The Instigator
llamallama
Pro (for)
Winning
28 Points
The Contender
SchinkBR
Con (against)
Losing
25 Points

Neutrality unless attacked is best for a country.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/25/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,106 times Debate No: 2195
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (25)
Votes (15)

 

llamallama

Pro

I am not sure if I believe in this, but I am interested in debating it. It is best for a country not to start wars or create alliances unless they are attacked. It is unnecessary for countries to get stuck in wars that they do not need to be in. When it comes down to the well-being of a country neutrality is the best way to go.
SchinkBR

Con

Neutrality does would have no economic or military benefits for our country. It didn't work for us in either world war, and the same policies of seculsion and neutrality sent us into the great depression. We need to be involved in the world as both a military and economic power.

For the military, the obvious disadvantage is the simple fact that no one would help us if we got attacked or invaded. Futhermore, we rely on other countries intelligence as much as our own to protect our country from outside threats. As strong as we are, we aren't invincible and we need other countries to help us.

Economincally, it does not make sense for us to be neutral either. Without trade from other countries our prices would soar. The facts are we do not have all the resources we need to be neutral and even if we did, we do not have the needed factories to produce those materials into usable resources.
Debate Round No. 1
llamallama

Pro

You say that neutrality did not work in either World War, but in fact, it worked very well. Let me guide you through a history of neutrality in the United States from its conception to present day.

After the revolution, the United States was a weak colonial backwater, nothing like the huge military power it is today. The leaders developed a strategy in world affairs that they would stay out of European affairs. If the United States took a side in any major issue, it could risk an invasion that it would surely not survive.

This did not mean that the United States could not trade with other countries; in fact, it was quite the opposite. While European countries entangled themselves with alliances, the United States got to reap the benefits of unsuspected trade with all nations.

The United States was able to focus all its energies inward while still taking in all the befits of trade with other countries and by the time of World War I, it had became close to the equal of any European nation. The US was able to prosper while the European countries got themselves stuck in costly wars and suffered from lack of trade with enemies.

World War I would have been a war between two countries if it were not for the fact that all the European countries were forced to fight with one of the two countries at war because they had alliances with one or the other. The US, however was neutral and by the German U boats hit a US ship, both sides in the war had worn themselves out fighting. The US was able to come in and win the war with minimal casualties gaining the benefits of winning a war, better standing among world affairs, resources from the defeated countries, and a reputation as a strong country that could not be pushed aside easily.

In between the two world wars there was a great depression, but it was caused by many other things and the US had not stopped trade with other countries. First of all the stock market crash was caused by the Fed increasing interest rates. The crash caused people to hoard money and be wary when it came to spending, this in turn led to banks not having enough money to pay back all the people who put their money in it and people lost all their money, which scared other people and made them hoard money and so on. At the time, the amount of money circulating also depended on the amount of gold that the United States had because it had to back 100% of money with gold. The Swoot-Hawley Tarriff act, passed in 1930, also put huge taxes on goods and hurt the economy even more. There was also high income-inequality. Those were the causes for the great depression, neutrality had nothing to do with it. (http://www.amatecon.com...)

When World War II came the United States sat back, enjoying trade from all while, they suffered from fighting. When the United States was attacked, it responded powerfully and was again regarded as a hero and fighter for World liberties.

Recently however, the United States has changed its policy from neutrality to starting costly, draining wars in Vietnam and Iraq. Now, other countries, which have been focusing inward, are catching up, in economy, are ahead of us in health care and life expectancy, and are increasing the generals standards of life to their inhabitants. Our reputation in the world has been tarnished and we do not have the money to pay for reform in health care and increasing the standard of life. Our economy is tanking and the government is in debt. If we had stayed with neutrality, our country would have been better off. The US has been a lot better off ending wars then it has been starting them.

Any threat to a country would have to have some operations inside the country that is being attacked or it would not work and it is hard for one country to have better intelligence about what is happening inside another country then the country itself. Not to mention, you can still get intelligence from countries without being in an alliance with them. Any attack on the country that does not have a cell inside the country would have to have a foreign link and that would be an act of war, which would be a reason to invade.

Neutrality is not the same thing as seclusion. Neutrality is not taking sides in wars or alliances while seclusion is not interacting with other countries at all. You can trade with countries and be neutral at the same time.
SchinkBR

Con

You mentioned the revolutionary war. I would just like to point out that we would have not won this war if France had remained neutral and yet you're saying that we should and turn our backs on those who have helped us and those who need our help. By doing so you are essentially advocating that we turn our backs on everything the founding fathers stood for.

The facts are that in both World Wars we were attacked for our trading despite remaining neutral. Therefore, the only conclusion that one can make is that in order for our country to remain truly neutral, we must practice seclusion as well.

As for your point that any threat would come from inside is completely ridiculous. You yourself go on to mention that there would be threats from outside. For which your solution to those problems is that we'd still know about them because other countries would tell us about those threats. This reasoning is extremely flawed because other countries would have no reason to watch our back and inform us if someone was going to attack us, because we won't be doing the same for them. In fact, doing so would only hurt the outside country because the attacking country would be mad at them.

You also mentioned the Vietnam War and the War in Iraq. Your reasoning for these wars being so draining is that we had changed our policies. First of all, I would like to point out that we did the same thing in Korea, which you left out on your list of wars, and we succeeded there, so that disproves your point already, However, I will go further and say that the Vietnam and current Iraq War were/are draining not because we changed policies on neutrality, but because we changed our military policy. Essentially what I mean by this is that we took part in these conflicts but not with the needed force to win them. If we had taken the same policy of sending in a few troops at a time in the World Wars, we would have done poorly in those too.

Finally, I would like to take a look at the history of some other countries that have been neutral in the past, and how well that worked for them. Belgium became neutral in 1839 and then Germany invaded them for it. Finland was initially neutral in WW2 and ended up fighting both the Soviets and the Germans. Cambodia became neutral in 1955 and that led to a civil war, in which the rightful government had to get help from other countries to regain control. Vietnam later invaded them as well. In fact, it took nearly 30 years for Cambodia to regain stability and only with the AID of the UN was that possible. Luxemburg was neutral from 1839-1948 in that time they were nearly taken over by Napoleon and were invaded and taken over by Germany in both World Wars. The Netherlands were also neutral at the beginning of WW2 but they were invaded by Germany and then later their colonies were taken over by the Japanese. Finally, Liechtenstein was neutral in WW2 and was invaded by Czechoslovakia and Poland in WW2. So clearly neutrality does not work.
Debate Round No. 2
llamallama

Pro

This debate is based on whether neutrality unless attacked is best for a country and whether or not it is moral has nothing to do with this debate.

You have no evidence to prove that the United States was attacked in World War II because of its trading and even if it was that does not mean that because it was attacked it was not neutral.
If this were true then we should have invaded all other countries that traded with Iraq and Afghanistan when we invaded them and this makes little sense.

Threats to a country are either terrorism, which needs to have a cell inside the country to work effectively, just like AQ did on 9/11, or war, which is an attack that is easy to trace back to its source and would justify invasion.

Even if we did win the Korean war, we could have stayed neutral and built upon our own country instead.
If we build upon our own country, we increase our power to later fight a war by putting more money into technology, research, and training for our armies.

The Iraq and Vietnam wars were unneeded wastes of troops. Even if they could have been won by sacrificing most of our men and our economy, they were not worth it. The World Wars were battles for our country's survival and therefore many troops needed to be sent, though let me remind you that the casualties were minimal compared to the other fighters and that our troops were less protected and could do much less than today's troops.

Being neutral can actually create allies because the international community will be outraged if one country attacks a country that didn't do anything to it. The international community was unhappy and worked with us only grudgingly because they knew we had more power than them and scolded us for our attack on a country that did not do anything to us.
Also, if we wait, it is more likely other countries will get caught up in wars and we'll come in to end a war heroically, not start one cruelly.
Countries who are attacked first are almost always the countries who the international community favors and who get the most aid to win wars.

Belguim and Finland would have been in war without a doubt and sooner if they were not neutral and they both survived it.

The Cambodian civil war was caused by the fraud election in which conservatives won most of the seats and the tension between political groups and parties, not neutrality. If this civil war was started because of disagreement over whether or not to invade or which country to invade, the side that supported not invading or the country that was not invaded would have revolted anyway.

Switzerland has also stayed neutral and never been attacked. It is one the biggest economic powers in the world now and has huge influence.
Sweden has also remained neutral and is now a major exporting power and has not been invaded at all since it adopted its policy.

Overall neutrality is almost always better for a country and is the best solution to its well-being.
SchinkBR

Con

First of all, the morality of this decision is very relevant to the debate because what is best for a country is a huge matter of opinion. Is what's best for a country standing up for our views and spreading democracy or is it looking out for ourselves first. I think that standing up for the values that our country was founded on is the main thing that holds us together and if we just ignore those values, we have nothing.

Secondly, to say I have no proof that we were attacked for trading is ridiculous. I don't need evidence to prove the common knowledge that we were attacked for our trading with Britain. You yourself said that German u-boats were attacking our ships.

I never said that invading countries who trade with your enemies made sense, I just pointed out that it has happened again and again in history.

As for the Korean War. Many of the advances that you were talking about happened because we were at war and needed those improvements.

Your point about the lose of lives in the World Wars was minimal compared to the current War in Iraq is ridiculous. More people died in single days and battles then the number of people who have died in Iraq to date.

And countries don't rise up for countries who have done nothing, aside from protesting. No one attacked Germany in WW2 when they invaded Poland. In fact, the War didn't really start until after Norway, Denmark and France had all fallen to Germany, and France was the only one who could have arguably done anything to Germany. Whether or not Belgium and Finland would have been attacked earlier if they hadn't been neutral is just speculation and there is no proof to support that claim.

As for Switzerland and Sweden, they have been neutral for hundreds of years and they remain truly neutral. They don't favor any one country with trade or banking. They have not been attacked not only because they have clearly been completely neutral for 200 years, but they also have locations that are very hard to take over, and have no real strategic value other than the fact that they are easy to defend.

I would like to end by saying that this has been a very good and fun debate and I'd like to thank llamallama for making it possible.
Debate Round No. 3
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by llamallama 8 years ago
llamallama
good debate SchinkBR!! It was fun to watch the score switch back and forth. Its challenges like these that make debating fun.
Posted by Anonymous 9 years ago
Anonymous
lol...we economically attacked Japan??? GTFO maybe because they were siding with the @$$holes

thats all...ill save the sarcasm for a future debate.
Posted by llamallama 9 years ago
llamallama
After you gave so many responses I figured I'd hear what you had to say in the debate, I read all the other responses, otherwise I would not have been able to respond to them. I'll debate you on whether or not the united states should accept the kyoto protocol tomorrow when i have the time to start it
Posted by The_Deeps 9 years ago
The_Deeps
im just saying this out of hunch, but im guessing you do not read what i post, because i stated that i do not want to debate. which leads me to the conclusion you have not read thoroughly my criticisms of your facts in the comment section. i have allready seen your case, which gives me an advantage. pick another topic, and i shall not decline.
Posted by llamallama 9 years ago
llamallama
If you have so much to say then I challenge you to debate me
Posted by The_Deeps 9 years ago
The_Deeps
llama i do not see one quantitative fact from you in the entire comment section.
1) if the germans wanted to aim for anything american, they wouldve aimed for an american battleship or an american trading vessel. attacking civilians does not benefit another nation when the amount of civilians is relatively small, such as the amount that was on the Lusitania.

2) tell that to the northern vietnamese. i always back a friend, alot of the times if it isnt even in my interest, because i know later on theyll do the same for me.

3)where are your numbers for health care and life expectancy in europe?

4)yes the war in iraq has cost alot of money, but just how much? and other programs would it have gone to that could have benefitted our nation?

5)not trading technically is an act of war. if you trade with to entities before they go to war with eachother, then only continue to trade with one side after that, it is an act of war upon the other entity. by not providing goods necessary to Japan, we economically attacked them.

6)an alliance with san marino would mean san marino is not neutral. therefore, a 2 on 1 would be an advantage anyway. you argued any neutral country could hold their own if attacked by any other foreign invader. this is not the case anymore.

7)that is what many people have said. and although he hasnt handled or planned Iraq the best way, good has still come out of it.

finally, i see no need to start a debate over these, as we allready have material here. repeating this is unnecessary, so lets just finish it.
Posted by llamallama 9 years ago
llamallama
By the way Schink, Europe is catching up in obesity and being thin does not make you imune to all diseases. Anyway, that was a good debate. I look forward to possibly debating you in the future.
Posted by llamallama 9 years ago
llamallama
Deeps:
I'm using Logic backed up with facts and you're using a snowball metaphor and saying I'm using opinions in the place of facts
1) We were still attacked, and there is no way to know that they were not actually aiming for us
2)EXACTLY we were not neutral and the war was an uneeded war and ended badly
3)Two people are not a primary source. The life expectancy of a whole country is
4)No one can deny that the Iraq war uses up billions of dollars that could be spent on other projects
5) Not trading is not an act of war
6) An alliance with San Marino could turn the tide if there were two evenly matched countries
7)That is what Bush said about Iraq and look how that turned out
Challenge me to a debate if you're so interested in this
Posted by DoubleXMinus 9 years ago
DoubleXMinus
Let me add that, neutral countries have the ability to focus on defensive means as apposed to offensive means. This leaves them no more vulnerable than anybody else when considering an attack.

I thought I might state that just in case you decide to forego my link, or have a hard time seeing what it means...
Posted by DoubleXMinus 9 years ago
DoubleXMinus
Hmm, now I'm confused... I didn't know anybody outside of you and Schink had even replied to me. I thought you were replying to Llama.

Just to let you know in the future, I very much appreciate any support and backing and will welcome it at all times.

I think the concepts here have been a bit muddled and now I'm having a hard time sorting them out. I propose you send a challenge to Llama and we can start all over again. After all, he did call you out in a way... =)

TRB, neutral countries have less military might and spend less on military related institutions, but this is because they're not preparing to initiate any attacks. Don't confuse this with a supposed lack of ability to defend themselves in the event of an invasion.

Because a country decidedly refuses to rush into a war for unrelated external reasons, does not mean that country isn't logical enough to protect themselves sufficiently if they themselves were to be attacked.

http://www.lewrockwell.com...

There, read about the Swiss. (A country that is indeed fortunate in its location, but also takes advantage of what I see as superior thinking... foreign policy, energy use, direct democracy, and so on.)
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