Novice Tournament R2: Military aid ought to be prioritized over development assistance in Africa.
This will be Round 2 of TUF's Novice Tournament.
Military aid ought to be prioritized over development assistance in the Sahel region of Africa.
The burden of proof will be shared.
The following definitions will be used:
Military Aid - Aid in the form of Peace Keeping Organizations, military financing, and training of local armed forces designed to promote national security by contributing to regional stability, strengthening military support for democratically-elected governments, and containing transnational threats, including terrorism and violence.
Development Assistance - Financial support given to support the economic, environmental, social, and political development of a nation, particularly through fighting poverty and disease and support for local economies.
Sahel region - The semi-arid ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition in Africa, between the Sahara desert to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south.
The debate format will carry out as follows:
R1: Acceptance and definitions
Thank you, and I look forward to a fun and educational debate.
I accept with the agreed conditions presented in the Comments
Developmental Assistance -- Financial and humanitarian support given to assist in economic, environmental, social, and political development, by building of structures, advising in policies, and instating public education while addressing topics such as disease control, and water and food distribution.
Speicific countries in the Sahal region inculde Senegal, Mauritania, Sudan, Nigeria, Chad, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali, et al.
Prioritize (root word: priority)-
Resolution is for proving a priority in The Entire Sahal Region.
Thank you, Josh.
I affirm the resolve, "Military Aid should be Prioritized over Development Assistance in the Sahel region of Africa."
It is pointless to invest Development Assistance in a region which is politically corrupt.
The vast majority of Sahel governments suffer from immense political corruption. Throughout all levels of government, from federal to local, Sahelian officials are infamous for their unique persistence in draining public treasuries and acting against the public good. Out of 182 countries profiled in Transparency International’s 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index, Sahelian nations occupied some of the worst spots. On a list where the number one country, New Zealand, was the least corrupt, Sahelian countries ranked 112 (Senegal), 118 (Mali), 134 (Eritrea and Niger, tied), 143 (Mauritania and Nigeria, tied), 168 (Chad), and 177 (Sudan) . This deep rooted and chronic misconduct by officials has tremendous social and economic repercussions on Sahelian society.
When Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha died in 1998, he was revealed to have stolen over $1 billion from Nigerian treasuries. The systematic and deliberate corruption existed throughout his entire cabinet. According to Forbes, "While he ruled Nigeria from a fortified presidential villa in Nigeria's capital… he and a circle of aides and business partners tapped virtually every stage of the oil business, Nigeria's most important industry and the source of 80 percent of its government revenue. They took kickbacks from foreign companies for licenses to search for oil in the basin and delta of the Niger River and offshore. They got bribes and pocketed the money." . Abacha is just one example of a problem that persists throughout Sahelian governments. The rampant corruption prevents Sahelian citizens from using public infrastructure, ultimately depriving them of the food, clean water, and medicine that comes from foreign development assistance. According to a report by Global Financial Integrity, Nearly $1 trillion was sapped from the developing [Sahel] world in 2011 through bribery and corruption, a dramatic increase from past years, and more than 10 times the total official development assistance that went in." . Until Sahelian governments are free of corruption, it is ridiculous to waste money on development assistance.
Military Aid would improve stability.
In addition to governmental corruption, violent local conflicts and extreme jihadism take a toll on the stability and overall security of the Sahel region. Terrorist groups are effectively opposing western presence in the Sahel and are attempting to discourage regional development. As long as this violence continues to target western interests, building infrastructure and developing local resources is ineffective and wasteful. According to an article published in the New York Times, "Before any longer-term focus on economic development, political inclusion and government accountability can be achieved in the [Sahel] region the immediate concern is restoring security. Without security there can be no sustainable political and economic development – but security will depend on international cooperation and training of local forces." . A comparable example would be the highway development program in Afghanistan, another politically unstable region. Local terrorist groups have attacked contractors and hijacked development aid. The cost of the project is expected to over-run by nearly 300%, is months behind schedule, and has been hindered by over 300 attacks and road-side bombs .
Furthermore, instability in the Sahel region is perpetuated by an inadequate criminal justice system and an uncontrollable drug trade. Cooperation between powerful terrorist groups and organized criminals has created a situation in which local resources are being sapped, and citizens live in fear. At a recent conference between representatives from from Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Libya, Mali, and Mauritania, delegates listed the drug trade and crime as the two most plaguing issues to Sahelian society, and called for increased security in localities and international support .
Fortunately, instability is a solvable problem. "The desire of the Sahel countries to improve their military arsenal comes from their situation," security expert Abdallahi Ould Mohamed said, "which forces them to confront security challenges, particularly terrorism and smuggling operations." "It also must be taken into account that these countries, especially Mauritania, Mali and Niger, have poor militaries, leading al-Qaeda to exploit that vulnerability and implement its operations with ease. Thus, they cannot address those risks unless their military capacities are developed." Strategic expert Ibrahim Ould Vall explained, "It is known that military cooperation between the countries of the Sahel and countries with high military experience is very important, and the Sahel countries realized this recently and so focused on strengthening the capacity of their armies." "The threat of terrorism in these countries has become an incentive to strengthen military cooperation between these countries and other countries like the United States… training their armies to track terrorist elements, benefiting from some military equipment in order to protect and monitor the borders, and combating smuggling of all kinds, especially the smuggling of light weapons," he added . Clearly, through prioritization of military aid, Sahel nations can improve their stability and security, which will ultimately allow for utilization of resources, education, and other forms of development assistance later on.
Military Aid would save lives.
Unlike Development Assistance, Military Aid directly addresses and prevents human rights violations and unnecessary violence through Peace Keeping Organizations (PKOs). Primarily, Military Aid assists in counter-terror and counter-insurgency. Through fighting jihad groups head-on, PKOs drive extremist influence out of the Sahel region and protect local towns. According to Alexis Arieff, Analyst in African Affairs at the Congressional Research Service, "Prior to French intervention, regional and Western leaders had warned of a rising threat to international security associated with an expansion of jihadist influence and scope of operations in Mali, a possible spread of violent extremist ideology, and state fragmentation. The main threat from armed Islamist groups in the north, who appeared to coordinate their actions and share personnel... has been reduced." .
Military Aid is also necessary to prevent the recruitment of child soldiers. Hundreds of children have been recruited by all of the armed groups active in the Sahel, including Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, Ansar Dine, the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa and the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad . Through direct confrontation and eventual destruction of these armed groups, the use of child soldiers and other violations of international law can be prevented.
The resolve is affirmed.
Ban Ki-Moon, (UN Secretary General), REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE SITUATION IN MALI, Mar. 24, 2013.
Thank you Abunai for starting this debate, I look forward to some competitive upcoming rounds.
War is not the answer.
Development aid should be prioritized over Military Aid.
Up first on my agenda is the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). OCHA issued an
URGENT CALL FOR UNITED ACTION IN THE SAHEL REGION OF WEST AFRICA .
Urgent need should be considered when choosing a priority
If OCHA is making it a priority, so should we.
This call includes the delivery of food assitance, adressing nutritional needs, recovery for communities hit by drought, disaster risk reduction, building household, community and regional resiliance, among others.
One of the priorities this document calls for is :
"Assistance would include delivery of targeted emergency food programmes through nutritionally enhanced
If you are like me, you think that suffering children need proper nutrition more than anything.
Another thing that it calls for is:
"Immediate action by international donor community to mobilise the resources
necessary to support the humanitarian, rehabilitation and development response
to emergency needs affecting over 10 million people in the Sahel region, as well as
longer-term recovery and food security programmes."
Immediate action is another phrase that should be considered when identifying a priority. There is no such document requesting military aid.
How Bad is it?
Well it has got to be pretty bad if OCHA is calling for Humanitarian Aid. But let's lookat a map.
13.4 million people are vulnerable and 1 million of them are malnuritied children.
If that's not enough to choose a priority already, Nearly 50 children are born per 1000 people compared to 14 in the U.S. The number is actually 46 down a whopping 4 over the past two years.  Mali is especially bad, but let's look at a map just so we get an idea of how the Sahel compares to the entire world.
I swear if you don't click on a single link, click on this one
Have you ever seen a black woman so happy to have a handful of carrots? I haven't. I'm not sure I even knew what poverty meant until I saw these pictures. It truely broke my heart when I saw the pictures from the boarder of Senegal. If you don't do anything else except vote for Con in this debate, at least know that poverty needs to be addressed in the Sahal reigon. But I urge you to do everything you can to assist the region through a program like CARE or some other organization to help the people of the Sahel through the crises that they are in.
Before beginning my rebuttal, allow me to clarify my position in this debate. I agree with my opponent that there is an abject humanitarian crisis occurring in the Sahel region. I agree with my opponent's statistics, which detail the nature of the crisis. However, simply providing statistics and anecdotes that detail the malnutrition crisis does not negate the resolve. My opponent must not only show that the crisis is bad, but also prove that development assistance is the correct response to the crisis. In this rebuttal, I will add to my Round 2 Constructive and show that, while development assistance may seem good on paper, it is a deeply flawed and erroneous response to a systematic problem that inevitably requires a military solution.
Development assistance is ineffective
As I showed in my Round 2 argument, development assistance is a faulty response to the humanitarian crisis in the Sahel for two reasons. First of all, development assistance ignores the basic logic of the situation - Sahelian municipalities are controlled by corrupt governments. Money pooled into local infrastructure, nutrition, and education projects is at the control and dictation of politicians and special interests who seek only to further their own self-interest, and who are infamous for sapping money from national treasuries and development projects. It is utterly ignorant to give development funds to these politicians and expect positive results. Secondly, the Sahel is a completely unstable region, at the mercy of radical jihadists and exploitative military groups. These groups have, historically, undermined any attempts at positive development through violence and terrorism. Until world leaders can multilaterally assist in military operations throughout Africa, terrorism will persist and Sahelian life will never be improved.
Countries like the United States and the UK have made it a top priority to end malnutrition and disease in the Sahel, aiming to achieve UN "millennium goals." Between 1960 and 1997, more than $500 billion in development assistance was pumped into the Sahel region of Africa. Per capita GDP of Africans living south of the Sahara declined at an average annual rate of 0.59 percent between 1975 and 2000. Over that period, per capita GDP adjusted for purchasing power parity declined from $1,770 in 1995 international dollars to $1,479. The evidence that development assistance is hijacked by terrorism and feeds corrupt state bureaucracies is tremendously clear.
Military aid solves the fundamental problems
The best way to create long term prosperity for the Sahelian people is by ensuring security, safety, and stability. Development assistance ensures none of those things. But military aid, according to ISIS Europe, is the correct solution. "Three key steps must be taken toward improving the region's security: creating efficient and capable militaries; regulating the employment of mercenaries; and implementing border controls. It must also be ensured that the planned training on human rights is made a priority and that the importance of civilian control over the army is emphasized. These initiatives are vital in creating peace in the region and fixing the 'fundamental problem' of instability." Once the Sahel region is safe from a rampant drug market, radical jihadism, and corrupt dictatorships, businesses will be more inclined to invest and hire, and more public funds will remain in treasuries, as opposed to the pockets of corrupt politicians. Then, and only then, is it rational to begin long term investments in development.
The crisis in the Sahel, to use the words of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, has made military engagement in Africa a “strategic necessity.” .
The resolve is affirmed.
ISIS Europe, “Security in the Sahel: Regional Initiatives in Pursuit of Long-Term Stability,” 2013
Kurt Shillinger, former research fellow, South African Institute of International Affairs, “5 Reasons Why Africa Is Not Ready to Meet Its Own Security Needs—Yet,” CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, 1—31—13,
My opponent commits several fallacies in his clarification. The most egregious being that I did not provide rebuttals to his initial constructs. Because Round 2 was for initial constructive only, it would be a violation of the format set forth at the beginning of the debate for me to provide rebuttals. He also moves the goal posts from Prioritized response to correct response. He agrees with the information I provided and affirms that developmental aid is a correct response. Therefore all that is necessary is that I provide reasons for developmental aid to be Prioritized, as I clearly did during round 2.
Corruption- Of the 182 nations profiled for transparency, Sahel nations don’t even break the 50% mark. Dealing with corruption should be addressed through the advisement of policies(developmental aid). The worst nation of corruption, Sengal is a U.S. ally in which, “U.S. assistance seeks to increase the professionalism and capacity of the Senegalese Armed Forces, as well as to support increased agricultural production, improved health care, and better basic education.” The U.S. is addressing this problem with developmental assistance which should continue to be prioritized.
The identification of corruption in any country does not prove the prioritization of military aid. The article that pro quotes states that resolution to the corruption is increased oversight from developed nations. 
Stability- Your article proves that despite military aid, Afghanistan is still unstable. The Afghanistan war started in 2001, the article is from 2011. That’s 10 years of military aid in an unstable country. Despite what temporary setbacks there may or may not be, the road (in Afghanistan) will be a long term stabilization tool that military aid cannot accomplish. Your article says it will cost $176 million dollars. This number is paltry compared to the $6 billion wasted on the Afghanistan war considering that the country is still unstable . Developmental aid needs to be prioritized because it has lasting effects that will support the long term stabilization of the countries in question.
Furthermore, terrorist groups are chickens. They gain their power from the nation’s instability. They oppose developmental aid as a priority because it takes away their support base. Let’s face it, people want to have the best life possible for themselves. If education and financial stability are available, people will support it and cling to it as a whole. Terrorists have an arsenal filled with empty threats and poor values which keep their own groups unstable and incapable of taking over the nation.
Saves Lives- If you are going to say that military aid prevents human rights violations, I’m going to need a definition of what Human Rights Violations(HRVs) are. I understand HRVs to include the right to personal liberty and Due Process of Law; to freedom of thought, expression, religion, organization, and movement; to freedom from discrimination on the basis of race, religion, age, language, and sex; to basic education; to employment; and to property . Developmental assistance is needed to provide education, employment, and property rights. Military aid must identify its target and discriminate on some basis, which would be a human rights violation.
Developmental aid is needed as the priority to encourage the recruitment of child scholars through education and social stability. I have absolutely no idea how sending military aid can possibly save lives in the Sahel when people are dying from aids, malnutrition, hunger, respiratory diseases, infections, diabetes, hepatitis, cancer, and hundreds of other deaths that are associated with low economic factors. If we prioritize military aid, the economic problems still remain. There is no hope, and no jobs, and no education and people turn to their primordial basic instinct of fighting. It’s very easy to understand, based on the Afghanistan analogy that poor developmental aid is the cause of the fighting, and that continued fighting will not increase stability in the country.
I think it is important to point out here that Pro addresses the need for stability in the country and provides clear notation that this will not happen until people are more willing to invest in business. He also claims that human rights training should be the priority and civilian control over the army should be emphasized. The phrasing of this statement makes it clear that civilian army control is subjective to education and based on the economic stability which comes from people being willing to invest in business. This affirms that Developmental assistance should be prioritized and that military aid should be subjective to economic assistance.
Hillary Clinton has no say in the matter of Military Aid to foreign countries, but let’s look at how you misrepresent your quote and to which nations her statement applies. Her quote was in reference to Arab Spring Nations (Map ) which are not the primary nations of the Sahal. Sahel nations included in the Arab Nations are showing only minor protests. And her call for strategic engagement is for supporting democratic transitions, not for supporting military aid .
All of the aid we provide to the Sahel region must be within international law. International law restricts us from becoming arbitrarily involved in the civil wars of other countries, but it does not restrict us from giving developmental assistance to those nations. Military aid would only be justifiable if we are attacked first and only for the periods that we are being attacked. Unless the U.N. Security Council approves the use of military aid, it is illegal. The only justifiable right an outside has in participating in a military style engagement would be if the individuals from the aid nation were attacked by members of the host nation. The likely cause of this would be during developmental assistance to that nation. Until the U.N. sanctions military aid, it cannot be accomplished legally and therefore Developmental assistance should be prioritized.
My opponent commits a straw man here. I in no way conceded that development assistance is the correct thing for the Sahel region. I simply agreed that there is a crisis occurring. My opponent can continue to provide statistics about the number of people in poverty and the number of people dying of disease, but unless he proves that prioritizing development assistance is the correct response to these statistics, then he fails to negate the resolve.
First, my opponent attempts to underplay the issue of corruption in the Sahel region. He ignores my statistics that, in 2011 alone, $1 trillion was taken from Sahelian treasuries, more than 10 times the total official development assistance that went in. The fundamental problem with development assistance has not been refuted. Next, Josh makes the flawed argument that development assistance (somehow) reduces corruption. In support of this, he uses Senegal as an example, claiming that the United States has recently provided Senegal with development assistance. Well, as my opponent acknowledges, Senegal's problems with corruption are just as bad, if not worse, than ever before. A 2011 Transparency International Report indicated that 88% of Senegalese believed corruption has gone up in recent years, and the Global Integrity Report gave the country a “very weak” rating in government accountability, administration and civil services. . Unfortunately, Senegal is not alone - almost all Sahelian governments, despite generous amounts of development assistance from the US, continue to have rampant corruption, and continue to have money sapped from treasuries. Thus, development assistance should not be prioritized, as development funds almost always go into the pockets of corrupt politicians instead of toward actual development projects.
Once again, my opponent commits a straw man here. I did not intend to use Afghanistan as an analogy for my entire argument. I simply stated, using a failed highway project in Afghanistan as an example, that development assistance is ineffective in unstable regions. The war in Afghanistan, which my opponent brings up, is trivial and entirely different from the military aid that is being discussed towards the Sahel region. While the war Afghanistan was a 10 year, multi-billion dollar project with hundreds of thousands of troops, proposed military aid to the Sahel is a much cheaper investment, generally consisting of only a few thousand troops over the course of a few weeks. 
A better example, in my opinion, would be the recent French intervention in Mali. According to the Doha Institute, "2,900 French troops carried out a swift assault on Mali cities occupied by al-Qaeda-led rebels. France' s military intervention has succeeded in achieving its stated aims: ending the advance of Islamist extremist groups, where they could threaten the Malian capital of Bamako; and helping to create the first free Malian election in decades." . Clearly, the development assistance that has been provided to Mali over the last few decades has been wholly ineffective. Only through controlled military aid was France able to drive out radical Islamic groups, ensuring democracy and stability for all Malians.
Human Rights Violations
I agree with my opponent's definition of human rights. Military Aid is instrumental in almost all of these areas. Firstly, rights to liberty and due process, as I explained in Round 2, are directly undermined by the status quo of an inadequate criminal justice system in the Sahel, which is subject to extreme abuse. Increased border security and policing forces, which can only come through military aid, will help to enforce the rule of law and due process. Next, freedoms of expression, religion, organization, and movement are also severely undermined by the status quo. Until recent intervention in Mali, radical Islamists had placed the nation under strict Sharia Law. Essentially, Shria Law is a set of fundamentalist Muslim moral codes that has been criticized for restricting democracy, freedom of speech, freedom to protest, and woman's rights, as well as imposing the death penalty for acts such as homosexuality. . Obviously, jihadist influence in the Sahel region is a main prohibitor of basic human rights, and military aid is the best way to oust this influence - with Mali serving as a prime example.
Furthermore, my opponent's claims that "If we prioritize military aid, the economic problems still remain," is simply false. As I showed in Round 3, military aid does, in fact, solve the fundamental problems of the Sahel. In ousting corrupt dictatorships and removing Jihadist influence, businesses will be more inclined to invest and grow in Sahelian nations, which will in turn improve regional economies and create widespread prosperity. But only if Sahelian people are safe from violence will this be a possibility, and safety will only come through military aid and protection.
Finally, the claim that "poor development aid is the cause of the fighting..." is not rooted in any fact whatsoever. According to a recent study published by Cait Murphy, a policy analyst and assistant managing editor for Fortune, "We looked at the biographies of 285 suicide bombers as published in local journals, from 1987-2002. And this found that those who carried out suicide attacks were, on the whole, richer (fewer than 15 percent under the poverty line, compared to almost 35 percent for the population as a whole) and more educated (95 percent with high school or higher) than the rest of the population (almost half of whom went no further than middle school). There is simply no data linking poverty to terrorism—the link seems to actually work in the other direction." . The evidence is very conclusive that trying to find abstract "root causes" of terrorism is impossible and ineffective. Only through military aid can we eliminate terrorism in the Sahel region, and that is the conclusion supported by reality.
My opponent's argument that military aid to the Sahel is a violation of international law is based on a false interpretation of national responsibilities. The only reason the United Nations security council would refuse to endorse military aid in the Sahel is because it is often difficult to obtain the necessary votes from permanent members like Russia and China, which are generally opposed to these actions. For example, In the 1999 Kosovo crisis, NATO launched military strikes to stop Serbian ethnic cleansing, despite opposition from Russia, China and a few other members of the UNSC. Although many Western states regarded the action as morally legitimate, my opponent would probably have considered this action "against international law," as it wa techniquely done without UN approval. The fact is, there is a consensus that we have a responsibility to protect populations, such as the Sahel region, from violence, and that when a government fails in this responsibility towards its own people, international action is appropriate.
In conclusion, military aid absolutely must be prioritized over development assistance. Military aid, according to the vast majority of studies and empirical analyses, is the most effective means of ensuring long-term stability, in helping to drive out radical Islamic influence, ensuring criminal justice, and halting Sahelian drug trades. Development assistance, on the other hand, gives money to corrupt politicians and ignores the fundamental problems of instability. The resolve is affirmed.
I would like to thank Josh for an excellent debate.
“I agree with my opponent that there is an abject humanitarian crisis occurring in the Sahel region. I agree with my opponent's statistics, which detail the nature of the crisis.”-Pro
Corruption, stability and Human Rights- Let’s look at corruption for what it is, and be serious about the level of the corruption. I’ve already pointed out that, according to pro’s article, the way to address corruption is increased oversight. I’m glad you used French intervention in Mali to allow me to reiterate my point that the country along with the entire region is still economically unstable. If we take the Mali Intervention article into account, I think we will all find that Military Aid is complete and no longer necessary. The poverty still remains. The death tolls still remain. The children are still hungry and uneducated. Developmental aid is needed to address those issues. To address this issue the UN has called for URGENT scale-up of aid . Food and nutrition insecurity are threatening to reverse the fragile development gains.
Linking terrorism to poverty. I’m tired of you using sources that are false and misleading. Your rebuttal to the poverty terrorism relationship is misleading. Anyone can simply click on your link [pro, round 4 ] and read the page and quickly find out that the article is talking about something completely different. The article looks at the terrorists and compares them to the education rate of their own countries. However, we can clearly see that in relation to their own countries, the education bar isn’t set that high. The article even points that out when it claims that over half of these total populations didn’t even go to middle school [pro, round 4 ]. Of the World’s 50 poorest nations, Sahel region nations include: Senegal (33), Mauritania (29),Sudan(19), Burkina Faso(7), Chad (5), Djibouti (23), Niger(2), and Mali (13) . But hey, this guy[pro, round 4 ] says there is no link to poverty and terrorism, and doesn’t mention any sort of need for military aid in these countries because of low economies and proves that the nations are only in desperate need of developmental aid.
International Law- According to the dohain institute article you produced[pro, round 4 ], Russia offered military support to France during the Mali intervention. Here you claim that Russia opposes it.
If you want to discuss the legitimacy of NATO bombing in Yugoslavia, do it in another debate. The Sahel is in question in this debate and there is no presented proof that military intervention of that nature is warranted. International law still applies.
Beyond the faulty and misleading evidence used by my opponent, a false claim against me for not following the rules, and continuously diverting attention away from the debate to supposed fallacies, my opponent has failed to show reasonable causation for military aid to be prioritized for any reason in the Sahel region. On the other hand I have provided evidence that there is a desperate and urgent need for developmental aid in the entire region . It is the Developmental Aid that should be prioritized.
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