The Instigator
Duron
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
symphonyofdissent
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

National Missile Defense.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/25/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,028 times Debate No: 991
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (0)
Votes (7)

 

Duron

Pro

Considering that a single nuclear detonation on US soil could kill millions of people, it is the government's obligation to protect Americans from nuclear assault. That includes a missile defense shield.
We currently have no protection from nuclear missiles launched at our shores, and this must be rectified as soon as possible.
Missile defense is a necessity. We do not want another pearl harbor.
symphonyofdissent

Con

First of all, it is important to emphasize that in theory if a nation had unlimited funding, a national missle defense shield might be something worth investing in and testing. However, in the current status quo with our vast deficit it us not worthwhile wasting our time with technology that probably will not work and will not actually defend us from a much more real threat of dirty bombs.

I rest this argument on two main pillars. Firstly, it is unlikely that a truly working missle defense shield will ever be completed. Any shield will always be able to be bipassed by better and more technologically advanced missles propelling a never ending arms race. The idea of a missle defense shield while very lovely is a phantom dream in which we will sink billions of wasted funds. The Star Wars program that was Ronald Regan's pet project is a great example of how easy it is to persue a falty dream.

Secondly, and most importantly, missle defense is near useless in the current geo-political reality. Does any one really fear that any nuclear nation today will launch a missle directly at the United States. While this was a legitimate ( if overstated) fear during the cold war era of mutual avowed self destruction, today it is not feasible. Most nuclear nations including Russia are today at least marginally allies, and most budding nuclear powers such as pakistan or potentially Iran even have a tiny missle stockpile in comparison to ours. No nation would risk open nuclear war because they can not compete with us.

A far more realistic fear is that a rogue cell or terrorist group will smuggle the parts of a dirty nuclear bomb into the country and detonate it here. The important thing is that missle defense does absolutely nothing here to prevent the massive loss of life and damage. Instead of sinking funds into a defense shield, we should channel that money into increased homeland security including better systems and equipment to secure our harbors and ports. These are real and simple measures that are unfortunately underfunded and truly deserve attention. A pipe dream of a shield that will not even truly prevent our biggest nuclear threat does not.
Debate Round No. 1
Duron

Pro

First I would like to thank you for responding in such detail.

1: The 911 attacks caused millions of dollars worth of property damage, and the repercussions for the national economy can be measured in the trillions of dollars. This includes insurance and security costs not to mention lost business confidence.
A single nuclear attack could easily eclipse 911 in financial cost. So while you might not consider a missile defense to be a worthwhile defense, I think as a preventative measure it pays for itself.

2: When it comes to nuclear defense, a missile shield is not whole package. Yes, dirty bombs and smuggled warheads are another very real threat, and appropriate measures should be implemented to deal with such threats. However without a missile shield Americans can never truly be safe from nuclear assault, as the defenses against ground based bomb is of course useless to stop missiles.

3: Few safeguards are 100% effective, but if a missile shield stopped even one ICBM it would be worth it. And I think the millions of people it saved in the process would agree me.

4: You argue that because a shield would be expensive and bypassed by newer weaponry we should scrap it altogether. Should we stop buying security software because someday it will be outdated? For every new weapon developed, new counter technologies will be invented. Arms race? Maybe, but if that is the cost to protect America then so be it. We survived the cold war, and even if an advanced and determined foe sought to find to circumvent our defenses, we could keep pace with them as we did with the soviets. If that were the case we would have no choice anyway, we cannot stand idly by if such an enemy plots our destruction. As the most technologically innovative nation in the world, we can keep up with the latest threats. Better a never-ending race then a nuclear wasteland.

5: You say no nation would risk open nuclear war with us, perhaps that is true (as we all hope it is) there is no guarantee. As more and more Islamic countries (and possibly terror groups) get their hands on nuclear weaponry, we have to consider the Moslem mind. Communists were afraid to die, that is why MAD worked. It may safeguard us from Chinese and North Korean nukes, but there are Moslems would like nothing better then to die in global battle against the US.

6:Let me say once again that yes, dirty bombs are a very real threat yes we should secure our harbors and ports. But this is an apples and oranges argument, we must guard against all lethal threats, land, sea and sky. This is simply a fact of life in the modern world. America must rise to the challenge or be destroyed.

In closing, the missile shield is not a pipe dream but the best hope of stopping an airborne nuclear attack. Presently if a foreign nation launches an ICBM at us what do? Hope they miss? Duck?
symphonyofdissent

Con

Your arguments about the moselm/muslim mind ring as particularly agregious and overtly racist. Therefore, it is the one I will spend the most time rebutting. Firstly, I would like to point out that there is certanily no concurrence on the use of nuclear power even among Islamic radicals in the world. The ayatollahs of Iran including supreme leader Kumenieh have declared the use of nuclear power as a violation of basic islamic doctrine and sinful. I'd like to point out that the same arguments were used about "godless communists" throughout the mid 20th cenutry to emphasize that they did not care if the world was destroyed and would like nothing more than nuclear winter. These arguments of course proved false as the soviety union just as any other nation in the world attempted to expand its own power and propogate its own authority.

I am not of course saying that radical Islam is not a real threat or that it is not possible for a splinter cell to acquire a weapon. What I am saying is that in the current geo-political reality it is increasingly unlikely that a missle launch will come from a state actor. We find states such as North Korea struggling for nuclear weapons mostly as a deterrance against attacks rather than with any offensve design in mind.

Because states are building weapons as detterance it means that if we put up a shield they will have to look for new technology to improve their detterance capability and we will once again be swept up in a global arms race against nation states that really offer no legitimate threat.

Instead, a far more realistic fear comes at the hands of individual actors or small groups with the desire to blow up a bomb inside of America. Most importantly, just as a missle defense shield would not have stopped 9-11, such a shield will not stop this attack. All of the money we waste in building such a shield is money we do not have to stop a nuclear attack on our own soil. Indeed, all of the money other nations spend on improving their nuclear technology because of our new detterance makes it MORE likely that old and low tech bombs will somehow find their way into the hands of terrorists. It is also worth emphasizing that by building a defense shield rather than focusing on stopping nuclear proliferation we give other nations an excuse to not properly dispose of warheads once again increasing the chance they will end up in a rogue actors hands.

The push for a missle defense shield is purely rooted in fear mongering of the worst sort. Moreover, our experiences with such projects as Star Wars should make it clear that such an investment is usually a costly waste. When dealing with a limited amount of funding, our nation has an obligation to invest it in smart ways that will actually enhance our security rather than help propogate the old nuclear arms race which will not keep us safe from the real threat that faces us, and actually make it more likely that a weapon will get into the hands of a group who truly desires to murder millions.
Debate Round No. 2
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Vote Placed by griffinisright 8 years ago
griffinisright
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Vote Placed by MtthwUsaf 8 years ago
MtthwUsaf
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Vote Placed by sethgecko13 8 years ago
sethgecko13
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Vote Placed by nutter 8 years ago
nutter
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Vote Placed by Lithobolos 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Gato 8 years ago
Gato
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Vote Placed by EricW1001 8 years ago
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