need a reference point on which to say what would or should be considered as 'more harm' (bad) or good.
Debate Round No. 1
Oreo222

Pro

The U.S. has been fighting ISIS in two ways: sending drone strikes and funding Iraq's current government and Syrian rebels. I will be showing how both harm U.S. interests in the area.

Drone Strikes: Bashar Assad, the dictator of Syria, has stated that U.S. drone strikes are like fertilizer for ISIS/ISIL. I agree and there is evidence to back me up. Drones have been shown to miss targets more than hit them. In fact, most drone strikes end up hitting civilians than actual ISIS members. The surviving civilians become outraged by this horrible injustice and seek revenge. The only group fighting the U.S. is ISIS so they will, of course, join them out of vengeance.
https://youtu.be...
"The Intercept" has estimated that drone strikes are, "10 times more likely than conventional aircraft to cause civilian deaths."

The U.S. has been funding the Iraq's current government in fighting ISIS/ISIL. But what they DO with the funds is highly unethical. The Iraqi government has been training their soldiers much like how ISIS trains their OWN soldiers. Iraqi and Iranian soldiers chop off the heads of ISIS militants. You might say, "eye for an eye," but stooping to the low and unethical acts of our enemies doesn't quite prove we're better than them.
Here's proof: https://youtu.be...

Just watch this: https://youtu.be...
TheJuniorVarsityNovice

Con

The opponent conceeds all definitions of the round. In this debate I will tell you why PROs evidence is insubstantial and will attack her primary claims. Judges please remember that I must simply negate her arguments and nothing more. Let's begin:



Airstrikes increase ISIL

This is PROs argument

1.) Drones miss their targets killing civilians

2.) The civilians get mad and seek revenge

3.) ISIL is the only method of attaining that revenge

4.) They join ISIL and fight the US meaning we increase the problem which is more harm than good



Here are my arguments in response

a.) Many people think that drones cause excessive casualties however this simply isn’t true. Drone strikes are actually very effective and reduce causalities….. “Drones kill fewer civilians, as a percentage of total fatalities, than any other military weapon.” [1] The fact is that drone strikes do Not inflict more casualties and are one of our best weapons against terrorists. While other means of attack have to be more risky drones are better because “You can fly them low without fear of losing your life. You can study your target carefully instead of reacting in the heat of the moment. You can watch and guide the missiles all the way down.” Because of this evidence please note that Pro’s first premis is insignificant and doesn’t have as big an impact as she would have you think.

b.) While civilians do get mad, seeking revenge is impossible because they don’t have the means to attack the US, even if they did attack, ISIL has no way to fight in the air so they cant kill americans, furthermore this premise can only be true for other Sunni muslims, meaning every other type of Islam wouldn’t join ISIS.

c.) Also the civilians wouldn’t get mad at the US because this is not a war waged solely by the US or its drones, this is a war by over 30 different nations meaning the drone strikes cant be blamed on the US specifically, its like a firing squad, you don’t know who is shooting.

d.) The people of the middle east will be more gratefull that their heads are not on an ISIL plate than a few casualties by drones. To back this point up, take a look at the evidence from USA Today which states that ISIL has lost 25% of its territory [2] thus showing that US airstrikes are working and helping push ISIL back. Why would the people be mad at that?

This is PROs only good argument, the others aren’t apparent being that they are simply videos. You have to state your own arguments you cant just post 17 hours of video and expect your argument to be accepted. Her next argument for instance, doesn’t even relate to the topic, or if it does she never explains how, thus the previous argument is the only standing one, and it has been refuted. Ultimately my point in this round will be that current methods are working and we are getting rid of ISIL, this prevents the expansion of ISIL in the middle east which would hurt US interests, threaten our oil markets and kill hundreds of innocent civilians. We know that attacking ISIL is the only choice the US can make, but what choice it decides is important and being that ISIL has lost over 25% of its ground, we are obviously doing something right. The only other option would be ground troops and unless that option want to be supported by PRO then I contend the Status quo is not the perfect solution but is the best solution and certainly is not doing more harm than good in terms of US interests.

Cites

[1] http://tinyurl.com...

[2] http://tinyurl.com...

Debate Round No. 2
Oreo222

Pro

If you actually watched the videos I added to the debate, you'd know that, in reality, drone strikes kill more civilians than other conventional aircraft (i.e.: bomber planes). Yes, the drones do allow for a greater safety for U.S. troops, yet not so much for civilians. The drones have been proven time and time again to hit civilians more than intended targets. The Guardian reports that, in Pakistan, "Attempts to kill 41 men resulted in the deaths of an estimate 1,147 people, as of 24 November."
You can find it here: http://www.theguardian.com...
You mean to tell me that none of those 1,147 people were civilians? There were 41 original targets, yet 1,147 people died from U.S. drone strikes. That happened in Pakistan, so it can obviously also happen in Iraq and Syria.

The idea that civilians can't get revenge because they don't have the means to attack the U.S. and it's allies is simply not true. Yes, the U.S. is a great deal away from Iraq and Syria, but the U.S.'s allies against ISIS; Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, etc.; are quite close. In case you didn't know, they are our ALLIES. As in, we are sworn to protect and help them. Maybe not so much Iran and Syria, but the rest are blatant friends to us. ISIS knows this. The civilians know this. All it would take would be a storming of Amman or an assault on Baghdad, places where the U.S. has embassies where U.S. citizens work, to trigger the U.S. to send troops to fight ISIS. The drone strikes enrage civilians because of the injustice and retaliate by joining ISIS, who in turn sends these new recruits that the U.S. made to attack the allies of the U.S., thus triggering the U.S. to send ground troops to Iraq and Syria. Right now, Congress is in the process of passing a bill that would allow the U.S. to send ground troops to fight ISIS. The last time we sent ground troops into Iraq was in 2003 at the start of the Iraq war. Dick Cheney, the Vice President, said that the war would be over in a few months, but only ten years later did we actually pull out of Iraq. The last time we sent in ground troops into Iraq, we practically CREATED ISIS out of the horrible injustice of the Iraq War. You mean to tell me

Also, just because ISIS doesn't have the means to shoot down U.S. drones right now doesn't mean they can't acquire the means to do so from dead Iraqi, Iranian, and/or Syrian soldiers.

It is NOT like a firing squad because the civilians and ISIS DO know who they are fighting. It doesn't take much to watch the news or go on the internet. ISIS members have Twitter accounts for Pete's sake! You don't think they don't know who they're fighting?

The loss of ISIS territory cannot necessarily mean that it's the U.S. who's done this. As you have stated before, there's more than 30 nations fighting ISIS. You can't seriously think that it's the U.S. that's done this when it's been proven that the U.S. drone strikes are like fertilizer for ISIS, can you?

So therefore my first argument has NOT been refuted, all it takes is for someone to look at the facts.

My second argument DOES relate to the topic. The U.S. is funding the Iraqi government, which commits horrible and inhumane acts of barbarism against ISIS; the very same horrible and twisted acts that ISIS does. The U.S. is FUNDING these people and you mean to tell me that this DOESN'T hurt U.S. interests? There is no doubt that other countries know who funds Iraq's current government to commit these terrible acts. This causes the U.S. to lose reputation in the Foreign Affairs sector. You don't think people would just let this slip by? Funding those people just makes us look like bad guys in the eyes of our other allies like France, Germany, or the U.K.

Let's also not forget that the U.S. practically created ISIS. After the unjust Iraq War, Iraqi's wanted revenge for the terrible injustice they received and still clearly do today. Thus, ISIS formed. The very enemy of the U.S. is the result of U.S. actions.

Fun fact: ISIS has a large and growing support in Jordan and Libya. Also, just because territory has diminished in Iraq doesn't mean it hasn't expanded in Syria. Also last I checked, ISIS was only 8 miles from the Baghdad airport. If Baghdad falls, surely that would mean victory over Iraq.

ISIS states that there is a prophecy of the apocalypse. They state that when the Crusaders (as represented by the U.S.) attack true Muslims in a certain town in Turkey or Syria (I can't remember which) that's a sign the apocalypse is near, so all Muslims better become true Muslims. Obviously, ISIS is IN Syria, and Turkey isn't too far either. All they would need to do is go to that town, the U.S., who at this point is basically on a Crusade, to attack them. You don't think we're on a Crusade? George W. Bush said we were going on a Crusade when we first entered Iraq.
The last time we sent ground troops into Iraq was in 2003 at the start of the Iraq war. Dick Cheney, the Vice President, said that the war would be over in a few months, but only ten years later did we actually pull out of Iraq. The last time we sent in ground troops into Iraq, we practically CREATED ISIS out of the horrible injustice of the Iraq War. You mean to tell me that doing more of what created them would help?

Also, drone strikes, damage infrastructure in Iraq and Syria, be they from the U.S. or otherwise. They hit oil pipelines and blow up roads and bridges. Homes and other structures are destroyed as well. You don't think civilians aren't at all mad that we are basically tearing Iraq apart? The majority of Iraqi's actually think that the U.S. is SUPPLYING ISIS so Iraqi's will become dependent on U.S. aid. Do you really think they LIKE the U.S. bombing them and, even if it's false, the idea that we're supplying the enemy? A U.S. arms airdrop already landed inside ISIS territory, thus giving the idea more support.
Check the facts, the U.S. is doing more harm than good.
TheJuniorVarsityNovice

Con

Thank you, lets begin.

First on drones:


Without the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command declassifying more information on the strikes, unofficial and imprecise information is all that is available, complicating efforts to independently verify or refute administration assurances about the impact of the drones.[3]

Using this unreliable data, the amount is only 7 casualties per bad guy (1:7), which is 4x the amount cited in the example PRO gives (1:29). And this is from PROs own source.

“of 308 people….TBIJ estimates that only 4 were civilians. This would amount to a civilian casualty rate of less than 1.5 percent, meaning that only 1 in 65 casualties caused by drones over that 19-month period was a civilian. This speaks to drones effective discrimination between civilian and military targets that no other weapons system can possibly match.”[4]

“Their ability to follow targets for days or weeks accomplishes two things that contribute to saving the lives of innocents: First, it confirms that the target is engaged in the behavior that put them on the target list, reducing the likelihood of striking someone based on faulty intelligence. Second, by establishing a "pattern of life" for the intended target, it allows operators to predict when the target will be sufficiently isolated to allow a strike that is unlikely to harm civilians.”[4]

“The data for the report is from the [British] Bureau of Investigative Journalism and only includes information of collateral deaths resulting from specific targeting of individuals. The British newspaper the Guardian noted problems with analyzing drone strike data includes the secretive nature of the actions, compelling reliance on local media sources, as well as unofficial and imprecise available information.” [5]

Prefer my drone evidence because, her citation states that the information they use is unreliable and comes from unofficial sources at the British Bureau of Investigative Journalism while mine comes from definitive long term data, because my data is more recent, because I provide actual explanations rather than bare assertions as to why drones cause less casualties, because the opposition has the burden to prove her case and even if you consider our evidences to be equal that fact tips the scale to me and because she hasn’t actually refuted my source in anyway while I have refuted her source. For all of those reasons flow this argument to me.

Since this argument is flowed to me this means that the US coalition is helping win the war against ISIS in a way that inspires very few casualties and thus vengeance and to expand a little bit further on the vengeance claim, this means that the people of the middle east would much rather side with the US who is getting rid of the people who are REALLY leading the crusade against Muslims, ISIS.

I maintain the points that

a.) Many people think that drones cause excessive casualties however this simply isn’t true. Drone strikes are actually very effective and reduce causalities….. “Drones kill fewer civilians, as a percentage of total fatalities, than any other military weapon.” [1] The fact is that drone strikes do Not inflict more casualties and are one of our best weapons against terrorists. While other means of attack have to be more risky drones are better because “You can fly them low without fear of losing your life. You can study your target carefully instead of reacting in the heat of the moment. You can watch and guide the missiles all the way down.” Because of this evidence please note that Pro’s first premis is insignificant and doesn’t have as big an impact as she would have you think.

b.) While civilians do get mad, seeking revenge is impossible because they don’t have the means to attack the US, even if they did attack, ISIL has no way to fight in the air so they cant kill americans, furthermore this premise can only be true for other Sunni muslims, meaning every other type of Islam wouldn’t join ISIS.

c.) Also the civilians wouldn’t get mad at the US because this is not a war waged solely by the US or its drones, this is a war by over 30 different nations meaning the drone strikes cant be blamed on the US specifically, its like a firing squad, you don’t know who is shooting.

d.) The people of the middle east will be more gratefull that their heads are not on an ISIL plate than a few casualties by drones. To back this point up, take a look at the evidence from USA Today which states that ISIL has lost 25% of its territory [2] thus showing that US airstrikes are working and helping push ISIL back. Why would the people be mad at that?

The resolution requires that the opponent show how exactly we are harming the war more than helping it, yet even if we accept her points to be true they simply show that we are doing a few things that are not so great, but it surely doesn’t show that we are more bad than good, as the burden of proof is on her, the resolution thus cannot be affirmed. Her only true point is that right now we are making people mad with our destruction of their land, yet this is true of all wars and it doesn’t mean we are doing worse in the war than better. I maintain that the United States has firmly lead the coalition against ISIL and is succeeding in taking them down, which is in fact in the better interest of the war.

Thank you.

Cites

[3] http://www.theguardian.com...

[4] http://www.theatlantic.com...

[5] http://www.upi.com...

Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by tajshar2k 1 year ago
tajshar2k
Oreo222TheJuniorVarsityNoviceTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Sources go to Con, because he used a variety of sources, whereas Pro used the guardian and youtube links. I would say Con's sources were also more recent, and is more accurate in my opinion. I have to give conduct to Con, because Pro cannot use a video as their debate. Arguments are a tie, because both debaters did a good job defending their argument.