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The Contender
Con (against)
8 Points

LD March/April Topic

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/12/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,818 times Debate No: 21092
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)




First Round is For Acceptance only. The round will be in LD Format.
The topic wording is Resolved: Targeted killing is a morally permissible foreign policy tool.


Challenge Accepted.

Before going any further I must say I'm a Novice LD Debater and you have just informed me of the new topic, so this is going to be total practice for me.

I actually need to write a new case and everything but I gladly accept your challenge and look forward to a great, educating round and I hope it will help me prepare for the new topic resolution change.
Debate Round No. 1


V International Relations

Which mean that we must value how we use are foreign policy tools to work out are problems with other nations.
Merriam Webster Dictionary

VC Self Defense of a Nation
Defending ones nation within the regard to self defence.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy


1. Targeted killings is defined the premeditated, preemptive, and deliberate

Killing of an individual or individuals known to represent a clear and present threat to the

Safety and security of a state through affiliation with terrorist groups or individuals
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
2. Foreign Policy is the policy of a sovereign state in its interaction with other sovereign states
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy


1. The only time Targeted killing is necessary.

That international human rights law's requirement that any deprivation of life by the state be ‘absolutely necessary' means that doing so is lawful only if ‘in the concrete circumstances, the killing of a person is qualitatively, quantitatively and temporally indispensable for the removal of the threat in question' and that human rights law's requirement of ‘proportionality' means that the threat in question must be ‘an unlawful attack on human life'
Source War Ethics BBC

2. The difference between Targeted killing and Assassination

Thus, we are able to draw a distinct line between assassination and targeted killing. In

Sort: assassination is a killing conducted against an individual or individuals for purely

Political or ideological reasons. Targeted killing, in sum, is a killing conducted against an

Individual or individuals without regard for politics or ideology, but rather exclusively for

Reasons of state self-defense.
Targeted Killing Selfdefense or Assasination
3. Limitations to targeted killing.

Targeted killing is not the killing of a terrorist during routine military or security operations, such as bombing a suspected terrorist camp simply to deny its use by extremists, or raiding a suspected safe house in which unknown terrorists may be located. Targeted killing, for the purposes of this paper, is limited to the specific selection of an individual or indi�viduals, who are then tracked down and intentionally killed due to their specific involvement in a terrorist group or action.
Stanford Enclyclopedia of Philosophy

4. The Resolution states it as a foreign policy tool this means that it is one of many tools so yes we need to use alternatives before killing but when those alternatives fail this is when we need to use targeted killing.
Resolutional Analysis by Cindy Pedersen


1. Targeted Killing is Self Defense

A. Self-defense in the war on terror.

The recourse to targeted killing (in itself, preemption), then, may be viewed as a legitimate self-defense in the war against terrorism. As the threat is often transnational and asymmetric, the Units institutionally and materially ill-equipped to deal with each terrorist threat as it arises and spreads. Thus, nations are largely left on their own to resolve the problem.

B. UN Says its self defense

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack
This part of the carter states that nothing in the United Nations Charter will take away the right to self defense and as Targeted killing is Self defense.

2. Prevents and Ends wars

A. Ends wars quickly

Israel's strike against Arab targets in the opening hours of the Six Day War in 1967.18,19 While a conventional attack (as opposed to asymmetric) and unrelated to terrorism, it is clear that ample evidence existed to convince Israel that a wide scale invasion was imminent and that it needed to strike first in order to survive the expected conflict.20 While undertaken without UN authorization, the negative political conse�quences of this action were few, due to the obvious nature of the pending threat. Thus ending the war quickly.
Analysis of the 6 day war Pg 86

3 International law Supports

The international law regulating … targeted killing does not present an absolute obstacle to…targeted killing. International customary and also treaty law does not prohibit the sort of open attacks generally employed by the U.S. when it strikes directly at foreign leaders in wartime. The laws of war give the U.S. much more legal freedom to apply deadly force than a body of law like human rights law during peacetime.
United States Review of Targeted killing.
Thank you and vote in Aff


On his Value of International Relations:

1st he provides no reason as to how gaining International Relations will actually link back to Affirming, therefore he provides no link between International Relations and the Moral Permissibility of Target Killing.

2nd The Aff has to support killing a supposed terrorist in a FOREIGN country. Often with these Targeted Killings people/places tend to get blown to bits.

Just as David KilCullen, a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science stated "When we intervene in people's countries to chase small cells of bad guys, we end up alienating the whole country and turning them against us."

This shows how our International Relations will be tainted when we Affirm.

3rd. He provides no link from International Relations to the resolution. The value isn't a clear place to vote for Aff

Now on to the Value Criterion

He states that his Value Criterion is Self Defense of a Nation.

1st This Value Criterion isn't a weighing mechanism, what are we doing with Self-Defense of a Nation ? Preserving it ? Promoting it ? We can't look to his Value Criterion because it lacks a weighing tool.

2nd He never provides any justification to prefer his Value Criterion over others. He also provides no link from the criterion to the value or the resolution.

3rd The Affirmative doesn't support Self-Defense of a Nation they simply blur the line between defending ones nation and killing someone. Since we can never tell if the person we are killing is truly in the Al-Qaeda or Taliban we might be killing a military general of another country which is certainly not self-defense. The Aff has provided no way to tell whether the action of targeted killing is morally justified or not.

Thus the Value of Life must be the value for this round because all Morally Permitted actions are meant to defend this right among all the other rights. This right must be the one valued because without we wouldn't be able to have any other rights or Morality.

The Value Criterion must be to prevent risks to life, by Affirming we say it is morally justified to risks killing life which is immoral and wrong, we must stop this mentality that violence can be justified when it never can be.

Thus I contend that the act of deliberately killing someone is never justified though it may be excused. The reason the act of killing deliberately may never be justified because it is intentionally taking another persons life, the only reason self-defense is the ONLY situation where the act of killing itself is justified is because the agent of action is not intentionally trying to kill the other person, it is a heat of the passion moment where emotion takes control NOT rationality. The definition of Targeted killing is the deliberate killing of an individual that represents a clear and present threat to the safety of state. This definition entails the deliberate taking of life and this can only be considered excusable because the agent of action isn't held liable for the wrongness of the action, just because one perceives a threat doesn't make the action of taking out the threat justified or permitted it is simply excusable. This is a major reason to Negate and this will be considered the Negative Constructive.

On his 1st Observation he tries to justify Targeted Killing is necessary.

Targeted Killing isn't necessary to prevent human rights from being desecrated because the fact that the agent using the targeted killing knows where they're at and waits until the right time to strike comes could have used that time to team up with authorities of that state or Nation or Country and taken the terrorist or threat to humanity into custody rather than kill. If we begin saying Targeted Killing is necessary then we'd be justifying another Bush Doctrine or we'd be just in saying "This other country is getting far too powerful and has become a threat we will now attack it and destroy it because we perceive a threat even though we are not in any immediate danger" This becomes problematic because then Morality will be forced to provide even more Immoral options because its "Necessary" at this point Morality will be broken down. This is another reason to Negate this will act as a turn on the Affirmative.

Another argument is that we as a world need to stop this idea of patriarchal violence from being used to solve everyday issues. The idea that we're the ones in trouble is still no justification although it still may be excusable. The idea that one is morally just in using violence must CEASE TO EXIST if we are ever to get down to the root cause of all violence and end it. This is yet another reason to Negate the resolved, this will act as a major turn on the Affirmative Constructive.

On his 2nd observation

He tries to draw a distinct line between assassination and targeted killing however he provides no warrant for this so don't look to it when voting.

2nd There is no distinct line between targeted killing and assassination because both are for Politics and ideology. When we killed Osama Bin Laden that was because he was the leader of a major terrorist group (Politics) and we had to kill him for the safety of our nation. Therefore politics and State Safety go hand in hand.

On his 3rd observation

He tries to say there are limitations to targeted killing but regardless of the limitations we can't affirm off of all previous arguments made so don't look to his 3rd observation when voting.

On his 4th observation

He tries to make a tool in the tool box argument but the tool is still considered Morally impermissible, even when other alternatives may fail the act of killing is still NOT morally justified or permitted.

On to his first contention

Sub Point A- Cross Apply the argument I made earlier where I talk about how he simply blurs the line between self-defense and assassination. The Aff doesn't support a position of Self-Defense. Just because the threat is on the other end of the world doesn't mean it is justified to go over there and kill them for something they haven't even done yet. If anything get authorities in that country to subdue them. This will uphold international relations better and this is yet another reason to Negate.

Sub Point B- First he provides no warrant or proof that the UN does say its self-defense.

second Just because the UN says its Self-Defense doesn't mean it is Self-Defense once again cross apply the argument I made earlier where I talk about how he simply blurs the line between self-defense and assassination.

On to his second contention

Sub Point A- Just because something ends a war quickly doesn't make it morally justified. The Atomic Bombs dropped in Japan weren't Morally Justified but they still ended the war quickly. We can't look to this to deem the action of Targeted Killing Morally Permitted

On to his third and final contention

Once again just because the law supports it doesn't make it moral. We are looking to Morality in this debate not Legality. You can cross-apply almost every argument made in this round on this contention.

Also once again just because something is legal doesn't make it moral, slavery was legal but it wasn't moral. There are certain things that can still be considered legal but not moral.

I have proved how we must negate to ensure morality stays intact and also to actually put an end to violence.

Thus I urge a negative/Con ballad

I await my opponents responses
Debate Round No. 2


Bogdon forfeited this round.


Since my opponent forfeited his last round I will let my responses and my case from the last round stand.

I hope my opponent answers in time for the next round !
Debate Round No. 3


Bogdon forfeited this round.


Sigh I wish my opponent hadn't forfeited... Oh well :/

Vote Con !
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Guitar_Guru 4 years ago
I won't post any new arguments to keep this fair.
Posted by Bogdon 4 years ago
Srry my Internet was down tell about 5 minuets ago I apologies for the inconvenience w
Posted by Guitar_Guru 4 years ago
Science Park High School from Newark New Jersey it's on my profile :p
Posted by Bogdon 4 years ago
what school do you debate for?
Posted by Guitar_Guru 4 years ago
I'm actually going to start typing responses and possibly play it by ear. If it comes to the point that I can't really formulate a case in time I might just go straight ref.
Posted by Bogdon 4 years ago
K Np
Posted by Guitar_Guru 4 years ago
I have to write a whole case ._. Give me a day or two ? Thanks :)
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: The heavy use of debate jargon and sentence fragments made the debate hard to follow. Try not to talk i the debate equivalent of Morse code. Pro should have won because self-defense is a basic right, but he forfeited and left con's objections unanswered. The rules and safeguards can be argued, but there is a right to self defense.
Vote Placed by Xerge 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited the last two rounds, thus leaving cons arguments unanswered. It is unfortunate that it happened.