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The Contender
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No-Fly Zone over Syria

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/27/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,926 times Debate No: 25878
Debate Rounds (5)
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I believe there should not be a No-Fly Zone over Syria. In this case I am speaking of a full No-Fly Zone, not a partial one.


I accept. for reference, the debate is 1000 characters, if anyone thinks this is short.

Firstly, No-Fly Zones protect civilians from biological and chemical weapons. No-Fly Zones have stopped chemical weapons, precedence teaches us[1], and the Syrian regime says they will use them[2]. The prevention of these weapons will not just help the local citizens, but will further help the local surroundings and the hard line against these weapons is necessary to prevent the repeated use in the area by other nations.

Secondly, No-Fly Zones are used as a response to civilains being attacked. It is common knowledge Syria oppresses its citizens. Precedence further tells us that No-Fly Zones should be used as response to attacks on non-combatants[3]. Thus, it is only reasonable that we stick to our successful common response and enforce a no-fly zone.

1 - Operation Provide Comfort
2 -
3 -;
Debate Round No. 1


londontour2009 forfeited this round.


Vote PRO.
Debate Round No. 2


Forgive me for forfeiting Round 2, I simply forgot about this. Now back to the debate...

1. No-fly zones (NFZ) are known to be very costly. The Libyan NFZ was billions of dollars. Also, to support the number of planes required is just too much for the American economy to handle. It approximately 80 combat jets[1] are required to upkeep a suitable NFZ over Syria.
2. Syria has ties with powerful nations, such as Russia and China[2]. A NFZ would signify American intervention in Syria, which will affect our relationship negatively with those to nations[3].
3. The American economy is not ready for the American military to intervene in every conflict that happens in the world. We must worry about ourselves for now.



I propose a unilateral UN-enforced No-Fly Zone. Thus, all my opponents criticisms are moot. I am not American, nor do I see any reason for myself to presuppose American policing in this debate.

However, regarding cost, Syria is ten times smaller than Libya, so the cost would be, at the very least, ten times less. Further, a full "no fly zone" would be easier to enforce due to the nature of Syria's air force being older technology.

Secondly, my opponent has failed to criticise either of my points. Judges should considered them dropped and conceded.
Debate Round No. 3


The NFZ over Syria will still be very costly, costing hundreds of millions of dollars. America here is very important because right now the key nations vouching for a NFZ are France & the UK. Without America's full support, the NFZ has less chances of being implemented.
Also, a NFZ will lead to more ground attacks. The Bosnian NFZ led to some of the worst atrocities ever seen by mankind, which occurred as a result of the NFZ.
I did not object to your initial arguments simply because I agree fully with you, but I believe we must consider the harsh consequences of a NFZ. First is the money issue (it is simply too costly). Second, we must consider the global issue. Implementing a NFZ will lead to distrust between the UN and Russia & China. This will lead to further hostilities between the East and the West. Distrust and alliance are what led to WWI and which can lead to a global military crisis if not carried out wisely.


Firstly, the positing of a No-Fly-Zone costing hundreds of millions is still unjustified. Quite frankly, making up numbers is poor show. Further, again, one is assuming in this argument that both sides are feasible. If we debate, for example, whether we ought to use nuclear weapons, saying "we won't anyway" isn't an argument. Similarly, debating whether we ought to initiate a NFZ, saying "we won't anyway" still is an unsubstantiated argument.

Further, the NFZ in Bosnia led to no atrocities. The lack of citation by my opponent is evident enough. Operation Deny Flight caused barely a dozen casualties[1]: operation deliberate force, which was not a NFZ, may have causd atrocities, but that is not the debate.

Moreover, the distrust contention is unsubstantiated. The action in Libya brought Russia closer with the UN in actions, for example, not further away. Nor is there any justification that Russia/China would take action against the UN if the UNSC, which includes Russia/China having veto power, gives the go-ahead to a NFZ.

1 -
Debate Round No. 4


Wikipedia? Really? There is substantial evidence[1] that shows that the NFZ in Bosnia did in fact lead to some of the worst atrocities witnessed by mankind.

Second, on the issue of cost. The Libyan NFZ cost billions of dollars[2,3]. You yourself said a NFZ operation over Syria would cost ten times less than the Libyan one due to the fact that Syria is smaller than Libya. Let's say that the Libyan NFZ cost $1 billion (we know it was substantially more), 10% of that would be $100 million. So thus, a Syrian NFZ would be at least $100 million. There is also other evidence that suggests it would be expensive[4].

PS: This was a good debate. You up for a Syria NFZ - Part II?



I'll wrap things up:

Regarding cost, my opponent claims it would cost America $100mn due to Libya costing $1bn. Now, firstly this implies America is the only funder, which I repeatedly, explicitly state would not be true. The cost would of course be lower than this as well, due to the nature of the cost not being a straight line: the larger the area, the more rapid the cost increase (so a quadratic increase), due to need for more specialised equipment. All other arguments have been dropped by my opponent to this point, so I see no reason to bring them up again.

However, I repeatedly and shall again point to my primary arguments. Precedence shows that the NFZ is a good idea. The NFZ saves many, many lives if in place. It further will deter and prevent biological warheads and chemical warheads being used. Each of these arguments alone undermine CON's position. The lack of rebuttal to them should be glaring. With this in mind, I urge a vote PRO.
Debate Round No. 5
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